Depression

Written June 4, 2017

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” — Fred Rogers

“Get away from the place that makes you feel comfortable with your depression. The reality is it’s never as bad as the insanity you’ve created in your head.” ~ Ben Huh

“Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.” The American Psychiatric Association.

We all get a little depressed from time to time. It’s perfectly normal. We can get depressed from any number of things. Job loss, death of a loved one, relationship(family or romantic) problems, financial, etc. A normally happy and upbeat person can have something happen in their life that brings them down. After a few tears, some ranting and raving, and perhaps a little chocolate, that person will turn back around and be happy again.

However, there are others who can’t turn themselves around that quick. Telling a person like this to “Just get over it” is not what they need to hear. For them, finding that silver lining in any cloud is difficult at best and impossible at worst. These are usually people who have a chemical imbalance in their brain. Without going into all the medical jargon, this imbalance can be mild enough to where the person needs some professional help and medication. Sadly this isn’t the case with everyone.

There are numerous ways for a person to get out of depression. Medication and professional counseling is good for lots of people. There are some people who self medicate, usually with drugs and/or alcohol. These people do that for different reasons. Lack of health insurance or access to health care and the stigma of needing professional help are just a couple of reasons that people don’t seek help and choose to self medicate. However there are a lot of people who are on medication who don’t need to be. Often it’s the easier way for the doctor and the patient to deal with depression.

There is a reason I chose both of these quotes today. The first one is kinda obvious but it’s something we forget, including myself. It’s true that whenever we meet someone, we do leave a little bit of ourselves with them. It can be that the person sees how radiant our smile is or we said something that stuck with them. I’m always amazed at how something that I think is small and insignificant helps someone in some way. I have thought in the past that if I died tomorrow no one would care. I managed to convince myself that I was wrong. More recently I had thoughts of moving away from my little corner of the world. Again, I figured I wouldn’t be missed but I soon found out how wrong I was. When I told my friends about my thoughts many of them told me what I and my words have meant to them. Also the lady I take care of made me promise I wouldn’t leave her.

The other quote is a guide to help get you out of the dumper. As I said, we all get bummed from time to time. When we get depressed, for whatever reason, we often stop doing things that once brought us joy. We also tend to retreat to where we feel most comfortable and isolate ourselves Sometimes it’s because of a thought we have about ourselves that we don’t share with our friends.

For those of us who don’t want or need medication, there are some things we can do for ourselves. We need to remember the things that once brought us happiness. One of them is to do things we once enjoyed like hanging out with our friends. That can mean doing stuff like playing games, having a cup of coffee, going out for a meal, going on a road trip, or whatever you like to do. Sometimes to get out of our funk we need a major change in our life like changing jobs, moving, and even changing relationships. There’s an old saying comes to mind, “When the pain of remaining the same is great enough, we’ll change.

Thought for the day: Yes, depression can be a debilitating illness, but it doesn’t need to rule your life. When we tell those negative voices in our head to sit down and shut up, new possibilities open up for us.

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

While looking up some information, I came across the following article…

The Limits of Mental Illness Medications

by Joe Koelzer

August 13, 2013
http://www.theclearingnw.com/blog/the-limits-of-mental-illness-medications

Americans use of mental illness medications has been on the rise. Americans with mental illnesses are now more medicated than ever, with 20% of adults now taking at least one psychiatric drug such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and antianxiety medications, according to a WSJ article and analysis of pharmacy-claims data.

Overall use of mental illness medications among adults grew 22% from 2001 to 2010, according to the article. This is astounding growth. Patients should inform themselves on the trade-offs of these medications, and consider alternative therapies that may reduce or eliminate the need for these medicines. All drugs have side effects and some can lead to dependency issues.

Psychiatric medication are helpful under certain conditions but often they treat the symptoms rather than the underlying core issues. Mental Illness is a “dis-ease.” The mind and emotions are “not at ease” and have created an illness. It may be that a combination of counseling and psychiatric medication provides the best odds of symptom resolution.

As the body gets accustomed to psychiatric medication, it creates a tolerance. In many cases, gradually there is a need for higher doses of the medication to gain the same effect. As the dosage increases, there are higher incidents of side effects which may require additional medication, creating a drug spiral.

Treatment with only medication has been cost effective, and a preferred option due to the tight budget constraints of insurance companies and local government agencies. This ill-conceived strategy is backfiring with the recent influx of psychiatric hospitalizations and trips to urgent care centers.

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

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