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Setbacks Can Set the Stage For Slow-Motion Depression

 

Halloween is soon to arrive, which has a haunting quality to kids. But adults also need to take stock of themselves and their skeletons in the closet. Life's experiences can ruin our moods. One such mood is Depression.

This disorder is often misunderstood. It means more than simply feeling "down" for an hour or two. So powerful is clinical depression that it actually can alter how we think and behave. And having this drag on our normal personalities is not someone's "fault" but more a combination of forces beyond our control, like catching unwanted germs.

There is Reactive Depression, which stems from negative life events. Grieving loss of a former job or home or activity like driving can be a strong factor. Difficulty in adjusting to a situation we didn't expect--like sudden widowhood--can also spur stress and depression. Even having our children move far away or lose contact with us can constitute a major setback. What might seem relatively small to one person can prove practically devastating to another. An even the World Health Organization stated that 1/3 of Americans wake up depressed--every day.

On the other hand, there is Chronic Depression, marked by long periods of disinterest toward pleasurable activity as well as social withdrawal. Frequently the brain's mood stabilizer, known as Serotonin, is in short supply. A supplement is needed. Antidepressives can be prescribed to help restore that chemical balance.

Every disorder means something isn't working quite right. What are the usual symptoms of having Depression? 
Sudden appetite loss or overeating splurges
Difficulty in sleeping or remaining asleep
Concentration gets lost amid activities
Friends and routines grow distant

When life turns super-sour and seems like one frustration after another, our self-esteem takes a nosedive. Desperation can even bring on thoughts of suicide. Feeling detached from friends and family makes the ordeal even harder. But modern medicine and counseling can offer relief and carry us back to restore a more normal, more effective life.

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Do not give up on yourself. There are people out there who care. Reach out for help and gain the support of others. Have your doctor tell you directly if any medication spurs depressive feelings as a side effect. Check with a licensed counselor to pinpoint the possible causes and treat them. The time is right to get out of the grips of Depression, and fix that broken mood.
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About the Writer: Lee Coyne M.S.W. has been a clinical social worker since the 70's and has a geriatric specialty. He welcomes any questions on mind and mood problems. To make a confidential appointment, please call 503-365-7533 in Salem, OR.

Compliments of Lee Coyne M.S.W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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