Talking About Depression

Depression is a common emotion that most people experience at some time in life.  Just like happiness or sadness, depression can come from an event or situation, and when the symptoms escalate, there is help.   Depression can cause weight loss, or gain.  It can create sleep issues, and affect work and relationships.  It can make you cranky, with a short fuse, and will often show on your face.  Your facial expressions reflect how you are feeling and people might ask what is wrong.  You may loose interest in things you once enjoyed, but the key is to pay attention and be aware how things are changing.  Depression can be debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are many sites that talk about the symptoms of depression.  This site talks about symptoms, and it’s sponsored by a drug company.  Web MD also has information about depression, including symptoms and treatment options, but understanding yourself is key to understanding your emotions and the purpose they serve.  Pain is a symptom of the body that indicates it might need rest, just like depression is a symptom of the body that something needs to be addressed.  When the body sends signals, sometimes we are paying attention but sometimes we are not.  When we don’t pay attention, we can cause symptoms to get  worse.  If you ignore emotional issues like depression, they fester and can get worse, leading to a deeper issues that are harder to treat.

In working with many patients over the years, the first thing seems to be trying to work determine if issues are chemical or situational.  Chemical issues are when the body is not working in harmony.  Situational issues are times when the emotional issues can be traced to the outside world.  Many times it’s a combination of both and with support the symptoms can improve.  When someone is struggling with the loss of a job, or a loved one, sadness and depression is predictable.  Other events can also spark changes in a person’s emotional state, and many times the situations works itself out.  Some patients I work with struggle with multiple events that create hopelessness.  It’s those times that you need to seek support from friends and family, or from a professional that can help you sort out such a tough time.

Emotional issues, from depression to anxiety, are normal and predictable from time to time.  However if those issues become life threatening, get help.  Thoughts of harming yourself or others are dangerous and need to be addressed immediately by trained professionals that can help you.  There is always tomorrow and with hope and faith, things can improve if you just breath, and wake up tomorrow.  Overcoming depression is possible, with an understanding of the issue and support from people who can help.

Talking about depression is never easy, for anyone.  Even the most trained professionals struggle at times.  Things happen, but there is always a new day, that can bring better things.  Whether there is a history in your family, that may include chemical issues that lead to depression, or whether you are going through a hard time, do something for yourself to help change your mood.  Go for a walk.  Find a good book, or watch a movie that can help change your perspective.  Talk and spend time with friends.  Never underestimate how a small thing can change your mood, for the better.  Sometimes medication will be the key, but other times, taking care of yourself is more important.  Regardless, get help if you need it, so you can continue your journey to be happy, for life.