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Am I Depressed?

December 6, 2017

 

Are you one of the 350 million people who annually suffer from depression?

 

The National Institute of Mental Health defines depression as a common but serious mood disorder causing severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.

 

You may be depressed ‘if’ you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks:

 

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or ‘empty’ mood

  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism

  • Irritability

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities

  • Decreased energy or fatigue

  • Moving or talking more slowly

  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

  • Appetite and/or weight changes

  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

 

So, what do you do about depression? It depends upon who you ask.

 

Medical doctors tend to treat depression as a chemical imbalance to be cured by more chemicals ( Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil etc).  

 

Clergy lean toward depression as a spiritual imbalance solved by, 'getting right with God'.

 

Therapists primary treatment of choice for depression is correcting harmful thought patterns.

 

Depression can, however, be far more complicated with many possible contributing factors such as:

 

  • DNA - expressed across generations

  • Proteins - metabolites

  • Microbes - bacteria, viruses, fungi living within us

  • Biology -  (blood, heart, oxygen, glucose, brain waves etc)

  • Environment - Ongoing exposure to pollutants, pesticides in food, wireless connectivity.

  • Cognitive / Reality Distortions - Harmful thought patterns developed over a lifetime.

  • Personal or family history

  • Major life changes; trauma (near death experiences; death of loved one; etc)

  • Certain physical illnesses and medications

 

If you think you are depressed the best place to start is with a professional counselor who can assist in discerning possible root causes and suggest intervention strategies.

www.crossroadscounselingms.com or call 601-939-6634

 

Some practical tips that may help during treatment for depression:

  • Try to be active and exercise

  • Set realistic goals for yourself

  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in trusted others

  • Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help

  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately

  • Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.

  • Continue to educate yourself about depression.

 

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