Depression – The 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Depression

1. Is depression a mental illness?

Why I Don't Believe in Laziness / Lone Tree / Greenwood Village / Highlands  Ranch Counseling

Depression is a serious, but treatable, mental problem, not a personal weakness. It is very common, affecting 10 percent of the U.S. population at anytime. All of us can relate to having the “blues”. Clinical depression, also called “major depressive disorder” , is a more serious medical illness that needs professional diagnosis and treatment.

2. Do children get depression?

Children are subject to the same factors that cause depression in adults. These factors are changes in physical health, life events, heredity, environment and chemical disturbances in the brain. One amazing statistic is that it is estimated that 2.5 percent of children in the U.S. suffer from depression .

Children who are depressed experience changes in their behavior that are disruptive to their normal lifestyles, thus causing trouble with relationships with friends, schoolwork, special interests, and family life. This may be misdiagnosed by ADD and OPED.

3. Can lack of sleep cause depression?

No. Lack of sleep alone cannot cause depression, but it can definitely make the depression worse. The ongoing inability to sleep also is an important clue that someone may be depressed.

4. Are there any alternatives to the traditional treatments for depression?

The definition of alternative methods is any treatment or technique that has not been scientifically documented or identified as safe or effective for a specific condition. Alternative therapy comes in many varieties. Included are everything from diet , exercise, mental conditioning and lifestyle changes. Some of these have been effective for treating Am I Depressed or Lazy.

Examples of alternative therapies include acupuncture, guided imagery, chiropractic, yoga, hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, relaxation, herbal remedies, light therapy, massage and many others.

5. How can you determine if an illness is causing depression or depression is causing an illness?

Illnesses that can lead to depression are major and chronic, there often is long-term pain or a sudden change of your way of life i.e. being able to take care of yourself. Depression causes illness in a different way. It can weaken the immune system limiting your bodies ability to fight against colds, flu and infection. This may cause an illness to last longer and intensify its symptoms.

6. I’ve heard lots of warnings about drug interactions with certain depression medicines. What are they?

MAOIs, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, are effective antidepressant medicines that have been used for years. Normally prescribed for people with severe depression, MAOIs improve mood by increasing the number of chemicals in the brain that pass messages between brain cells. MAOIs have been proven to work just as well as other antidepressant drugs, but they have more possible food and drug interactions.

Medicines to avoid when taking MAOIs include Prozac and Paxil and certain pain medicines including Demerol. There also are some cough medicines and blood pressure medicines that must not be taken.

Foods to avoid when taking MAOIs include aged cheeses and meats, avocado, pickled or smoked foods like sauerkraut or meat, and foods that include yeast extracts like beer and wine.

7. Why are women more likely to get depression?

Women develop depression twice as often as men. One reason may be the various changes in hormone levels that women experience. Depression is common premenstrual syndrome (PMS), during pregnancy and menopause, after giving birth, suffering a miscarriage, or having a hysterectomy. These are all times when women experience huge fluctuations in hormones.

8. Do most people with depression commit suicide?

Most people who suffer from depression do not attempt suicide. According to the National Mental Health Association, 30 percent to 70 percent of suicide victims have suffered from some form of depression. These very strong statistics point to how very important it is to seek professional treatment for yourself or someone you love if you suspect depression. Depression is very serious. It is something that should be closely monitored. It is typical for a person suffering from depression to think he is feeling better to think he is “cured”. This can lead to very serious consequences.

9. Will someone who has had depression get it again?

Having experienced depression does put a person at greater risk for future episodes, but not everyone who has recovered from depression will experience it again. Sometimes depression is triggered by a major life event or illness or a combination of things particular to a certain place and time. Getting the proper treatment for the correct amount of time is crucial. Don’t listen to your head it is your worst enemy.

10. How long does depression last?

Various types of depressive disorders can last for years. A major depressive episode is a set of symptoms that last for more than two weeks and may last for months. Seasonal depression, or SAD, usually extends throughout the winter months and continues to improve during spring and summer. This form of depression is helped with light therapy in which I will go into in depth in the up coming series.

Bipolar disorder is characterized as “ups” (periods of mania) and “downs” (periods of extreme depression). Although these phases may change rapidly or slowly, bipolar depression may last until an effective treatment is found. What that means in a nutshell is everyone I know suffering with Bipolar disorder is on medication for the rest of their life trying to cope with this disease.

This means always monitoring the results of the combination of medications you are taking because you build up an immunity to them. This means taking a “new” medication suggested by your doctor. A doctor once explained it to me “If you had diabetes or a heart condition would you take your medication everyday?– Yes! Well you are in the same boat. You are suffering from a chemical imbalance and you need to take your medication or you may slip into a depression that me or medical science can not bring you back from. We would lose you and you would lose any concept with reality.”

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