Crushed, overwhelmed, devastated, torn, these waves of feelings wash overthose who suffer, blinding most if not all vision and hope.
There is so much to say about depression that we cannot cover all of theinformation concerning the whole subject in depth on our web site.
We will try to cover the basic types, causes, affects and methods for recovery, also keep our information relatively straight forward because it can getvery deep, there will be some links on this page for related sites thatcover this in depth.
Even now in the 21st century depression still has stigma attached to it, this brings with t misconceptions and misunderstanding. Althoughthe general publics attitude is one of burying their head in the sand, wecannot get away from the fact that people have about a 20% chance of suffering with depression in one form or another in our life time. It does not mean madness or insanity.
Some of the common misconceptions about depression.
|Only weak people suffer.||It can affect anyone.|
|Pull your socks up, snap out of it.||You cannot, some form of help is required to make a recovery|
|Today's life style causes it.||It can cause anxiety and sadness but we should be able to deal with a busy life.|
|It is caused by an external source.||It can be caused by chemical changes or imbalance in the body.|
|It can last all of your life.||Only in severe cases, it usually lasts for limited periods only.|
|Have a drink, you will feel better.||Alcohol is a natural depressant, after a while it will make things worse.|
|Just take some pills. ( See your doctor)||This will help in most cases but may not help long term with the core problem.|
|Have a holiday, take a break.||This may help, but a depressed person will have reduced enjoyment in everything|
|All anti depressants are addictive.||Most new drugs are not and can easily be slowly reduced and stopped.|
|Depressed people usually cry wolf.||Suicide can be a very real reality during depression, take this seriously.|
|Don't talk about suicide.||By talking about it empathetically can reduce the risk by expressing thoughts.|
Depression is very difficult to define, it can be like a moving invisible fogcoming from nowhere, settling on you, then either moving away or stayingfor days, months or even years. Sometimes it is a reaction to a life eventand this is normally easier to treat. The trouble is it just doesn't just settleon your head it invades your whole body including the way you think,your mood, bodily functions, perceptions, rationality and so on. The worst thing to say to a depressed person is pull your socks up, shake your selfoff or pull your self together, it just doesn't work and in a lot of cases makesthe sufferer feel a whole lot worse. One of the other horrible effects of depression is the level of suffering and the symptoms vary considerablyfrom person to person. A majority of the time a sufferer will not understand it, unfortunately this makes it very hard for the carers of affected people to have enough patience and the required coping/helpingskills to ably give the right type of support.The key word for any carer is patience because what you see andhear from the sufferer simply will not make much sense much of the time.
Typical Symptoms of Depression
All of the above symptoms can join together in changing the inner andouter life of a person suffering with depression, it could be described as a nice little snow ball beginning to roll down a hill, but by the time it arrivesat the bottom it is huge and uncontrollable, it also takes a very long time tomelt back into the nice little snow ball you had at the beginning.
It is estimated that 5-10% of the population suffers and needs help at any onetime,( That is this minute), this means that in a crowd of 50,000 at a footballmatch as many as 5000 may be depressed. This is on a growing trend and itwill become the second most common illness after heart problems within twenty years.
Women are more at risk than men.
In some studies, women with depression out number men 2 to 1, especially atcertain times of their life. The days and weeks following childbirth andmenopause are the main factors. Depression and irritability are commonsymptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome and it is said to be precipitate in somewomen by oral contraceptives. In England alone there are over 1000, new cases per week of post nataldepression and many are still unrecorded or undetected.
Many famous people through out history have suffered.
There are many different categories for depression but we will only look atthe 9 major classifications.
A major depression is usually recognised as a combination with 5 symptomsthat occur together and last for at least a two week period without anysignificant improvement. Below we have listed some the main symptomsthat generally need to present in a two week period.
This list is just for your information and offered to increase yourunderstanding, if you are in any doubt about your self or another personplease ask for advice or make an appointment to see your doctoror a counsellor/therapist.
Uni-polar (Monopolar) Depression ( 20% of people )
Moods that shift from average and normal to that of depression. (This is by far the most common type of depression).
This is where the sufferer is thought to be too depressed to help him/her self and will need some form of assistance. Clinical depression can be divided into two areas:
This is normally triggered by a stressful situation of traumatic event, i.e. marriage/work difficulties, loss, bereavement etc. It is normally comeshand in hand with high levels of anxiety and usually only last for shortperiods of time.
This form of depression generally rises up from within and has no externalreasons, because there are no definite reasons it can be seen asa biological condition which in it's self can have many factors. e.g. neurochemical imbalance) Neurotic Depression This is very similar to Endogenous depression because there are no externalfactors to take into account. This however is mostly caused by earlytrauma and environmental issues in the unconscious i.e. unresolved childhoodissues or other equally important conflicts. It is sometimes difficultto separate these two common complaints, endogenous depression is probablybest served once a pattern can be found by anti depressants. Neuroticdepression is best served by counselling/therapy. Unfortunately theseare normally both entwined because of a multiple of social,cognitive, genetic and chemical influences. A mixture of drugs and therapy is recommended.
Organic based Depression
This is caused by illness, such as strokes and cancer or the affect of the drugsand medication.
The suffering person has been depressed for a period of more than two years.
Bipolar Depression (Manic)
A large percent of people who suffer with serious depression could become manic. This affects equal numbers of men and women. It is nearly always caused by a chemical imbalance and is nearly incurable.This would be diagnosed by a psychiatrist and a counsellors job would be to help the sufferer deal with it.These people would be on medication prescribed by their doctor. It is a biological illness and they would suffer a "state of madness" at times.The mood swings can range from being very high, increased speech/actions,totally irrational etc to that of being very very low. Periods betweenthese extremes can be weeks, months or even years, however in eitherof these frames of mind the situation could be dangerous.
Seasonal Affective Disorder ( SAD)
This complaint is caused by a biochemical imbalance. Many people areaffected as winter approaches and carries on through with short days with little sunlight. For many it is a serious problem which preventsthem from leading a normal life until March or April arrives with it's longerdays and increased sunshine. People generally suffer cravings forcarbohydrates and sweets, also irritability, avoidance, loss of libido and moodchanges. For serious sufferers medical treatment is essential and for otherswith a lesser degree of discomfort other forms of help are available.
Psychotherapy, Cognitive therapy and other counselling will help by usingpositive techniques such as, relaxation and acceptance. A lot of depression iscaused by unresolved pain and anger either from the past of in present.The reasons fordepression will depend on the type of counselling offered.
This is now available by purchasing a light box which boosts the levels of lightto that which will help up to 85% of people. Anti Depressants There are many antidepressant drugs available to use, the non-sedativedrugs are more likely to be affective, these are SSRI drugs, such asSertrline, Paroxetine and Fluoxetine. (Consult your doctor at all times before using any drugs)
Like falling into a deep pit
The mud slips and slides
So you can’t get a grip.
The sharp stones rip and graze
As you fight against the downward pull
Exhaustion and despair
Seems to be every where.
The fight for life begins to flee.
Finally you hit the bottom
With a hard bone shaking thud.
What’s the use? I’m tired, I’m lonely.
You decide to die in the mud.
As you lay there sobbing
With nothing at your side, except Despair
A sweet fragrance and gentle voice
Starts to fill the air
Soft comforting hands gently wrap around
Slowly you are lifted from the pit
And set gently on the ground.
You hear a voice “my child I am here, all is well”.
Upon opening your eyes see a light
And realise you are no longer at the gates of hell.