depression 101

Chances are that you or someone you know has struggled with depression.

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Here’s my “quick and dirty” fact sheet regarding this ugly beast:

  1. The longer depression remains untreated, the harder it is to treat. It is treatable though, and there is hope and you are worth it.
  2. The symptoms of depression make depression worse. (i.e.: when you’re depressed you most likely have low self-esteem, want to isolate from people, and have difficulty completing everyday tasks. The aforementioned stuff, plus the rest of depression’s symptoms will make you feel worse).
  3. Another way of saying #2 is that depression will lie to you. It will tell you that you aren’t worth it, you will never amount to anything, and also that you are ugly and stupid and nobody likes you. Lies. All lies.
  4. Depression makes the simplest of activities feel monumentally more difficult. (i.e.: getting out of bed, taking a shower…)
  5. Women are more likely to suffer from depression.
  6. The combination of good psychotherapy and proper medication has been proven to be the most effective treatment of depression.
  7. However, not everyone with depression necessarily needs to be medicated. It depends on the severity and length of time depressed, as well as other factors.
  8. Regular exercise has been proven to effectively elevate mood, energy, and self-esteem.
  9. Mind, body, and spirit are all connected. Folks with physical problems, illnesses, women who have just given birth, people struggling with addiction, childhood trauma, etc. are more likely to suffer from depression.
  10. You are more “at risk” for depression if it runs in your family. Awareness of this can help you take preventative measures and notice “warning signs” in yourself.
  11.  You are more likely to experience depression again if you have had depression in the past. Refer to my comment about awareness from #10.
  12. Clinical depression is diagnosed using the following criteria: http://www.mental-health-today.com/dep/dsm.htm
  13. I’m going to repeat #1: If you suspect you are depressed or are becoming depressed, get help as soon as you can. The longer you wait the more difficult it becomes to treat. I highly recommend first seeking a skilled professional counselor who can help you sort out whether or not medication is necessary or appropriate. He or she should be trained to offer depression-helping proven therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

You are worth it and you do not have to go through this alone.

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