DEPRESSION IS A BEAST!
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called “Major Depressive Disorder,” or “Clinical Depression,” it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. Feeling as though you’re trapped on the ocean in a dark storm screaming for someone to rescue you before the boat you’re in collapses and sinks to the bottom of the ocean.
It’s more than just a bout of the blues. Depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.
For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Some people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Although depression may occur only once in your life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:
Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.
Symptoms of depression in older adults
Depression is not a normal part of growing older, and it should never be taken lightly. Unfortunately, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated in older adults, and they may feel reluctant to seek help. Symptoms of depression may be different or less obvious in older adults, such as:
Memory difficulties or personality changes
Physical aches or pain
Fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems or loss of interest in sex — not caused by a medical condition or medication
Often wanting to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things
Suicidal thinking or feelings, especially in older men.
Signs that it’s time to seek help from a doctor:
If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor or mental health professional as soon as you can. If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, any health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.
Call for emergency help:
If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Also, consider these options if you’re having suicidal thoughts:
Call your doctor or mental health professional.
Call a suicide hotline number — in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.
If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.
For those of us who suffer from depression, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about and we should understand that there are professionals out there who are trained and can assist with this common disorder that has been around from the beginning of time. Depression is nothing new, it’s just something that many have tried sweeping under the rug and not talking about. It’s out in the open now and people are discussing it more and more, because it’s affecting more and more people in this world.
Many blessings to all and I hope this helps at least one person who reads it!