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Monday, April 7, 2008

Taking A Look At Depression!!!

Today I’d like to discuss a rather serious topic, one that is close to my heart as I have been there – Depression. The reason I want to talk about this is because I suffered from severe depression for the last 10 – 15 years of my life, but I could not go for treatment or see anyone professionally because I did not have medical aid or the finances to do it privately. I fought this on my own, but it got progressively worse over the years until I eventually contemplated suicide and attempted it a few times. I basically checked out of life, I did not want to go anywhere or do anything, I lost interest in everything. I would wake up in the mornings to go to work, I only worked until 2pm so then I would go home, switch on my TV and get on my bed, if there was nothing worth watching I’d just go to sleep until dinner time, after dinner I would just watch TV and then go to bed again.

When it came to the weekends I would sleep as late as I possibly could in the mornings, sometimes not even getting dressed and just stayed in my room all day, I wouldn’t even go outside into the garden. I’d spend my hours either watching television or just playing useless games on the pc. I did not want to be around people because I never thought I had anything to contribute, the few friends I did have I pushed away by never accepting invitations to visit or attend birthdays etc, eventually they stopped calling, stopped extending invites, before I knew it I found myself totally alone with just myself for company and considering I didn’t like myself very much that wasn’t much fun. But before I share with you how I got rid of my depression I want to look deeper into this subject so that we can understand it better as some of you out there may still be suffering and if this blog can help even just one person it will be well worth it.

What is a depressive disorder??? A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue or bad mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better as many of you would like to think. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

Depressive disorders come in different forms. There are several different diagnoses for depression, mostly determined by the intensity of the symptoms, the duration of the symptoms, and the specific cause of the symptoms, if that is known.

Major Depression - This is the most serious type of depression, in terms of number of symptoms and severity of symptoms, but there are significant individual differences in the symptoms and severity. You do not need to feel suicidal to have a major depression, and you do not need to have a history of hospitalizations either, although both of these factors are present in some people with major depression. There is no official diagnosis of "moderate depression."

Dysthymic Disorder - This refers to a low to moderate level of depression that persists for at least two years, and often longer. While the symptoms are not as severe as a major depression, they are more enduring and resistant to treatment. Some people with dysthymia develop a major depression at some time during the course of their depression.

Unspecified Depression - This category is used to help researchers who are studying other specific types of depression, and do not want their data confounded with marginal diagnoses. It includes people with a serious depression, but not quite severe enough to have a diagnosis of a major depression. It also includes people with chronic, moderate depression, which has not been present long enough for a diagnosis of a Dysthymic disorder. (You get the idea!)

Adjustment Disorder, with Depression - This category describes depression that occurs in response to a major life stressor or crisis.

Bipolar Depression - This type includes both high and low mood swings, as well as a variety of other significant symptoms not present in other depressions.

There are also many causes of depression. You may have heard people talk about chemical imbalances in the brain that occur in depression, suggesting that depression is a medical illness, without psychological causes. However, all psychological problems have some physical manifestations, and all physical illnesses have psychological components as well. In fact, the chemical imbalances that occur during depression usually disappear when you complete psychotherapy for depression, without taking any medications to correct the imbalance. This suggests that the imbalance is the body's physical response to psychological depression, rather than the other way around.

Some types of depression do seem to run in families, suggesting a biological vulnerability. This seems to be the case with bipolar depression and, to a lesser degree, severe major depression. Studies of families, in which members of each generation develop bipolar disorder, found that those with bipolar disorder have a somewhat different genetic makeup than those who are not diagnosed.

However, the reverse is not true. Not everybody with the genetic makeup that causes this vulnerability to bipolar disorder develops the disorder. Additional factors, such as stress and other psychological factors are involved in its onset as well. Likewise, major depression also seems to occur, generation after generation, in some families, but not with a frequency that suggests clear biological causes. Additionally, it also occurs in people who have no family history of depression. So, while there may be some biological factors that contribute to depression, it is clearly a psychological disorder.

A variety of psychological factors appear to play a role in vulnerability to these severe forms of depression. Most likely, psychological factors are completely responsible for other forms of mild and moderate depression, especially reactive depression. Reactive depression is usually diagnosed as an adjustment disorder during treatment.

People who have low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism, or who are readily overwhelmed by stress are more prone to depression.

Psychologists often describe social learning factors as being significant in the development of depression, as well as other psychological problems. People learn both adaptive and maladaptive ways of managing stress and responding to life problems within their family, educational, social and work environments. These environmental factors influence psychological development, and the way people try to resolve problems when they occur. Social learning factors also explain why psychological problems appear to occur more often in family members, from generation to generation. If a child grows up in a pessimistic environment, in which discouragement is common and encouragement is rare, that child will develop a vulnerability to depression as well.
A serious loss, chronic illness, relationship problems, work stress, family crisis, financial setback, or any unwelcome life change can trigger a depressive episode. Very often, a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors are involved in the development of depressive disorders, as well as other psychological problems. When you feel depressed, and don't know where to turn, talk to someone who can help.... a psychologist.

Women are more likely to become depressed than men.

What Every Woman Should Know About Depression
Life is full of emotional ups and downs. But when the "down" times are long lasting or interfere with an individual's ability to function, that person may be suffering from a common, but serious psychological problem - depression.

Clinical depression affects your physical well-being, resulting in chronic fatigue, sleep problems, and changes in appetite. It affects your mood, with feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness and dysphoria. It affects the way you think, interfering with concentration and decision making. And, it affects your behavior, with increased irritability and loss of temper, social withdrawal, and a reduction in your desire to engage in pleasurable activities.

Research indicates that in the United States more than 17 million people experience depression each year, and nearly two thirds do not get the help they need. Proper treatment would alleviate the symptoms in over 80 percent of the cases. Yet, because depression is often unrecognized, depressed individuals often continue to suffer needlessly.

Women are almost twice as likely as men to experience depression. Research continues to explore how this psychological problem affects women. At the same time, it is important for women to increase their awareness of what is already known about depression, so that they seek early and appropriate treatment.

Find and understand depression
Finding the root of depression or problems that lead to the depression is essential to eliminating the sense of sadness. This root can be anywhere from child birth to your current life situation. Depression is a form of pain that shows up when something is wrong or unhealthy. Pain is nature’s way of saying, "Some thing is wrong", and if you don't fix it, you will feel depressed and it won't stop bothering you until you fix that problem. Most of the time, as soon as problems or a problem is resolved.. depression goes away.

I thought I was better off dead, I didn’t think anyone would miss me and if they did so what, life goes on and they’d manage – that is a selfish way to think because whether we like it or not there is someone who will be left behind and will not understand and more than likely will blame themselves. I had the attitude of thinking well it’s fine and well that those left behind will see it as a selfish act but aren’t they being selfish for wanting us to carry on living in this state. But I can see now that there is hope because I have been there and I do understand but I can also say that there are ways to get rid of it. I’m not saying it’s easy and I’m not saying that everything will change overnight, I still have my “bad” days but at least now I know how to cope with it and change the way I feel.

I tried many programs online, bought many products only to lose a lot of money because everything is sold in Dollars and being from South Africa it was a problem as the Rand/Dollar exchange rate has always been a little high, so I know there are scams out there, been there and fallen for them and I can understand your skepticism when you hear about these amazing ways to cure all etc… I don’t want to tell you to what to buy or what to do, you need to find what works for you, but I will tell you that I purchased a package called “How to Manifest a Miracle”, this book proved to be the turning point for me, I managed to get rid of my depression within a month of purchasing it, I now go for walks in the afternoons instead of “vegetating” in my room, I go to the malls and walk around and have started going out with some old friends again, I look forward to each new day because I know and expect new opportunities to be present everyday.

I just have a very different outlook on life and myself, I chose to work on myself first and foremost and then to work on other areas of my life. And now that I have said goodbye to the depression I can live again. I am not saying that this book will work for everyone but it worked for me so feel free to check it out and decide for yourself. But if you are suffering from severe depression and have been thinking suicidal thoughts then quite frankly I don’t think you’ve got anything to lose, but always remember to take it one step at a time, one day at a time. I know this has been a pretty long blog but my most sincere reason for writing is this that I am hoping it will help someone who may be needing this. Be strong, don’t give up!!!!!!!!


Ash said...

Great post, thank you for sharing this. I'm glad more people are talking openly about depression. I recently discussed it on my site. I too suffered severely with depression and attempted suicide several times in my life. I was able to overcome it, somewhat like you, by changing my out look on myself and life through the Law of Attraction studies. I applaud what you have accomplished!