Saturday, June 22, 2013

Depression - An Equal Opportunity Affliction

"What is this guy trying to say here?" I can just hear everyone thinking, "This guy must be completely off his rocker!" If you really take a step back and look at "Who" Depression hits, you will have a clearer understanding of what I mean by this statement.

Depression is:

  • No respecter of age: it hits young and old alike.

  • Does not recognize an individuals Social Position: Rich or Poor makes no difference

  • It recognizes no boundaries: Cases of one form or another are found world wide.

  • Not selective: It can affect anyone at any time.

The Mayo Clinic describes some signs and symptoms of Depression below:

* Loss of interest in normal daily activities. You lose interest in or pleasure from activities that you used to enjoy.

* Depressed mood. You feel sad, helpless or hopeless, and may have crying spells.

In addition, for a doctor or other health professional to diagnose depression, most of the following signs and symptoms also must be present for at least two weeks.

* Sleep disturbances. Sleeping too much or having problems sleeping can be a sign you're depressed. Waking in the middle of the night or early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep are typical.

* Impaired thinking or concentration. You may have trouble concentrating or making decisions and have problems with memory.

* Changes in weight. An increased or reduced appetite and unexplained weight gain or loss may indicate depression.

* Agitation. You may seem restless, agitated, irritable and easily annoyed.

* Fatigue or slowing of body movements. You feel weariness and lack of energy nearly every day. You may feel as tired in the morning as you did when you went to bed the night before. You may feel like you're doing everything in slow motion, or you may speak in a slow, monotonous tone.

* Low self-esteem. You feel worthless and have excessive guilt." These are just a few of the examples found it the Mayo Clinic Website. While this is a fantastic informational site, you should by no means use what you find there to treat the symptoms of depression yourself. That's what the Professionals are there for.

For many, Many years this was a subject "No one wanted to talk about. Especially if it involved a family member." While there have been a great many advances in Psychiatry and Psychology in just the last century, there is still evidence of how these conditions used to be treated all over the world. While most of the older "Institutions" have been shut down and or demolished, some of the more "Infamous" ones have been turned into museums showing the sick, depraved methods being used in the name of "Medical Science".

Early treatments of Depression, often confused with Insanity, were nothing short of Barbaric, and in some cases, were Prosecuted as War Crimes in the last century. People with severe cases of Depression, often termed "Manic Depression," were often as not locked away in Asylums or "Institutions" and used for experimental surgery or as test subjects for military weapons as evidenced by the Nazi Party in World War II.

Thankfully we have come a very long way from what those "Early" treatments were. As the fields of Psychology and Psychiatry continue to grow and evolve, more humane and better forms of treatment are being discovered. One day Depression may even be totally eliminated.

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