What exactly, is Depression? We all have experienced “depression” at some point or another, at some point in our lifetime. It is normal to feel down and sad occasionally. What defines depression, the kind needing Therapeutic treatment, is REPETITIVE PATTERNS of Depression, sometimes for no apparent reason.
Let us take a look at the Webster Definition of Depression: 1. A “depressing or being depressed”
2. A Hollow, or Low Place 3. Low spirits, dejection 4. a condition marked by hopelessness, lethargy, self doubt. 5. A decrease in force/activity 6. A period of reduced business or unemployment.
Daily Wisdom Word Meaning for Depression: 1. A place within the mind, which chemically affects the brain produced from a lack of serotonin causing an imbalance in the brain leading to a sad or empty feeling. 2. Emotional depression is depression brought on when one is hurt, or feels violated. This can happen in concurrence with “Situational Depression.” 3. A feeling of hopelessness or loss, that occurs when losing one close to you in some way, or something emotionally meaningful. 4. Organic Depression-explained below:
I must admit, I have suffered off and on with depression all of my life. I remember being a child, as early as 9 years old, feeling down, sad or depressed. I didn’t understand when many times, I felt this way due to small things, and certainly at nine years of age didn’t understand Depression.
For me to help anyone out there reading this, I have to be honest with you, the reader, no matter what the effects. I was finally diagnosed with depression at 20 years of age, and the new safer “antidepressants” had just been released from FDA approval to the public market. I believe Prozac was the first one, and my doctor immediately prescribed it to me. Prior to this, medications, known as tetracyclic antidepressants were prescribed, in the 1950’s. I did not understand my issue, and my mother did, but wasn’t sure herself, what to do. I did not deal with my own depression appropriately prior to being 20.
SSRI’s stand for (Seretonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) include medications such as Prozac, Zoloft, and many others. Something was off with me. Something was wrong. I would be normal three weeks, and then be depressed for one week for no apparent reason. I blamed myself. Now I know, this was Something I didn’t bear responsibility for. My Therapist diagnosed me with Organic Depression, a permanent Chemical imbalance within the brain.
I just could not stay stable without the depression kicking in for short periods of time,for no apparent or simply small reasons to be depressed. I have researched this, and learned that SSRI’s are thought to work by raising the level of serotonin in our brain. Serotonin is our “feel good” chemical and some of us, just don’t have or intake enough of it. Dopamine also plays a role in this, but I am not a medical professional, so I am sharing what I have been told.
Serotonin can be affected by eating carbohydrates, exercising, (the best and healthiest thing, that raises our feel good chemical to the brain, and sex, as well as medication and of course, Therapy. Psychoanalytic or Biofeedback. Depression Medications, are tricky and what works for one, may not work for another, so if you have a relative who takes medication for depression, there is a better percentage of what they are taking working for you, it is thought.
Depression is NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF! Perhaps you have a loved one in your life, and you don’t understand their feelings of sadness, for no particular reason, or their isolation, (my favorite), they may fall into, but you can let them know although you may not understand how they feel or why, you know what it is they are suffering from. Listen to them. Give them their alone time.
They will snap out of it, because along with all the other suggestions I have made, the most important, is therapy that you as a family member or loved one, can encourage them to get help with professional treatment.
An integrated approach to Depression is the best way to deal with it if you live with it. Therapy or Counseling, along with exercise, the proper diet, and medication if necessary (our last approach), is the best way to deal with depression.
Depression can affect “who you are,” by reversing your perspective, and looking at the glass half empty instead of half full. It affects everyone at one point in their life. Last, it is nothing to be ashamed of, and without open writing, education, and teaching, this problem will still remain, but it will stay hidden in the closet. I refuse to live my life that way.
Depression affects as many as 40% of Americans, but it is a controlled depression, often not experienced within the individual because it is normal to feel down and sad sometimes. The illness is diagnosed, when a PATTERN of this behavior happens repeatedly that distinguishes mental illness. These people, including me, often aren’t getting enough for treatment, but Counseling and Therapy, which plays the most important role in dealing with depression and any other mental issues. These things are all relevant and are very important.
A person with Organic Depression, is sick. Mentally sick, and just as when were physically sick, we must address it and seek treatment. I think before prescribing medication to anyone under the age of 18, all efforts other than medication should be exhausted. (Biofeedback, is a good therapy, that works well with teens through a professional therapist or Psychiatrist.) I believe this because until the age of 18-22 years old, our brains aren’t fully formed, so we can’t be sure what is causing the depression. It could be situational, something your teen isn’t sharing with you, but keep gently prodding, they want to talk.
An idle mind, is a devils workshop. If you are depressed, FORCE YOURSELF, to do just one thing which will lead to another, and so on.
This won’t be easy because when were depressed, we are lethargic. Let friends and family members in so that you have a good support system. Don’t be ashamed. It is not your fault.
Another technique that can be valuable when dealing with Depression, is Affirmations. Simply get a piece of paper, and write down a “new programming system for your brain”. For example, write repetitively, “I enjoy being happy today and productive”. Write an affirmation as if it is already true within your life. Visualize with it. They are invaluable. Last, they work. Why? They can change your Perception of a situation, and see it in the positive instead of the negative.
We attract what we draw towards ourselves, by the mindset we are in, and there are many other mental illnesses, people suffer from, so we all need to have some depth and understanding and more compassion for those suffering, because they are sick, just as if they had the flu or Cancer, and unkindness towards others with mental illness is unacceptable just because we don’t understand their behavior, or cruelty with words of any kind. These individuals are ill and it is not their fault UNLESS, they are doing drugs, or drinking. (They are “masking” their problem, with a chemical that is what is changing their state of mind, with an illegal substance) causing or aggravating the cause of it. With proper treatment, we are very normal 95% of the time.
Some of us are just depressed, when we ignore our issue, or deal with it with what I refer to as the “Bandaid Affect”, or quick fix. Their mental injuries, need proper care, and instead of seeking it, some of us try to escape it though illegal drugs, alcohol, or develop a sex addiction, all unhealthy ways to deal with this illness.
We are all a work in progress and beautifully imperfect and flawed. Never let us judge another unless we have walked his path. Last but not least, getting out of “yourself” and helping others, is excellent therapy for all of us, and compassion given, and helping others, is where one of the keys to happiness may be found. SL
(Please call: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 should you need professional help or guidance, for a mental medical emergency)
I am not a doctor or a mental health professional so please read this for guidance, not therapy.
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