Tuesday, 17 December 2013

You Are Not Alone - Depression in Acceptable Mouthfuls

You Are Not Alone

Life is not fair. Life is not a Dream. Life is not a Fantasy. It is Subjective & Unjustified. Why is one person doing so well & one failing to the point of Suicide, or why are you doing so well, while someone who is sharing this planet with you wants to “check-out”; to find out if God really exists?
What life (I have found), is beautiful in its simplicity, and I figure that the reason for the incredible success in Social Media is the simplicity that at any time, you or anyone else can “go online” and find out that you are not alone.

Depression is a very misunderstood illness. I don’t understand it, any more than you, and I’ve had it for a quarter of a century; been hospitalized more times than I can honestly remember. I have been that guy with drug addictions and the alcohol abuse, but it’s an easy thing to lie in bed and say “no more”. The hard part is getting out of the bed and just doing. But!!! & this is the big thing… You do not have to prove anything to anybody but yourself, and you do not have to do one God-damn thing that you don’t want to – EVER! But you have the responsibility to do one thing absolutely, and that is accepting the fact that you have it.

Depression Broken Into Acceptable Pieces

Ø  Introduction
Ø  Recognizing Symptoms
Ø  Forms of Depression
Ø  Assessing Male-Specific Depression
Ø  Treatment for Depression
Ø  Conclusion


     We all feel a little sad sometimes, but in true Orwellian fashion, some of us become sadder than others. Sadness is relative in perspective, just as a religious practice, or a social practice has to be accepted across cultures, so do we have to consider cross-social definitions and boundaries when it comes to an illness such as depression. The following is an analysis and summary of three sources that I have researched, and attempted to make understandable to the layman, but there is some terminology and data that, without destroying its impact, could not have been “dumbed-down”.

Recognizing Symptoms

     As a person who has had to live with depression for virtually his entire adult life, recognizing the symptoms of depression is still a formidable task at the best of times. In Wendy Moragne’s book, Depression (p 30-31) she explains – and I have to concur – that there are nine generally accepted signs for recognizing depression:

1.      Feelings of frustration, irritability, sadness, or anger.

2.       Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable.

3.      Significant increases or decreases in appetite and weight.

4.      Insomnia and/or sleeping too much.

5.      Restlessness, fidgeting, or experiencing slowed movements.

6.      Feeling tired and lacking in energy.

7.      Feeling worthless or guilty.

8.      Having difficulty thinking, concentrating, or decision-making.

9.      Having repeated thoughts of death or suicide.

 Symptoms Lasting Two Weeks or Longer
% Of Men Reporting (n=8311)
% Of Women Reporting (n=10,971)
Thoughts of Death
Changes in Appetite
Changes in Sleep Habits
Diminished Concentration
Psychomotor Dysfunction
Loss of Interest

Forms of Depression

     When a person is diagnosed with depression, it is important to correctly identify the type of depression that the person has. In Moragne’s book Depression (p 27-28), there are several forms of depression discussed, and each one appears to have its own level of severity. It is now that I would like to point out that when a person is depressed, the only thing that is foremost on their mind is getting better. Therefore, I should say that there really are not any levels of seriousness from one person’s illness to another’s, as each case is unique and requires its own form of diagnosis and treatment.

These are the recognized forms of depression:

1.      Major Depression – includes the symptoms mentioned above. These symptoms interfere with everyday functioning.

2.      Dysthymia – is a milder form of depression that can last a very long time, sometimes even years. Some young people who suffer Dysthymia go on to develop major depression or Bipolar Disorder.

3.      Bipolar Disorder – is a disorder where patients experience mood swings. These alternate from moments of sheer elation to points of major depression.

4.      Atypical Depression – is associated with people who are generally extremely sensitive to rejection. Symptoms also tend to be chronic in nature.

5.      Seasonal Affective Disorder – seems to be related to seasonal changes, as well as changes in levels of sunlight.

A diagnosis of depression is not a death sentence, if it is properly diagnosed – IN TIME. In a recent study, life-long symptoms of reported depression ran the gamut of the symptoms mentioned earlier in section two – Recognizing Symptoms. Below summarizes these symptoms:

·         Symptoms Lasting Two Weeks or Longer

·         Dysphoria

·         Thoughts of Death

·         Changes in Appetite

·         Changes in Sleep Habits

·         Fatigue

·         Diminished Concentration

·         Guilt

·         Psychomotor Dysfunction

·         Loss of Interest

     Males are more likely than Females, not to report their feelings of depression to clinicians. However, the specific symptoms that were most frequently reported were the same for men and women. So, if the depression is reported, and subsequently diagnosed, it can be treated, but what methods are currently available?

Treatment for Depression

     Depression has often been linked with an array of biological factors. These scientifically concluded assumptions have been reached because of the recent advances in the treatment of depression with newer, more effective anti-depressants. These recent advances in include relatively fewer side effects, as compared to the multiple side-effects that patients experienced as recent as ten years ago. Medical treatment of men through anti-depressants has shown that it is men who experience, and present the most complaints of side effects.


     There is significance to the sources used in this paper. Finding suitable printed material and legitimate information on the Internet is analogous to finding that one doctor with whom you quite literally put the health of your mind in their hands. These are the most up-to-date, and from my perspective, reliable sources that are available, but the science and treatment of depression is always advancing, and there is always a wealth of information on this very treatable, and most hopefully, socially acceptable, illness.

Remember!!! You need to find the Professional that YOU are comfortable with…

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