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How to Manage and Conquer Depression By Jane Morris
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Millions of people suffer from a depressive illness. They thought that depression is just a normal occurrence in their lives, which will go away after a short while. They just haven’t realized how serious depression can be.
Did you know that words related to depression have been searched over 993,000 times on the Internet for May 2005 alone? Much attention has been centered to this international health problem as the rigorous challenges of modern times continue to devastate those who cannot cope with it. Extreme depression can ultimately lead to suicide.
No one is safe from being affected by depression because it affects everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a male or female, rich or poor, educated or uneducated. Once a person starts becoming depressed, he or she usually behaves in a manner that intensifies the illness.
HOW DOES DEPRESSION AFFECT THE INDIVIDUAL’S BEHAVIOR? Depressed people have some or more of the following characteristics:
• They lose interest on their love life, career, friends, and family.
• They experience loneliness, hopelessness, gloom, and indifference to their surroundings. It is a feeling of extreme despair.
• They seek to escape from problems and even from life itself. Thoughts of leaving home, running away or avoidance of others is common. They feel life is hopeless and worthless. Suicidal thoughts are lurking in their minds.
• There is a tendency to escape from the company of others because of an unexplained fear of being rejected. Their withdrawal consequently brings on some rejection by other people. They cancel scheduled activities, become uninterested to return phone calls, and seek ways to avoid talking with or seeing others.
• They are overly sensitive to what others say and do. They may misinterpret actions and suggestions in a negative way and become irritable because of those mistaken assumptions. They complain and cry a lot.
• They have a general loss of self-esteem. They feel more and more negative about life’s events, and they even question their own personal worth. Their self–confidence level is extremely low.
• They experience negative changes in physical activities––appetite, sleeping and sex. Some lose interest in sexual activities. Some lose interest in food while others gouge themselves with all the stuffs they can eat. Some sleep constantly while others cannot get to sleep easily, or they wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep again.
• There is usually an underlying feeling of guilt. They often feel overly responsible for other people’s feelings.
• Depression often makes the depressed dependent upon other people. This further aggravates a feeling of helplessness, which makes them more upset.
• They have difficulty expressing and handling their feelings. Anger is especially difficult for them to control. Because of a sense of worthlessness and lack of knowledge in dealing with their situation, they get more enraged in themselves. This can be directed outward at others.
Above ninety-five percent of even the most depressed individuals can be totally cured if the condition is identified at the early stages. It is essential to know and take action when the early warning signs of depression are manifesting.
Dealing with depression requires first and foremost an understanding that it is a common and treatable illness. Its symptoms include the following:
MAJOR SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
• Miserable frame of mind over a period of time, sometimes in a number of weeks
• Expresses grief in activities and life in general, and fails to feel satisfaction
• Disheartened thinking - negative approach about oneself, the present and the future
• Difficulty in focusing and remembering
• Under the dilemma in making decisions - often even the more simple ones
• Feelings of unimportance and desperation
• Anxiety - a sense of being afraid - that something “dreadful” is going to happen
• Phobias or doubts about specific situations
• Loss of appetite and weight loss or, alternatively, increased appetite and weight gain
• Disrupted sleeping patterns - not much sleep or wanting to sleep all the time
• Feeling weary and lacking in energy and inspiration
• Loss of interest in sex
• Physical symptoms - aches and pains, gastrointestinal upsets, headaches
• Incapacity to do the usual everyday activities
• Thoughts of suicide
Various people do not try to find treatment in the early stage of depression as they started to observe such symptoms and thought that it will just pass away in a period of time, not noticing how severe the health problem can be.
People with depressive illness are:
• Indifferent, uncommunicative, silent
• Selfish, unaware or insensitive about the needs of others
• Irrational and unreasonable
• Outgoing and pleasant in public, the opposite at home
• Fickle-minded and unpredictable
• Makes unexplainable and sudden references to separation and divorce
• Cruel, belittling, and critical
• Take alcohol and drugs in excessive amounts
The unofficial list of symptoms demonstrate why depressive sickness threatens good relationships and disrupts families. Identifying, understanding, and learning how to cope with depression is the primary solution to end the sufferer’s misery.
These official real-life symptoms are the ones doctors use to diagnose depression.
• A consistent sad, empty, or distressed mood
• Irritability, excessive crying
• Sleep and appetite disturbances
• Chronic aches and pains that don't respond to treatment
• Difficulty in remembering, focusing, and making decisions
• Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed, including sex and sports
• Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
The amazing thing is, is that out of all the so-called ‘mental illnesses’ depression is the easiest to cure. So how come there are hundreds of thousands of people trapped in this very serious state of mind?
Regardless of age, status in the society, or profession, depression may affect anyone. It may exist at times of puberty, after childbirth and/or at mid-life. Thus, this health problem occurs at a specific period of time wherein circumstances of life may influence your mood. Immediate depression may be caused by particular events and losses such as death of a person close to you or reduction of your income. There are also other aspects to be considered, such as inherited factors associated with depression (a history of family depression) or other physical factors (abridged levels of neurotransmitters in the brain).
At various phases of our lives, we have all experienced being “down and troubled.” It is due to the changes in our day-to-day living. It also affects our environment and interaction with others. Sometimes, events apparently cause us to be more upset and we become depressed for over a long period of time.
As everyday events influence our moods, some make the misconception of depression as temporary “blues” or sadness. It might be a normal grief caused by the death of your loved one. People with the “blues” and normal grief might experience short-term symptoms of depression.
MYTHS AND FALSE IMPRESSION
The term “depression” is used to express a depressed mood, simultaneously with other symptoms, that exist for a prolonged period of time. When depression is not cured, it may influence normal performance. It is important to recognize that depression is not a sign of frailty or a lack of determination, and not something that you can easily escape from. It is a condition that can be cured through proper treatment.
Because of the link between grief and depression, some make false impressions to both. Here are some myths that needs to be cleared up.
Depressed People are Mentally Unstable and Inefficient.
As you might experience troubles in making decision and difficulty in concentration and memory, lack of knowledge and misinformation leads to the thought that depressed people are incompetent. This is certainly not true! Because depression is a treatable illness, it can be cured by your own determination and will power. It can be treated faster with the help of others.
Someone Must Have Brought the Depression.
All of us used to admire others and set them as our role models. They might be our parents or other famous personalities. Some people have been mistaken and blamed by others for causing depression. You must understand that depression is a health problem that can only be caused by yourself and nobody is to blame .
Depression is God’s Way of Punishing for Some Wrong Act or Misbehavior.
This is a widespread belief in the midst of sufferers. If a person can’t find the answer for his or her sufferings, then it might tend to make himself or herself more burdened by the depression, causing that person to find something wrong with himself or herself.
This piece of writing describes what depression is and looks at the common causes and symptoms, as well as some of the myths about depression.
No one should be ashamed of being depressed. It might seem so difficult and sometimes unbearable; to draw yourself out of a sinkhole of depression, but it is THE MOST TREATABLE EMOTIONAL PROBLEM. Always remember that you are not a terrible or hopeless person.
Particular self-help methods in this section will seem more suitable for you to use to cope up with your depression. You can try two or three and see if they work. If not, take a break on something else. In general, gaining some optimism about getting better, having a clear viewpoint, and getting family support, along with selected self-help methods, will lead to a better recovery from depression.
Remember – you are not alone in your troubles, and the best way to start is to try and share the load with somebody.
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Jane Morris is a member of Horizon Direct Services, and has written a number of articles on self improvement. The book can be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/e4cbt
Jane’s main site, with links to a number o
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