When we are free of depression, anxiety, excessive stress and worry, addictions, and other psychological problems, we are more able to live our lives to the fullest.
Many research studies have shown that when people receive appropriate mental health care, their use of medical services declines. People with untreated mental health problems visit a medical doctor twice as often as people who receive mental health care. For example, let us look at anxiety. Excessive anxiety and stress can contribute to physical problems such as heart disease, ulcers, and colitis. Anxiety and stress can also reduce the strength of the immune system, making people more vulnerable to conditions ranging from the common cold to cancer. Read More
Everybody feels down or sad at times. But it’s important to be able to recognize when depression has become more than a temporary thing, and when to seek help.
The following are a list of the signs and symptoms that may be experienced by someone with depression.
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
- Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Chronic illness affects the population worldwide and it is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. It accounts for 70% of all deaths in the U.S., which is 1.7 million each year. More than 125 million Americans have at least one chronic illness and estimates that by the year 2020, 157 million Americans will have a chronic illness.
Examples of chronic illnesses include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Many people with these illnesses become depressed. In fact, depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. It’s estimated that up to one-third of people with a serious medical condition have symptoms of depression.
The symptoms of depression are sometimes overlooked because they are overshadowed by the illness or dismissed as normal feelings of a person dealing with a chronic illness. Read More
Although depression is often thought of being in an extreme state of sadness, there is a huge difference between clinical depression and feeling down or sad. Sadness is something we all experience; it is a normal, human emotion. Feeling down is a natural reaction to painful circumstances. In fact, it is OK to feel unhappy at times. All of us will experience sadness at some point in our lives. However, sadness is not regular. Sadness is not an every moment of every day thing. Sadness goes away, depression does not. Depression, on the other hand, is an illness with many more symptoms than a sad mood. A person with clinical depression can feel lost in figuring out the reason behind his dark feelings. The depressed person loses interest in activities he enjoyed before. He is constantly tired, anxious, and is not sleeping well. There is significant weight changes and lack of concentration. Sometimes, he thinks it might be better if he was not alive anymore…
8 Things to remember when depressed: Read More