STEP INTO THE LIGHT
When my second husband died after a siege with horrific cancer, I cried all the time. I wanted to do nothing and see no one. I was discussing these feelings with a friend, and she urged me to see a doctor.
When I went to the doctor, instead of examining me, he talked to me at length. After our conversation, he diagnosed me with clinical depression, and gave me a prescription. I bought the medicine, but took it home and put it in the cupboard. I can lick this thing. I survived my first husband’s death. Why should anything be any different this time? I was so wrong.
There are many types of depression: Bi-polar, clinical, post partum and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I will discuss clinical depression.
First and foremost, remember no one, neither friends nor family, can properly diagnose a depression except a trained professional.
We must realize that most types of depression are caused by physical, not mental, malfunctions in the brain. The victims of depression often experience a reduction of certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neural circuits responsible
for the regulation of moods, thinking, sleeping, appetite, and behavior fail to function properly in people with depression. Imaging studies also indicate that critical neurotransmitters – chemicals used by nerve cells to communicate – are out of balance.
Genetics can also be a key factor in diagnosing depression. Depression, like many other illnesses, tends to run in families.
Adverse social situations, such as divorce, serious illness, or multiple misfortunes may cause depression. Everyday stress, perhaps caused by the job, or troubles within the family, can also bring on depression.
The illness is more prevalent in adult women than men, with symptoms of persistent sadness, often combined with tears, anxiety, emptiness, difficulty thinking, concentrating and making decisions. Other more noticeable symptoms might be change in appetite, weight gain or loss, change in sleep habits, slowed or agitated physical and/or spoken responses.
Parents should be conscious that children also can suffer with depression.
Unfortunately, many people with major depression do not seek treatment because they don’t recognize the symptoms as signs of illness, or they fear reaction from family, friends, and co-workers. Do not wait. If you think you have the signs of depression, get professional help.
Educate yourself by reading what you an about the illness, either on the internet or your local library.
There are many different kinds of prescription medicines that could be prescribed. All kinds do not help all. Your doctor might have to change the dosage or the prescription. If you are put on medication, do not discontinue use of it without your doctor’s permission.
This article may be shared, but only with the author’s byline. Freda B Douglas has been writing a weekly newspaper general interest column ‘Freda’s Foibles’ for 15 years. She also is waiting for her first book “Cherish the Past” to be published. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.