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Help to find solutions if you or a loved one suffers from depression. Learn the signs, symptoms, causes and treatments and take a self-test to see if you need further help.

Treating And Overcoming Depression

What is depression? When someone says, "I was depressed." they usually mean they felt down, had a bad mood, etc.  When we use the word 'depression' we are referring to something far more serious than occasionally feeling down.  I'm disappointed by much of what the Web has to say about depression.  Usually, it's just a few  words to introduce their medicine or herb that will miraculously change your life to match the happy pictures they have on their website.  If you're still with me, you know it isn't that easy.  Webster seems to define depression as well as any website I've seen: "A state of feeling sad, by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, and feelings of dejection."  For more information, see these recent top-selling books on treating and overcoming depression.

It isn't that depressed people don't just looks that way. Usually, a person suffering from depression cares deeply about everything around them, but feels hopeless and helpless to do anything about it.  A certain amount of depression is normal and temporary, lasting a few days to a few weeks...even a month or two.  With normal depression, someone might be a little distracted, but can usually function.  Abnormal depression lasts longer, regularly returns or deeply affects the person.  This is the depression we're talking about, not something we're going to "snap out of".  For this depression we need help.  This page is designed to introduce you to the help and hope you need.

Signs Symptoms Of Depression: How do we know if our depression is serious or just a temporary phase?  Depression is very difficult to self-diagnose because of the emotional state you're in when you're trying to figure it out.  Take A Depression Self-Test to see if you should investigate the issue further with your doctor.  The signs and symptoms can be confused if you're the one suffering, so we suggest you consult a friend or close family member who knows you well and who isn't afraid to tell you the truth.  Depression is most easily identified by changes that suggest someone is losing interest in life...job, friends, eating, hygiene, cleaning.  The more severe cases include cutting and other forms of self-mutilation, suicide attempts and sometimes homicide.  I noticed a friend of mine was depressed when, after he stopped calling me, I stopped by his house at 11:00 AM and he was still in bed.  He was out of work but not looking for work.  With him, nothing any of his friends and family tried, helped him.  He lost his job, house, car and children.  The last I heard, he was living on the street.  If you strongly suspect you or a family member is depressed...get to a doctor quickly.  They can give you temporary treatment to 'stop the fall' so you can work on the long-term causes.  If someone you love is talking of suicide, ask them how they would do it.  If they know how they would do it, it's a plan...not just talk.  If they refuse to see a doctor, call the police and tell them your loved one is planning suicide.  Depression is serious business.

Cause Of Depression: In the most general sense, depression is the result of either a sense of loss or a sense of lack.  In the case of loss, it's usually from a traumatic grief event...loss of a loved one, a job, a home.  See the 5 Stages Of Grief And Loss for more information.  The grief is sometimes so severe that the resulting depression ends in death.  It's good to monitor a grieving loved one to make sure they pass through depression within a few months.  I've known people who literally willed themselves to death after the loss of a loved one.  Depression can set in even once you've accomplished a major goal.  I knew it was coming, but once I finished building my house I was depressed for a couple weeks.  In the case of lack, depression is brought on by the person feeling powerless over the situations of life...that they can do nothing to improve their lives.  These feelings of lack can be caused by poor diet, poor exercise, puberty (very common), menopause, pregnancy, drug or alcohol abuse, diabetes, hypoglycemia, or an actual brain chemical imbalance, etc.  This is why a complete physical is so important.  The feelings of lack can also be brought on by life experience...if we had a parent or spouse that told us we were worthless for a number of years, we would begin to think they were right.  If all our friends thought they were 'losers' we would begin to feel like a loser ourselves.  Now you know one of the reasons to be careful who you hang around.

"He who walks with the wise grows wise." Solomon, about 2,400 years ago.

How To Deal With Depression-Treating And Overcoming: Treating depression successfully depends a lot on knowing the cause.  Shy away from anyone who says their medicine, vitamin, herb or treatment works in all cases.  On the other hand, you may need medicine to manage the symptoms of depression while you and your doctor work on the other causes.  If your depression is brought on by a physical condition, the good news is, you can be completely cured once you've cured the underlying condition.  If tests conclude you have a brain chemical imbalance, that can be corrected with medicine.  Depression due to loss usually passes in a few months, but requires monitoring by a close friend.  The fact is, there is really no depression that can't be healed in one way or another.  

If you're suffering from depression and feel like you can do nothing, that there's no hope, I want you to do one thing in addition to your doctor's treatment.  I think you'll find it's the most effective way to overcome depression.  Get help from God...He is our help in times of trouble.  If you want His help, just click on Help From God.

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