Its WEDNESDAY!!! Which means we are that much closer to Friday. For the second addition of wellness Wedneday I decided to talk about depression.Depression is very common in males and females. However as progressive as society is there is still a stigmatism related to mental illness and a lot of those inflicted with depression tend to suffer alone, in silence. Those who are unfamiliar with depression or have never experienced do not understand why their friend or loved one cannot seem to “get over it…move on…cheer up.” It is hard to understand why some people struggle in dealing with daily life stressors. Clinical depression is much more than “feeling down.” It is a chemical imbalance that has to do with hormones. The clinical definition found in the Diagnostic Statiscal Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM is as follows:
A. Five or more of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2 week period and represent a change from previous functioning: at least 1 of the symptoms of depressed mood or loss of interest.
1. Depressed mood.
2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities.
3. Significant (>5% body weight) weight loss or gain, or increase or decrease in appetite.
4. Insomnia or hypersomnia.
5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation.
6. Fatigue or loss of energy.
7. Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt.
8. Diminished concentration or indecisiveness.
9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
B. the symptoms do not meet criteria for a mixed episode
C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
D. The symptoms are NOT cause by medical conditions or substance abuse
E. the symptoms are not better accounted for Bereavement, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation
It is over diagnosed as some people enter the clinic crying and naming all the symptoms and they clinician does not ask has there been any major change (death, loss of job etc). If there has been a major change and there were no symptoms prior then it is NOT clinical depression.
In other instances a person may have the symptoms and be the definition of depression but die to pride, cultural issues, lack of knowledge and many other reasons they never enter the clinic.
After reading this post you are NOT a professional. DO NOT try to self diagnose. However if this hits home for you or someone you know seek help within your community. Mental illness is serious and should not be taken lightly. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you feel depressed and struggle through daily life. There is no weakness in admitting that you need help. It is just the opposite, seeking out help when you need it shows that you are strong.