KEY HEALTH Depression - What does it mean to you? “Pull your socks up!” “Get out of bed then you will feel better cos I would!”, “Get your act together and stop being lazy!” “You are being a misery and ruining all our lives!”, “I am here for you but it doesn’t make any difference, I might as well give up too!”, “You only care about yourself, we are all suffering because of you!” How many people suffering with depression have heard these comments with despair and self-loathing? With frustration and the feeling that no-one understands? No-one “gets” it! I am not talking about feeling fed up or low, as human beings we all feel this at times in our lives. I mean that gut-wrenching feeling of anguish when you recognise the beginning of an episode not knowing how long it may last or what effect it may have on you, your family and friends. Although, if it’s not your first experience, you could have a pretty good idea, which might only lead to further feelings of low self-esteem and emptiness. You may be facing that black tunnel alone without the chance of a glimmer of light; there may be loving people in your life but for how long if this carries on? And even if they are loyal you cannot feel their loving care from the vacuum you now inhabit. Depression is a very different state of being and as it is a term which is bandied around in our modern culture with gay abandon it can demean the severity of the problem for those who truly suffer. Some of the symptoms of depression are: • You feel like you’re not as good as other people. • You feel like your daily life is meaningless. • You yearn to be of service, but you have no idea what you have to contribute and why it matters. • You’re frequently worried that you’re not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, young enough, absolutely anything enough except perhaps, useless enough. • You feel like a victim of circumstances that are beyond your control. • You protect your heart with steel walls. • You often feel you don’t really matter and love doesn’t make a difference. • You’re always trying to fit in and belong, but you rarely feel like you do.
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• You suffer from a variety of vague, hard to treat physical symptoms, such as fatigue, chronic pain, weight gain or loss, insomnia, skin disorders, or gastrointestinal symptoms (some of these symptoms can be a side effect of medication). • You struggle with being able to accept love and nurturing. • You frequently numb yourself with alcohol, drugs, sex, television, or excessive ‘busyness’. You’ve forgotten how to dream? There was a time when the medical world believed that depression was merely a chemical imbalance in the brain with the solution being a variety of medications to resolve and “cure” every aspect of your suffering. Then on top of that more medication would be given to deal with the numerous side-effects of what was supposed to be the panacea for all your ills. The list of these side-effects (as referred to aside in the list of symptoms) can range from insomnia, hives, tremors, painful menstruation, confusion, anxiety, impotence, gut problems and an increased risk of suicide in children and adolescents to name a few. Of course, not everyone suffers with any of the many side-effects, but in my experience of 35 years, there is always something. I am not saying that there is not an appropriate application for short-term medication sometimes. My concern is the ease with which this medication is often prescribed without any idea of when or how the individual may come off it or indeed how to manage the ongoing, recurring symptoms in any other way. Currently 3.5 million people in the UK are prescribed anti-depressants. Depression, which literally means ‘a lowering’ that occurs when energy/libido, which is normally available for day-to-day conscious living, becomes depleted, blocked, pulled down, or trapped in the depths of the unconscious. Depression can arise through an unresolved, repressed or forgotten grief, trauma, conflict or loss. It is often an emotional response to a sense of meaninglessness, lack of harmony with nature or a lack of truthfulness with oneself and others. Poor diet, hormone imbalance, seasonal changes, lack of sunshine and lack of exercise can contribute to depression. As can soulless environments, materialism, lack of imagination, damaging relationships, dull routine, empty forms of work, and apparent lack of life purpose. Most of us do
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Published on Dec 17, 2017
Published on Dec 17, 2017
Issue 116 of the Key to Mijas Costa magazine - Mijas Costa's Only Local English Language Magazine for the International Community. Issue 116...