Sunday, March 22, 2009

Faces of Depression

Down on life?
It might not be just a case of the blues.
Could be your battling depression.

We all feel depressed sometimes, and its totally normal. But when you're feeling completely out of whack for a couple of weeks, and life's become a real drag, things are serious. So how can you tell the difference between being depressed or just being in a down mood? The first step is to understand depression. It's like an ongoing state of being totally bummed out. Many things can trigger it, like the death of someone close, unhealthy relationships, financial difficulties, or being the victim of any kind of abuse. The next step is to pay attention to your moods over a set period of time (like a week) and rate your feelings on a scale from 1 to 10. Maybe you're just a tad moody - maybe it's more. Could be a lame weather. On this type of day you're probably a 1 or a 2 in terms of feeling sad. When you have bad pre-menstrual syndrome, you maybe a 3, tops. When you get around 6 or 7, depression is real. You may have trouble getting out of bed. When your depression lasts more than two weeks, and you have four or five of the symptoms listed below, your depression's serious and you should talk to someone, like a family doctor. Whenever you have depression of 9 or 10, which is when you just don't feel like living anymore, you must get help immediately. Fortunately, depression is treatable. In most cases, you can get rid of it with medicine or possibly going to talk-therapy with a professional therapist.

Faces of Depression
> You feel sad, anxious, or guilty.
> You're not interested in doing your favorite things.
> You sleep a lot more or a lot less than usual.
> You lose your appetite or constantly eat, and gain or lose weight.
> You feel everything around you is hopeless, you view everything in a negative way.
> You cry all the time, or you're cranky.
> You have difficulty making decisions, concentrating, and remembering.
> You have headaches or stomach pains that won't go away.
> Most seriously, you have thoughts of death or suicide.

When you or someone you know talks about suicides, things are way serious. Never underestimate people who talk about ending their lives. It's not a bid to get attention; it's cry for help. Gently encouraging them to seek help is a must. If they don't, you might have to seek help for them, even if it's against their wishes, in order to save their lives.

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