By: Elaine Dunbar
Even with all the talk about depression and suicide related deaths such as Robin Williams and Chris Cornell, the average person you talk to still seems to misunderstand it. Some of the main misconceptions tend to fall into four categories. First, people don’t realize that depression is several different mood disorders. Also, folks often believe that it is just feeling sad all the time, but it is not. It is more than that. Next, people believe anti-depressants can resolve depression completely. Third, the misconception is that a person must feel depressed daily. Lastly, there is the belief that a person who has depression is not mentally or emotionally strong.
Depression is a grouping of several different mood disorders. Each has its own set of symptoms, severity, and duration. Some are cyclical, seasonal or recurring. While others may be situational or occur only once in a lifetime. Some types of depression can be very severe (Major Depression, Bipolar Types I, II) while others may be milder (cyclothymic).
Depression symptoms look different in different people. For instance, for men, depression may show up as feeling irritable or frustrated. Moreover, he may appear unsociable, and no longer interested in activities which used to be enjoyable. Men will often use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate for depression. However, women may do so as well. Women may be more likely than men to have feelings of sadness and hopelessness. They experience bouts of crying for no reason compared to their male counterparts. For younger people, chronic feelings of boredom without interest in engaging with friends may be an early warning sign of depression.
Depression treatment doesn’t only consist of medication. Yet, primary care physicians are prescribing anti-depressants more than ever to their patients. Surprisingly, one half to two-thirds of all people taking anti-depressants do not find satisfactory symptom relief of depression. Talk therapy is proven in the current research to be extremely helpful. In addition, alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, relaxation, exercise, nutrition/vitamins have also been effective.
Depression is thought to be a chemical imbalance in the brain. In addition, it is a developmental psychological response to one’s environment across his or her lifespan. It is not simply something one can decide to stop doing without help. With treatment there are positive outcomes and hope. A person can live happily without the tragic endings we often read about in the headlines.
You Don’t Have to Battle Depression Alone!
At Williamsville Wellness we offer a holistic approach to treat depression. We utilize all the healing therapies available. This includes counseling, exercise, nutrition, relaxation and coping skills. The good news is that you don’t have to battle with depression alone anymore! There is plenty of help. Please act and make the call. If it is too difficult to make the call, ask a family member or friend to call with you or for you. Once you make that first step you are on your way to getting better!