Friday, 24 August 2012

Depression

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel so down? You know what I'm talking about. That day when you feel tired - of working, of studying, of dealing with problems...of life in general. Most people would say that they feel 'depressed' that day. But, is it REALLY depression?

The simple answer is no, it is not clinical depression. Yes, you may feel terrible and bored and angry, but this feeling will usually go away by the end of the day or after doing something fun. But clinical depression is so much more than that. It is characterized by feeling down, sad, moody, tired, not energetic, etc. for a long period of time - the diagnostic criteria is usually around 6 months. When you are depressed, it is very hard to get your mood up. It seems as though nothing will make you feel better.

Depression is a co-morbid condition with anorexia or eating disorders. This means that when a patient suffers from ED, he/she is likely to also suffer from depression. Researchers are not sure whether or not the ED actually causes the depression, or if it was there before ED arrived. Either way, the fact remains that victims with ED usually experience depression.

In my darkest days, I experienced depression. I wanted to be socially withdrawn from everyone - sometimes even my family. ED wanted me to isolate, to keep to myself at all times. I became very lethargic and not energetic - partly because I was not eating enough, but also because the depression got to me. I felt sad all the time. Movies that used to make me howl with laughter ceased to even bring a smile upon my face. Jokes did not brighten up my day. Things I used to enjoy doing like reading, writing, and solving puzzle became boring. Having fun was a chore and something I did not want to do. Each morning, I would get up from my bed and feel lazy - not wanting to get out of bed because I felt that there was no point in living. Every night, I would spend hours twisting and turning on my bed, thinking about how terrible I felt all day long. ED would repeat his insults, mocking me and making me feel even worse.

You fat, lazy girl. Look how much you ate today! You are gaining weight. You are useless. No one wants to be around you, so avoid all people. And there is no reason for you to be happy or to laugh. Just stick with me. You do not need the world or anything in it. You just need me.

So, ED tok advantage of my low mood and made me fall deeper and deeper into his trance. He convinced me that there was nothing worth living for - that death would be more comforting and relieving. And so, for about 1 year, I can say that I was depressed.

I did not get medication for depression until I entered into the hospital in April. There are many types of medications for depression, including selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and other antidepressants. SSRIs are non-additive, so it is quite easy to wean patients off of them. I was put on 2 kinds of SSRIs - but not for depression, only for sleep (sleeping was very difficult - more on that in another blog!). However, since I was taking the SSRIs, they did help with my mood (my case was very very very mild depression, so I did not need high doses of the medications). And although I was very reluctant to take any medication, I must admit that they have helped me a great deal. I have noticed a big difference in my sleep - after taking the medication, I am asleep within forty minutes to one hour.

In terms of my mood, the medications have definitely helped. But since I was not diagnosed with clinical depression, the best thing that helped me lift my mood was getting my life back. Eating proper meals that nourished my starved body and brain helped the chemicals in my brain. (When you are depressed, there is less serotonin in your brain - the 'happy' or 'feel good' chemical. Medications for depression work by stopping the uptake of serotonin - basically, it increases the amount of the 'feel good' hormone in the brain, so you feel better). Going out with my friends, watching funny movies with my family, and shutting out ED has been the best cure for my mood.

My point? If you are suffering from depression, please get help. I know that it is hard to admit that you may have a problem, but we are human! Asking your doctor about medications or techniques to help you will certainly pay off in the long run.

In my case, depression was not a co-morbid condition with ED. Instead, ED decided to rob me of my happiness and cheery spirit. Thankfully, I exposed ED and let him know that he was NOT going to take my joy from my soul. I got help, and I am happy to say that today, I do not struggle with depression. Instead, the everlasting joy of the Lord fills my heart. What a blessing!


25 comments:

  1. Marina <my daughter has some of the symtoms of depression you mentioned but not all ,do you think needs SSRI or else
    Please reply what should I do
    Thanks again

    Thankful mother

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    Replies
    1. I'm not her doctor, so I can't tell you whether or not to give her SSRIs. However, if you feel she has depression, talk to her about it. She may not admit it, but try asking her how she feels, if she feels sad, etc. I'd highly suggest taking her to the doctor and addressing your concerns. Perhaps he/she may prescribe your daughter medications or help her find help otherwise. Can you take her to the doctor?

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  2. I was depressed before and I know what it means
    You are right after one year of meds I can feel much difference.I think depression is as much destructive as ED.I was on meds for 2 years .

    I love and admire you my girl

    Jorge

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad that you took your medications and feel better! Thanks for sharing your experience and for supporting me through this journey!

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  3. I was depressed when I was teenager and I was admitted to hospital for resistant depression and they gave me Shock theray to my brain when medication did not work.
    Now I enjoy all the best of my life thanks to treatment.

    S K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm very happy that you are having a good time now that you have recovered from your depression. It must have taken a lot of courage to go through that shock therapy, but I am sure it was worth it! Congrats!

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  4. Hi Marina
    I saw my family doctor 4 months ago and he told me I have depression and gave me prescription but I just threw it in the garabage.
    Now I think I do have depression as I feel I have all symtoms.Do you think I need to get the meds.
    Thnaks my friend

    Anne

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    Replies
    1. Anne, I can't tell you whether or not you should take any medication....however, if you were diagnosed with depression and did not take your meds, you really should return to the doctor and let them know that you have not been taking them. If you still have depression, your doctor will likely prescribe you medications to take - and please follow his/her orders! It will help you!

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  5. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety years ago and I was treated with medication and also therapy.I stopped the medicine after one year but I still see my therapist once in a while and it is helpful .

    S C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent! You are right - sometimes a combination of meds and therapy are important and helpful for depression! Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  6. Hello my Girl.I am very happy for now you enjoying life with happiness and freedom.Believe me none of my friends I knew has not gone through depression at certain moment in thier life but sooner with medicine all got better and enjoying happy life.
    You now helping people to recover drom depression .
    Way to go my love.
    You are adorable


    Henry

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Henry! Depression is, sadly, very common, although not many people will admit it. I am glad that your friends have received help and are getting better through treatment. Please continue to pray for me!

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  7. Hi Marina
    With God blessing you can enjoy the freedom and noraml happy life that you deserve.

    Keep going

    Mary

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mary! Yet again, your comments fill me with hope and happiness!

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  8. To be free from depression worth big ovation and celebration.
    Tell me about it .I have gone through it and I know exactly what you meant

    Happy to hear you are enjoying your time

    Hesham

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so thrilled to hear that you have gone through this and are now better. You are right - it deserves celebrating!

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  9. I was born in Iraq and came to canada when I was 12 and now I am 20.I was torn between 2 cultures and between friend who their parents let them do any thing they want and my parents who were famous politician in Iraq. I had severe depression for 2 years and I just locked myself in my room ,I stopped going to university(I failed first year ) and stopped talliking to any body.My parents tried all what they could to take me to doctors ,hospital but I adamantly refused .They called crisis help,police ,911 and all declined to take me to hospital as I was more than 18 and I was competent.

    One day My father got very sick and We called family doctor home vist and he was talking to me to ask me how to care for my dad and he noted that I am not well.He gave me his business card and ask me to vist him.
    Surprisingly I went and he chat with me and then gave me few questions written to anwser and no surprise my score was high for depression.

    He gave me medicine and I took it as he said !!!!
    believ me after 4 weeks I started leave my home and go out and after 8 weeks I felt 100% different.
    Every body called that doctor the miracuolus man.
    Now when I remember how seriously I was ill and how much happier and healthier I am now ,I owe my happiness to my doctor and regret the 2 years that I lived in the dumps.

    I am reading your blog since day 1

    You are making lots of difference.
    please pray for me


    Mays

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading my blog and commenting! I am so sorry to hear of your journey; it certainly was difficult for you to go through what you did. However, I am so happy to hear that you got treatment, began to go out and enjoy life, and are getting better. It is great to hear that you are now feeling happy and healthy. Do not waste time regretting your past - look forward to your future and enjoy the present moment! You are blessed to have gotten the chance to get better! Congrats! I will continue to pray for you - but you pray for me as well!

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  10. Of course I will pray for you
    I call you Ms Hope!!.Thank you for replying so quickly.Trust me I was not expect you evn to read my comment.
    You are one of the few good people in life
    Mays

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  11. Hi Marina
    I am reluctant to comment on this blog because I saw how severly my dad suffered from this disease and he did not admit.He kept praying that helped hima alot but never got better till he started taking SSRI.He took 2 meds one SSRI and another antidepressant not SSRI and eventually the sun shined in his life again.That was one of the reasons I wanted to study psychology.
    I can not believe Marina ,how common is depression and how seriously affecting people ability to have basic needs of life.

    I happy to read most of your readers treated and got better with medications and I think you are right not only medicine but with the blessing of Almeighty..
    I am happy for you Marina

    With my huble respect

    Mohammed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to hear that about your dad...but I am happy that he is better now that he is taking his medications. You are right, depression is, sadly, common - but thank goodness there are ways to overcome it! Thanks again for your support!

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  12. Hi My Angel and beautiful face.
    I am still taking antidepressant but I am happy and working fine but I still feel need my medication to keep me mellow.
    Do you know if it is o k to keep taking them for long periods.My doctor and phychiatrist said keep taking them.
    I am very happy for you my dear

    L Y
    The ECG guy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a doctor, so I can't be sure what the medication recommendations are especially for you. However, if you ask your doctor, they can tell you if the meds are addictive or not, and how long you should be on them. Some people needs to stay on their meds all their life, but it is well worth it since it keeps them 'mellow' (as you said!) and able to function normally. If this is the case for you, there is no shame! Thank the Lord that you are better!

      PS: you are the best ECG guy I know!

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    2. Thank you Marina for reply.My Doc said not addictive but helpful to keep serotonin up for my thinking and concentrations.
      Thanks again as usual your reply and all your bolg helpful to many including myself.
      You are the best nurse to be and best person and friend now.

      L Y

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  13. Hi Marina,
    I just wanted to say that you are going to make a spectacular nurse because you are using your own experience to help people out. Just reading your blog and knowing that someone else has gone through something similar to you makes them feel like they're not alone. God bless you always and keep you smiling and enjoying life. You are a true insipration. Don't every give up on yourself, you are worth sooooo much.

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