Major clinical depression is one of the most common mental disorders. In spite of this, many do not understand what it means to have clinical depression. Tragically to this day, this condition is often times judged wrongly and misunderstood. In the process of this happening, many suffer without understanding or the proper steps to help them with this.
While suffering from depression people are fearful, robbed in life before they even begin. Depression is not something to be ignored or made light of. It is a serious condition which if let untreated will move to an even more damaging level. Depression is often color coded for this reason, to reflect the severity of a particular case. Depression can effect someone at any age or in any walk of life.
We need to understand that true clinical depression is actually a medical condition in which the brain chemistry changes and it is not just a matter of "sadness". This is why it is dangerous to leave this untreated because it will then progress to a more serious level, becoming more difficult to treat.
Let me tell you about a dear friend of mine from years ago. She had been through many hard times in her life and was in the process of rebuilding her life and giving her all to everyone...unfortunately NOT HERSELF...In all reality, she had lived through so many kinds of abuse and finally had the courage to leave that behind and start over. As will often happen in life, her five children had been affected by what she and they had lived. With all she had on her plate she sank into a profound depression. At this point she was closing her self off from everyone. (a major sign of depression, isolating). Many of her friends, including myself, were telling her to seek help with this. She was unwilling, saying that she could handle it on her own. When she finally did seek treatment, it had become so serious that anti-depressive medication could no longer help her. She had to be admitted and go through a course of shock treatment to get her out of the depression. Very sad to see, as she lost so many of the memories of her life from the treatment. Not just sad, but not necessary, if she had addressed this in the earlier stages of her depression. I pray my telling you this will make you understand the importance of dealing with depressions as opposed to telling someone to "pull up their socks" and get on with life.
This latest loss of Robin Williams has once again broke my heart . Someone who was so profoundly gifted was not able to get the help he needed and it resulted in him taking his own life.
About 11% of men and 16% of women in Canada will experience major depression in the course of their lives. Depression can limit your quality of life, affect relationships, lead to lost time from work or school and contribute to other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases. Sometimes it leads to suicide. Fortunately, for most people, depression can be treated effectively.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression can affect the way you think and behave and can have physical effects as well. Some of the signs you should be aware of are:
- Feelings of despair and hopelessness
- Detachment from life and the people around you
- Always feeling tired or having no energy
- Crying for no apparent reason
- Not being able to concentrate or make decisions
- Thoughts of suicide
- A loss of appetite or a change in sleep patterns
- Headaches or stomach upsets that occur frequently.
Depression is an illness that can be treated. The first step in the recovery process is to recognize that it is an illness, not a sign of personal weakness. Learning that you are not alone, that help is available, is often the start of recovery for many people with depression.
Each individual is unique, requiring a different approach to recovery. The most common and successful treatment is psychological counseling, combined with anti-depressant medication.
Support from family, friends, co-workers and self-help groups can also make a big difference in how well and how quickly the person with depression recovers.
Please take the time to watch this video I am posting. Hopefully it will bring more understanding to this common condition and maybe even save someone's life as a result of this knowledge.