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A state of the mind

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1 in 10 has it!

  • May 10, 2012
Depression, if left on its own, kills. When properly diagnosed and treated, it has a high chance of cure. The depressive person is able to move on living like normal people. In many studies, as much as 1 out of 10 in population of developed countries has some form of depression. Hence, it is not an uncommon condition of one's mental health.

I have not had major depression but have had my fair share of unhappiness for short intermittent periods, especially in recent years. I didn't seek medical help as I know the reason for it and know where to look for help. Despair is something often felt by those experiencing depression and in their confused mind, they could not find a future that will improve with time. It is difficult for me to tell you how a depressed person will feel. Everyone feels and reacts differently. The consequence may be the same though. Many will commit suicide if left untreated.

What is certain is that more and more people are undergoing depression. The loss of jobs and the high unemployment around the world in many major cities are turning normal and healthy individuals into despair and feeling the loss of control. I have known a few close friends who went through depression. Luckily for some, they were able to seek medical help in time. For one, it was all too late!

There are many causes of depression. Some it's because of deteriorating health, relationships or career paths. It can be a combination of all too. I've also heard that for some, it's chemical imbalance (clinical depression) and a general dissatisfaction with self or life. Individuals feel alone and despair when in the state of depression. Most cannot talk themselves out of it. That's when people around them needs to be more observant and help to direct the person to seek help. Do not believe that people needed to be left alone to solve their problems or it's embarrassing to be a mental patient. Intelligent people especially finds it hard to ask for help and their own sense of failure becomes so overpowering that they ended up seeking that destructive force; the most unfortunate outcome.

In the world we currently live in, we are in for prolong period of tough times. Many people will be down with this state and as friends and families, we need to do our part to help and be more conscious of this disease. Yes, it is a disease and with medication it can be cured. For those of us who are facing problems, we need to set aside our pride and seek help. Ending one's own misery is not the way to do it! It's a sign of weakness, helplessness and illness. If one has the courage to end it, then one ought to have the courage to live on and correct whatever failures one thinks he/she has made in life! Otherwise, the perceived "failure" becomes permanent and eternal!

One of my dear friend has lost his courage while another seek help from Samaritans just in time. They are both the most intelligent people I've come across. The difference? Seeking help in time! Men are afflicted with depression mostly due to their career while women due to relationship problems or hormonal imbalances (postnatal depression). Anxiety, tension, panic and sleep problems are some signs of one having an onslaught of depression. If inflicted  one should remember that the situation will get better. Then seek medical or others' help. Depression can be cured with time and the right treatment. Never give up! You're not the only one having the problem in this world and certainly not alone! Young or old, rich or poor, smart or average, beautiful or ordinary... everyone has a chance of getting depression in their lives! So, do not put a bad connotation to anyone who has had depression. In fact, the smarter and successful you are, when things go wrong for you, the higher the chances you get depression. The best way to think about depression is like it's a cholesterol problem. People do not think less of you if you've cholesterol problem, do they? Do what you do if you've cholesterol problem, seek help and medication. As you recovered, then you are able to get a hold of the panic attacks and despair and begin to live life as you should be!

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May 16, 2012
Much of depression is about learning to cope with life, loss and the unexpected. We ought to begin teaching the concept of coping, as early as kindergarten.
May 16, 2012
Yeah, but there is a disorder that causes one's brain to produce a reaction to be depressed for no reason....
May 16, 2012
Depression also has a nutrient deficiency dimension. I would go to a professional nutritionist as a first stop to cope with depression. Inevitably, you will see heavy smokers and drinkers on the depression rollercoaster.
May 21, 2012
Yes indeed. The school system fails to teach all that's necessary to cope with life! And life these days are getting more and more "uncopable" for many!
May 21, 2012
I agree.
May 22, 2012
Mr. Maresca's first comment in this thread wisely addresses a dimension of this subject that cannot be understated. Perhaps nothing exacerbates a depressive condition more egregiously than the ingestion of recreational drugs. Likewise, a healthy and balanced diet is as likely to alleviate long-term depressive symptoms as formal therapy.
May 22, 2012
May 15, 2012
I have had freinds that have dealt with this as well, great write up.
May 21, 2012
There are plenty of people who have to deal with it in the world now. How one copes is not of interest just to the person but also to those who share the same experience. Unfortunately though, most people undergoing it now would not be forthcoming in sharing their experiences. Even those who recovered from it may not as they are afraid of the connotations related to these illnesses...
May 15, 2012
As an individual afflicted with severe bipolar disorder, I can attest that the best treatment for depression entails activity, communication and a healthy diet. Candid and often cathartic colloquy with receptive friends or a therapist is essential, but nothing alleviates depression so efficaciously as avocation, especially in cultivation of a discipline. Anyone who suffers from long-term depression cannot cope satisfactorily without a diverting pastime.

Most of your review is sound, but I can't concur with the promotion of medication expressed in your final paragraph. The only depressives who can expect short-term benefit by dint of medication are psychotics. Although this world's most subversive (and third most profitable) industry has dominated social discourse concerning mental disorders by appealing to indolence and impatience alike, no medication can treat depression so effectively as ingrained coping mechanisms.
May 15, 2012
I agree! Especially with your first paragraph. I believe that getting pass something would require more from the individual than medication. You said you have severe bipolar disorder, what kind or class is it? I know there are different ones....just curious.
May 21, 2012
I haven't really suffer depression so I am really not qualified to write on this topic since it's not a personal experience but rather an observation of those who have had. Naturally, if one can go on without medication and is able to pull himself/herself out of it, then that's best. Otherwise, some people does need medication to sustain life itself. I can't say I'm for it but until the time that individual can cope, it may well be the only way out. People who are depressed and can't get out of it by themselves need help; medical or psychiatric. That's my understanding of it up to now.

My wish by writing this article is that someone else who had personally undergone it may contribute their experience for sharing. Indeed, at times individuals stay clear of these topics for personal or other reasons. Same as political views. Nonetheless, I believe individual will write as and when they are ready to share and that's all it matters!
May 22, 2012
woopak - I've been thrice-diagnosed with bipolar II; my behavior patterns conform stereotypically to the condition's documented symptoms. However, the characteristic severity of this disorder renders it predictable to anyone possessing a faculty for pattern recognition. In my late teens, I'd already learned how to transition to distractive pastimes immediately during depressive episodes.

Sharrie - to reiterate my point unequivocally, I'm of the view that anyone who needs medication to survive depression should be treated with inpatient care. By convincing the general public that medication is an ideal remedy for depression, the pharmaceutical industry aims to assume power over one aspect of individual autonomy (without its attendant responsibilities) in order to turn a profit. Without amply addressing their innumerable detrimental side-effects, I can empirically state that any benefits of medication hardly compensate for the independence abdicated by those who ingest them. Financial gains accrued by manufacturers of acetaminophen or ibuprofen are justifiable, but I refuse to accept that a medicated condition is preferable to the challenge of coping for anyone who's sane.
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Sharrie ()
Ranked #3
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and physical well-being.[1] Depressed people may feel sad,anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable; experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions; and may contemplate or attempt suicideInsomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may be present.[2]

Depressed mood is not necessarily a psychiatric disorder. It is a normal reaction to certain life events, a symptom of some medical conditions, and a side effect of some medical treatments. Depressed mood is also a primary or associated feature of certain psychiatric syndromes such as clinical depression.

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