Monday, August 8, 2011

Depression or Change of Life

I was wondering about something someone said to me about my attitude. I stay home on the weekends, I don’t have a night life and I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs. I have done these things most of my life, and had nothing to show for the party life until a few years ago. I changed my life style, due to respect for myself as well as others yet, I began wondering after the comment was made about how depressing I must be, that I had to be sure I wasn’t just suffering from any of the symptoms of depression, especially at my age. I realized I am just another one of those different kinds of people, who wants to change their life. The symptoms I have brought to life from several web sites can create a mode of fear, yet in the reality of those who suffer, there is hope, if they reach out and let others guide them:

“One in four older people have symptoms of depression that require treatment. Part of the problem is that depression in older people is hard to untangle from the many other disorders that affect older people, and its symptom profile is somewhat different from that in other adults.
Physical illness increases the risk of depression. Evidence from neuroscience, genetics, and clinical investigation demonstrates that depression is a disorder of the brain. Modern brain imaging technologies are revealing that in depression, neural circuits responsible for the regulation of moods, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior fail to function properly, and that critical neurotransmitters -- chemicals used by nerve cells to communicate -- are perhaps out of balance.”
“Symptoms of depression include a persistent sad mood; loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed; significant change in appetite or body weight; difficulty sleeping or oversleeping; physical slowing or agitation; loss of energy; feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt; difficulty thinking or concentrating; and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. A diagnosis of major depressive disorder (or unipolar major depression) is made if an individual has five or more of these symptoms during the same two-week period. There are many barriers to the diagnosis of depression in late life. Some of these barriers reflect the nature of the disorder: depression occurs in a complex medical and psychosocial context. In the elderly, the signs and symptoms of major depression are frequently attributed to “normal aging,” atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, or any of a host of other age-associated afflictions. Psychosocial antecedents such as loss, combined with decrements in physical health and sensory impairment, can also divert attention from clinical depression.”
Donald Sammons

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