Acknowledge Your Depression

Depression is an illness and needs to be acknowledged as such. It is not a reason to be ashamed. The reason so many people fail to seek help for their depression is that they are ashamed. Unfortunately, this is one of the feelings associated with depression anyway and makes the illness difficult to acknowledge. 

If you are constantly feeling particularly low, well-meaning friends might tell you to “snap out of it” or even start to get irritated by your mood. Your depression will feed off this negativity and you start to wonder why you can’t just “snap out of it”. You then start to feel that there’s something wrong with you because it should be so easy and it’s just “not right” that you feel so bad all the time. Well, it’s not right and there is something wrong with you. You have a medical condition and you deserve treatment in the same way as any other patient. If you had a cold for six months would you ignore it and hope it would pass? No, you would dose yourself up with anything you could find and maybe see a doctor to find out if there’s an underlying reason for it to last so long.

Depression is sadness that lasts too long. Everyone is sad at some point in their lives but depression is more than that. It is a feeling that you can’t bring yourself up from the bottom. In the end you give up trying. People start to avoid you. You feel worse. You need to find external help to treat the problem in the same way as you would if you had a long-lasting cold. You could try herbal remedies – there are some in your pharmacy – or you could see your doctor. There may be an underlying physical cause for your depression.

If your doctor cannot help you they may refer you for counselling. Don’t be embarrassed to go for counselling but do make sure you are comfortable with your counsellor. If not, try another one. Counselling should not be discounted because you don’t feel comfortable with your first choice of practitioner. In everyday life you will naturally find that you get on with some people and clash with others. You cannot afford to have a personality clash with your counsellor. On the other hand you must be sure that it is a personality clash and not just that you don’t agree with what they are saying. A general rule is to go with your instincts. If you like the person and seemed to get on well in the first couple of sessions then stick with it because they might just have touched on the root cause of your problem.

In some cases, acknowledging depression may be difficult because you have lived with it so long that you don’t know whether it is depression or not. If you have grown up with depression it is possible not to realise that you are actually depressed because you have no concept of how normal people should feel. You may feel angry all the time or you may feel like going to the middle of an empty field and simply screaming. You may feel anxious, have trouble sleeping or even sleep too much. You may think that your family would be better off without you (and actually believe that to be true) and may have considered running away or suicide. You may worry about death all the time (yours or someone else’s) and not let yourself be happy just in case…… (or even “I must enjoy this now in case………..”). If you are feeling any or all of the above then you need to consider talking to someone. Even if it is just a friend or family member to start with, they may be able to advise you and encourage you to seek professional help.

Once you have acknowledged that you have depression please remember that it is a medical condition and can be cured. You don’t have to feel this way for ever. Nobody actually thinks of you the way you think they do. Talk to someone. Seek and accept help and you will find that there is a different way of seeing life. You may also have an option in a Depression research study.

10 Common Symptoms of Depression

Every year, approximately 9.5% of the American population suffers from depression. Depression is a serious illness that affects day-to-day life and destroys families. Depression is an illness that controls the mind and its functions causing loss of appetite, sleeplessness, mood swings, and a deep sense of despair. 

The symptoms of depression are varied and the severity changes with time. Depression can be an inherited disorder, caused by other illnesses, or stress. Women sometimes experience depression more than men. Some have speculated that hormonal swings, menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, pre-menopause, and post-menopause can be factors.

Common symptoms are:

1.    An unshakable sadness, anxiety, or emptiness.

2.    Overwhelming hopelessness accompanied by pessimistic feelings.

3.    Extreme guilt, feelings of helplessness, and a low sense of self worth.

4.    Loss of energy, a slowing down of metabolism, and activity levels. Being plagued by constant fatigue.

5.    A sense of helplessness along with an increasing inability to focus and indecisiveness.

6.     Loss of sound sleep and development of extreme insomnia.

7.    Inexplicable weight loss or weight gain. Triggered by loss of appetite or eating binges.

8.    Brooding and suicidal inclinations.

9.    Irritability, short temper, as well as restlessness.

10.    Physical afflictions like headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain for no particular reason.

If you experience several of these symptoms, along with a marked change in behavior, consult your health professional. You may also have an option in a Depression research study.

Living with Depression

Depression is a psychological, biological and environmental problem that has affected millions of people, both directly and indirectly. People suffering with depression often have difficulty functioning normally, and frequently experience problems in their everyday lives as a result. The emotional toll of depression can shatter families; result in a loss of employment and in some occasions end in suicide. While there is no cure for depression, treatment options are available that can help sufferers of depression lead normal, happy lives. 
 
Depression changes the way in which a person is able to think, feel and view the world around them. These changes produce adverse effects on behavior directed towards others and towards one's self. If a person experiences feelings of sadness or malaise which continue over a long period of time, it is likely that he or she suffers from some form of depression. Recognizing the symptoms of depression is the first step toward recovery. Those who feel they may have depression should consult their physician. 

Once a diagnosis has been made and a treatment program initiated, the next step is to recognize the effect that depression has on the mental processes that govern one's behavior. Understanding the mechanisms of depression can help people who are coping with this often debilitating illness. Of the treatment options available today, all involve either talk therapy, medication or a combination of both. It may take several weeks or even months before a treatment plan can produce any obvious positive results. During this time, having an understanding of the nature of this illness can be highly beneficial. Realizing that depression is a treatable affliction can promote rational thinking and a diminished emotional response toward the symptomology of this unfortunate condition.  

There are several resources available on the Internet which can help sufferers recognize the symptoms of depression and give advice on how to cope with it once a treatment plan has been established. Through treatment, understanding and the support of others, living with depression can be made substantially less difficult. Many who have suffered from depression go on to lead healthy, productive lives.

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