ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Face To Face With Depression

Updated on September 23, 2014

Depressed or Just Unhappy?

30 million Americans have some sort of a depressive illness. What has happened to our society when more than 10% of the population is depressed?

What Causes Depression?

In a world where there's the Internet, computers, sports, entertainment, and various other things to occupy our time, why are there so many unhappy people?

On reason could be...happiness doesn't come from things.

There are a variety of problems at the center of depression. The things that we think makes us happy only provides a temporary diversion from the core problems that exist. Problems have a way of resurfacing and they bring all the crazy emotions with them. The cycle of diverting them and having them resurface can become exhausting in itself.

Can you really overcome depression or is managing it as good as it gets?

These and other questions is what we want to address, and it's truly difficult because the answers are different for everyone. My hurt is not your hurt, my pain is not your pain, and there's no one answer that fits everyone.

In the next segment we will look at two forms of depression - emotional and chemical imbalance.

Emotional Depression

Emotional depression comes from feelings. Some type of inner expression that triggers negative feelings which is called "depression."

The Difference Between Negative Feelings and Depression

You have to distinguish the difference between normal, negative feelings and depression.

Many things can trigger a negative response. It can be bad news, someone cutting you off in traffic, a news story on TV, any number of things rub us the wrong way.

Grieving - death or illness are very good reasons to grieve. This is normal and people need that time to work through their emotions.

We get into that condition called depression, when a person can't let go of the negative thoughts or the thoughts can't let go of the person. This build up of emotions, over time, is known as "chronic depression." Since this is usually a slow process, a person many times cannot recognize they are slipping into a depressive state-of-mind.

There are people that always seem negative but are not depressed. Then you have people that are depressed but seem to have positive attitudes. It's a very difficult disease to mange because of the emotions involved.

People can hide their emotions to a certain level but a true signal of depression is when functionality suffers. A negative person can still function and complete their daily routines, but a person suffering from depression finds it difficult to do simple tasks. It takes an awful lot of energy for a depressed person to do simple tasks; it's as though the life is sucked out of them.

In this next segment we will look at what happens when a person has chemical imbalances causing depression.

Chemical Depression

Chemical imbalances may be an even more severe form of depression, because it causes radical mood swings.

Bipolar Depression

Bipolar depression is considered one of the more severe forms of depression due to symptoms of extreme behavior. One day you will be off the charts with excitement, your self-esteem will be sky high, and then the next you will be anti-social, withdrawn.

Bipolar depression is dangerous because of these extremes. These extremes can breed extreme actions that can be damaging to you and others. This type of depression can go on for days and weeks, it wears a person down mentally which can also lead to physical health problems.

Hormonal Imbalances

One 'medical' cause of depression often given is the overproduction of stress hormones.

The hormonal imbalances related to depression are to do with our natural reactions to stress, and stress and depression are certainly linked. But does this hormonal imbalance actually cause depression?

It is true that depressed people often have increased levels of stress hormones in their bloodstream (3), but again, this is a symptom, not a cause.

When you ruminate, or introspect in a negative way, you create emotional arousal that causes the release of stress hormones. That night, in REM (dream sleep), you become emotionally aroused again as dreaming 'flushes out' the emotional arousal from your brain.

That is why depressed people have higher levels of stress hormones, and also why you can wake up feeling exhausted.

Clinical Depression

Clinical Depression is often said to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and this is what most drug treatments are based on.

Certainly in many cases, there is a reduction in the amount of certain neurotransmitters found (monoamines such as serotonin and norepinephrine) in depressed people.

Tests

The following tests are routine to the initial phase for evaluating depression. To be classified as a "major depressive" you will have to go through a much more extensive line of questioning.

  • Physical exam. This may include measuring your height and weight; checking your vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature; listening to your heart and lungs; and examining your abdomen.
  • Laboratory tests. For example, your doctor may do a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC) or test your thyroid to make sure it's functioning properly.
  • Psychological evaluation. To check for signs of depression, your doctor or mental health provider will talk to you about your thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns. He or she will ask about your symptoms, and whether you've had similar episodes in the past. You'll also discuss any thoughts you may have of suicide or self-harm. Your doctor may have you fill out a written questionnaire to help answer these questions.

Doing a Self Analysis - it's not too hard to analyze yourself as far as diet goes. You can start by removing certain foods or liquids from your diet temporarily. Things such as sugars, caffeine, processed foods, the things that are not part of a balanced diet. Keep a log of any mood changes you have, good or bad, as you adjust your diet. Doing this for a month should give your body time to adjust and you should begin to see patterns in your logbook suggesting how particular foods affect your attitude.

Being human means you will have ups and downs. When we find ourselves stuck in the vortex of these cycles is when we become vulnerable to depression. Sometimes the solutions are easy and sometimes not, but as long as you keep searching for solutions you're on a positive track - and that's the track you want to stay on.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • rb11 profile imageAUTHOR

      rb11 

      9 years ago from Las Vegas

      It's a serious matter in which health care answers with mostly drugs. Finding what triggers this is key to the cure. You are certainly using two of natures free supplements, sun and exercise. Best wishes.

       

    • profile image

      Useful Knowledge 

      9 years ago

      Excellent hub on depression. I have suffered with it my whole life. They diagnosed me with major depression. However, I have found that exercise and sunlight help tremendously.

      Also, I take time each day to pay attention to the most important things in my life (my children.)

      Whenever I start to feel really depressed, I think about how I have been blessed.

      Thank you for your hub on this topic. Depression is real and it is a difficult battle to face.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)