Welcome to the depression page.

  I put together this section of my site to help others learn the signs of particular ailments, and find out what treatment options are available. I am also here to lend a sympathetic ear to those who suffer from the same things I do.


What is depression?

Depression is considered a mental ailment. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "the condition of feeling sad or despondent."
A psychologist would define it as "a psychotic or neurotic condition characterized by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, and feelings of extreme sadness, dejection, and hopelessness."


What are some signs of depression?

One of the most noticeable characteristics others have noticed about me is that I experience "mood swings." On some days, I am friendly and helpful; other days, I am withdrawn and sullen.
Another thing I have noticed about myself is that I very rarely get a good night's rest. No matter what I do, I always feel fatigued, both mentally and emotionally.
I often have a hard time concentrating on one thing for a long time. At work, I got a negative review in this aspect. In truth, I just couldn't make myself keep my attention on one thing for more than a few minutes.


Misconceptions about depression

Myth: Depression is a sinful, selfish behavior resulting from self-pity.
Fact: Depression can be caused by chemical imbalances. Most often, it stems from loss--of a loved one, of a sense of "normalness," or of control.

Myth: People can "snap out of" depression.
Fact: This implies that overcoming depression is simply a matter of having enough willpower. Further, this attitude shows a lack of understanding of mental illnesses. WebMD has this to say:

"Keep in mind that people who are depressed don't choose to feel that way. Depression is a medical illness, like diabetes or high blood pressure, not a personal short-coming or character defect."

Myth: Depressed people don't act on what they say they plan to do.
Fact: The experts at Depression.com (now defunct) warn, "The myth is that people who talk about suicide don't attempt it. The fact is that many people announce their intention before their suicide attempts."


Treating depression

There are many medicines that might be prescribed for depression. Unfortunately, medicines usually have negative side effects. Paxil, for example, can cause constipation, sleeplessness, and weight gain.
It is also important to be kind to yourself and allow others to be good to you. Treat yourself to a hot bubble bath, visit a makeup counter at a department store, read at the library, go for a walk, or just take a short nap. These activities are relaxing, and (even better) they're all things you can do for free. But...you must let yourself enjoy them.
One of the best ways to forget about your own problems is to help others. Although there is no "magic" cure for depression, the depression sufferer can still feel good about herself by doing good deeds.
The person who suffers from serious depression symptoms for more than a few weeks should seek medical attention. A trained psychiatrist can help a depressed person to see things from a different perspective, and can offer an objective listening ear.


  ***Disclaimer: Nothing on this page is a substitute for professional medical advice. If you suffer from severe depression, you should seek out a licensed psychiatrist or other professional for assistance.




  © 2000-2004. Natasha L. All rights reserved.