Dealing with the dirty "D" word...
How many times have you heard or said "man I'm so depressed"? At some point in time we all feel the "feelings" of depression. For many; about 19 million, depression is a day to day battle. Anyone can experience this illness. Even though women are twice as likely to suffer from it, men are three times more likely to commit suicide.
Anyone that has ever suffered from or knows someone that has battled depression knows that it's not something that you can just "snap out of". The word has been used so flippantly that sometimes we forget that it's a very serious mental health disorder that affects so many people globally and warrants our attention, compassion and understanding.
Here's what to look for:
- Feeling helpless, useless or hopeless
- Feelings of self hatred
- Feeling vulnerable and oversensitive
- Feelings of guilt constantly
- Lack of energy, the ability to concentrate or complete simple tasks
- Sudden and drastic weight gains or loss
- Inability to sleep or need for excessive amounts of sleep
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Loss of sex drive
- Unexplainable physical aches and pains
Most people only suffer two or three of the above symptoms at one time. There are different types of depression; as a result there are also different types of treatments available.
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For manic depression which could exhibit severe mood swings, extremely energetic and positive are the highs and anguish and misery with no energy being the low. Manic depressives often receive drugs like lithium as a treatment and in more serious cases electro-convulsive therapy aka (shock therapy).
Post-natal depression usually happens after the birth of a child; Seasonal affective disorder is brought on by the change of seasons or holidays. Something to keep in mind in regards to depression is that:
- Most people with severe mental illness aren't treated. - Therapists often disagree about diagnosis. - Patients often deny that they have mental illness.
Whatever the circumstances, feelings of depression are caused by a chemical chain that effects how our brain functions. Levels of the chemicals are not balanced and this directly affects your mood. If this sounds like you or someone you know, don't think that you can just "snap out of it". This is a serious illness that requires immediate medical attention. Only the moderate to severe cases require drug treatments. Others can be treated by attending therapy.
This is Leticia, and over 19 million people suffer from depression, if you are not one of them, someone you know probably is. Give them a copy of this article and go with them to seek additional help.
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