Monday, August 25, 2008

Respond to Depression
By Tian Yu

Throughout the course of our lives, we all experience episodes of unhappiness, sadness, or grief. Often, when a loved one dies or we suffer a personal tragedy or difficulty such as divorce or loss of a job, we may feel depressed. Depression can strike at any time, and properly responding to the depression is very important.

Some people don't really understand about depression. They may criticize a depressed person's low energy, yelling at the person for acting lazy or not trying harder. Some people mistakenly believe that depression is just an attitude or a mood that a person can shake off. It's not that easy. Sometimes even people who are depressed don't take their condition seriously enough. Some people feel that they are weak in some way because they are depressed. This is wrong and it can even be harmful if it causes people to hide their depression and avoid getting help.

Sometimes friends or family members recognize that someone is depressed. They may respond with love, kindness, or support, hoping that the sadness will soon pass. They may offer to listen if the person wants to talk. If the depressed feeling doesn't pass with a little time, friends or loved ones may encourage the person to get help from a doctor, therapist, or counselor.

The depressed person will most times want to talk about their life problems. They may want you to confirm their negative view of life and at the same time can be very manipulative, needy, and demanding. There is much time and effort exerted trying to solve their problems and when they become exhausted and realize that there is no solution they become further depressed. It will be very easy for you to be sucked into this spiral of emotions to the benefit of neither you nor your depressed friend. Their problems might be horrendous and unsolvable at this time, but for now the most pressing problem in their life is the depression, this is especially true if they are having suicidal thoughts.

Keep in mind that you are not trying to provide solutions to their life problems and you are not trying cure their depression. What you are attempting to accomplish is to help them explore other opinions and options as to the cause and the cure of their depression.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Depression - Is Society Taking the Wrong Approach?
By David Braybrooke

Is society taking the wrong approach with the treatment of depression? I would answer this as most certainly. The fact is that the pharmaceutical industry makes countless millions in revenue each and every year, profiting from the misery of the masses.

Drugs from Prozac to Zoloft and a plethora of others are fed to the wider populace at an alarming rate. From personal experience, I can clearly state that anti-depressant medication has a wide range of negative side-effects that directly affect the consumer.

At present I am taking a tablet called Effexor and am not experiencing too many troubling symptoms. However, if I decided to take myself off this medication then I can expect a whole range of worrying symptoms; anything from tremors to blurred vision and poor concentration and digestion.

On first examination the above conditions may not be of much concern to some but I have to admit being alarmed at how the human body can be so severely affected by these types of medications.

My theory on why depression is so widespread in society is that we are no longer as well-connected and networked as individuals. Many people confess that they don't even know their neighbors. The modern condition of disconnection from others is rife in modern society.

Slowing down the pace of life, remembering to count one's blessings and participating in personally fulfilling activities with other like-minded people is one avenue that depression can be combated. Instead, we're heading off to the Doctor's office in ever increasing numbers to be prescribed the latest wonder drug. Does anyone besides myself wonder about how many qualified Doctors have shares in drug companies?

New prescription medications are often unknown quantities when it comes to long termed effects in the human body. Remember what they discovered about thalidomide. Enough said!

Why do I think that medications are a poor choice in attacking the depression 'plague'? Because I've taken them myself, Zoloft, Sertraline and Effexor XR and I remained depressed and suicidal throughout the course of the medications. And I'm by no means the only one to have experienced this.

The right approach in tackling depression would be the encouragement of meaningful relating between people; really listening and being supportive of sufferers. For some, prescribed medications may offer relief in the short-term but the long-term answer is the questioning of one's personal beliefs and the examination of reasons why one is experiencing depression.

One things for certain, we weren't born depressed so it is likely that it is a learned psychological condition that can be reversed.

Keep busy, appreciate your own achievements, exercise on a daily basis and have a healthy diet. Have a positive attitude to life and get involved within your community. The way out of the darkness owes much to common sense living. And I can state this from my own experience.

David Braybrooke

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Monday, August 04, 2008