"I start to think there really is no cure for depression, that happiness is an ongoing battle, and I wonder if it isn't one I'll have to fight for as long as I live. I wonder if it's worth it." Elizabeth Wurtzel
"I thought depression was the part of my character that made me worthwhile. I thought so little of myself, felt that I had such scant offerings to give to the world, that the one thing that justified my existence at all was my agony." Elizabeth Wurtzel
What Are Symptoms of Depression?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include the following:
Depression shows itself in different ways. Common depression symptoms are:
Depressed mood, sadness, or an “empty” feeling, or appearing sad or tearful to others
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
Significant weight loss when not dieting, or significant weight gain (for example, more than 5% of body weight in a month)
Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping
Restlessness or irritation (irritable mood may be a symptom in children or adolescents too), or feelings of “dragging”
Fatigue or loss of energy
Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt
Difficulty thinking or concentrating, or indecisiveness
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for committing suici
What Is Depression?
It's natural to feel down sometimes, but if that low mood lingers
day after day, it could signal depression. Major depression is an
episode of sadness or apathy that lasts at least two consecutive
weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression
is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition.
"We have shown that a gene (or protein) called p11 is involved in the multiple complex changes that underlie depression." Per Svenningsson
I have suffered from depression and anxiety since childhood.For me it is a life long battle which I will win. I am a survivor. Along with this I also have Multiple Sclerosis which having a chronic illness can be depressing. I do not get out of the house as much as I would like. Depression runs in my family though my mother is in denial about it. I have been hospitalized twice, checked myself in , but still I was suicidal thoughts. I was surprised that my depression quotes page was so popular and so I decided to write my experience on the subject.
Depression is one of the hardest battles anyone can face. I have overwhelming sadness, And no one can really know what it is like unless they have been through it. I do not wish it on anyone. Often along with depression people have anxiety disorders. I was diagnosed with OCD years ago. Also, Ocd is very misunderstood unfortunately.
One thing I am annoyed about is the stigma still associated with mental illnesses.Ishould not be ashamed and neither should anyone else. But still some people make jokes about taking "happy pillS". Antidepressants are not happy pills they are medication for an illness. I depend on them at times I have also gotten therapy I know for sure that the chemicals in my brain are not right and the antidepressants help straighten them out.
For me I experience most of these symptoms when I am having a relapse. The sadness, hopelessness are indescriabale. But some of these symptoms are from MS.
Suicide is not the answer, I am glad I never did it but at the time you don't see that things will get better. If you are thinking about suicide,please get yourself help.And if you hear anyone talk about suicide take them seriously.
Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very, very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) -- or the deaf hotline at 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889).
Warning signs of suicide with depression include:
Remember, if you or someone you know is demonstrating any of the above warning signs of suicide with depression, either call your local suicide hot line, contact a mental health professional right away, or go to the emergency room for immediate treatment.
If symptoms of depression are negatively affecting your life -- such as causing difficulties with relationships or work issues or causing family disputes -- and there isn't a clear solution to these problems, then you should seek help. Talking with a mental health counselor or health care professional can help prevent things from getting worse, especially if these symptoms of depression persist for any length of time.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, you must seek help immediately.
In addition, it's important to understand that feeling depressed does not mean you have a depressive illness. If you have low spirits for awhile, don't be concerned. However, if you feel you can't lift yourself out of your symptoms of depression, seek medical help.
If a, or else refer you to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment. This mental health specialist will determine the best course of treatment. That treatment may include medicines (such as antidepressants), psychotherapy, or a combination of both.
Clinical depression has been linked to other mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder. Together, these conditions affect millions of Americans. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 18% of adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year, and anxiety disorders are prevalent in 25% of children ages 13-18. Like depression, anxiety is thought to arise from a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.
Although anxiety is not always present in depressive disorders, most of the time it lurks beneath the surface. But true depression differs from an anxiety disorder in that a depressed mood is typically its most obvious symptom, whereas anxiety is the primary sign of an authentic anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders include:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Panic disorder -- with or without agoraphobia (fear of being in crowds)
Social anxiety disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Anxiety disorders affect women twice as frequently as they do men. And many studies show that people with depression often experience symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is characterized by continuous, unwanted, and intruding thoughts that the person is unable to control. These thoughts are also accompanied by a pervasive anxiety.
Compulsive disorder refers to repeated, ritualistic behavior that often is purposeless and which the patient is unable to stop. OCD is also accompanied by general anxiety. Obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts may focus around real-life problems the patient is confronting or may take on a bizarre nature
Is It Depression or Just the Blues?
Sooner or later, everyone gets the blues. Feeling sadness, loneliness, or grief when you go through a difficult life experience is part of being human. And most of the time, you can continue to function. You know that in time you will bounce back, and you do.
But what if you don’t bounce back? What if your feelings of sadness linger, are excessive, or interfere with your work, sleep, or recreation? What if you’re feeling fatigue or worthlessness, or experiencing weight changes along with your sadness? You may be experiencing major depression.
Also known as clinical depression, major depressive disorder, or unipolar depression, major depression is a medical condition that goes beyond life’s ordinary ups and downs. Almost 18.8 million American adults experience depression each year, and women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop major depression. People with depression cannot simply “pull themselves together” and get better. Treatment with counseling, medication, or both is key to recovery
If you have five or more of these symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, you may have major depression. It’s important to talk to your doctor about treatments to start helping you feel better.
Here are some tips
Stick with it. Treatment won't work right away. Antidepressants may not take effect for four to six weeks. In some cases, a medication may not work and you'll need to try another. Therapy can take a while, too. But don't despair. If you give them time, these treatments are very likely to help. When a depressed person gets the right medicine, at the right dose, and takes it long enough, treatment succeeds about 70% of the time. But you and your doctor may need to try quite a few treatments before landing on the right therapy for you.
Take your medicine as prescribed. Get into good habits. Take your medicine at the same time every day. It's easier to remember if you do it along with another activity, like brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, or getting into bed. Get a weekly pillbox, which will make it easy to see if you've missed a dose.
Never stop taking your medicine without your doctor's OK. If you need to stop taking a medicine for some reason, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. If you stop suddenly, you may have side effects. Stopping medication abruptly may also cause depression to return. Don't assume that you can stop taking your medicine when you feel better. Many people need ongoing treatment even when they're feeling well. This can prevent them from getting depressed again. Remember, if you're feeling well now, it might be because your medicine is working. So why stop?
Make lifestyle changes. There's a lot you can do on your own to supplement your treatment. Eat healthy foods, high in fruits and vegetables and low in sugars and fats. Avoid alcohol and illicit drugs, which can cause or worsen depression. Make sure to get a good night's sleep. Several studies show that physical activity can help with the symptoms of depression. Start slowly. Try taking walks around the neighborhood with a friend. Gradually, work up to exercising on most days of the week.
Reduce stress at home and at work. Ask for help with some of the stressful things in your life. See if your friends or family will take care of some of the daily hassles, like housework. If your job is stressing you out, figure out ways to scale back some of your duties.
Be honest. Opening up to a therapist isn't easy. But if you're not truthful, therapy is less likely to help. If you have doubts about therapy or your therapist's approach, don't hide them. Instead, talk about them openly with your therapist. He or she will be happy to have your feedback. Together, you might be able to work out a new approach that works better.
Be open to new ideas. Your therapist may have suggestions that sound strange. He or she may push you to do things that feel awkward or uncomfortable. But try to stay open. Give new approaches a try. You may find them more helpful than you expected.
Don't give up. You may feel hopeless right now. You may feel like you're never going to get better. But feeling that way is a symptom of your condition. If you give yourself some time and allow your treatment to take effect, you will feel better again.
"Many Americans are keeping an important, possibly deadly secret: depression. Approximately 15 million American adults live with this devastating disease which affects all age, race, gender, and socioeconomic groups. Through the voices and stories of people living with depression and interviews with scientists, 'Depression: Out of the Shadows' provides a portrait of the disease never before seen on American television." Amazon Editorial Review