Depression – Beyond Medication
It is estimated that 340 million people in the world suffer from some form of depression. I happen to be one of them. I do not have a serious problem with this issue. My diagnosis is Dysthymia which Wikipedia defines in this manner: “…known as neurotic depression, is a mood disorder consisting of chronic depression, with less severe but longer lasting symptoms than major depressive disorder.” This tells me that I am sometimes sad and sometimes glad. A simple treatment of a prescribed medication allows me to live a normal life.
While not considered as dangerous as regular chronic depression, it does resist the urgings of the medication from time to time. As I said, sometimes I am sad and sometimes I am glad. The difficulty is that when I am going through a bout of depressive indisposition there is nothing I can do about it but live with it, and yes, I see a therapist regularly.
I read an account of the life of a famous actress that detailed the pain and suffering she experienced as well as what her family had to put up with. She suffered from Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) and did so before it was the ailment du jour as it is today. It wasn’t until a trained professional was present at a party they both attended and witnessed her launch into a session with depression after a seemingly up time. Knowing what was going on with her, he intervened and she received the appropriate care available which has made her life much more manageable. Medication and therapy were prescribed and, to the best of my knowledge, she has enjoyed a decent life.
It would be nice if everyone could have such a fortuitous event happen for them. I do not know, and cannot find a number for therapists in the world but I would venture it is at least a seven figure number. Not really enough to go around given the state of humanity as it stands. Look at the evening news or set your browser to default to CNN and you will discover that the world, with all its wonders can and is a depressing place. Yet it keeps going on.
Medications help, but there are times when they might not work as well as planned due to changing blood chemistry and life situations. I, as recently as this morning, have had times when all there was in my life were feelings of gloom and doom. I am fortunate in that I know what is ailing me where it comes to mood and have prepared a contingency plan to fight the disease. Here are some thoughts that work if applied:
- Make sure you have taken your medication. Think back to when you last took your meds and if you are on track, continue to do so until a professional can help you decide if there needs to be an adjustment. Tell them if it does not feel to be working
- Discover what is making you depressed. There is a root cause to the feelings and they can be discovered with introspection and thought. But not too much. Delving into the problem can lead to an obsession which makes it harder to find the solution.
- Assess the motivating factor in your depression. Once you know what the cause is, you can work on reversing the situation. Is it relationship issues? Financial woes? Job dissatisfaction? Is it anything that can be controlled by taking some action? These last two steps will work interchangeably or can be grouped together.
- If something can be done…do it. This action might be as simple as taking a walk, or as difficult as pulling rhinoceros teeth. Look at the action you must take and do it if it is possible. Do not attempt anything that a trained professional is better suited for.
- Hang on. If there is no action that you can initiate, then hold on until you can consult with a professional.
- Remove anything from your environment that could cause harm. Certainly, this means any object that could cause harm if used improperly. Depression can lead to irrational thoughts and normal uses for things such as, knives, guns ropes, wire, pills, or motor vehicles can supplant lucid judgment.
- Call somebody. This can be a friend, your therapist, minister, or other family members. An irrational mind will probably not continue thinking foolishly if another person is present.
- You are not worthless or useless. There is much danger in allowing the depression to overtake your self-esteem. Regardless of your state of mind, you are a person of worth.
- Call for professional advice. This could be a therapist, a minister, or a social worker at the local Department of Human Services. These folks will have access to many levels of help.
- Again…Hold On!!! As long as you do not give in to the feeling, there is help on the horizon!
While there are those that might refute the advice given in this Hub, I can tell you from personals experience that these methods work. Depression is treatable and can be controlled.