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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Depression Varies

I wrote the last post to give you a little perspective on depression. Most of us are depressed at some point during the day, and we’re quite conscious of it. We KNOW we’re depressed.

Friend One: How are you?

Friend Two: Depressed, you?

Friend One: SO depressed.

Friend Two: Yeah.

But you should know, after reading the last post, that you might not actually be suffering from depression. That post was a welcome to my world, post. It's the kind of depression I hear about all the time, the reason you don't want my job, right?).

What I wrote about was clinical depression, that it really has to be treated with medication and psychotherapy. The only thing that can kill you about depression is you. So we take it pretty seriously in the biz.

The DAILY feeling of depression can sometimes be diagnosable as well. (Okay, everybody happy? Maybe you are depressed).

In any case, another real McCoy diagnosis, Dysthymic Disorder, is a state of being depressed MOST days of the week, most of the time. You can be dysthymic and still have no trouble getting out of bed. Your thoughts don’t have to be that dark. But you're sick.

Most of us, however, are stuck with feeling low, probably a function of blood sugar (that’s why your mom said, EAT), fatigue, lousy luck, social problems, a difficult work situation, or, or course, no work situation. LOTS of reasons.

If we watch our emotions we can actually track how fast they change. But if you find yourself tracking your emotions you might actually be depressed. Maybe you don’t have a major affective disorder, but you can still benefit from a little psychotherapy, or better still, some relationship therapy if you think you need it.

There are many different actual clinical diagnoses of depression, but being turned inward, being hypersensitive to your body and emotions, is symptomatic of all of them

If your physician tells you that you’re somaticizing, then he/she is referring to something a little different. Your body can take on symptoms of real illnesses when you’re depressed. Your medical doc can treat the illness, but you really need to talk about your problems to get to the source.

Sometimes you get sick when you’re depressed because you’re not sleeping well and your resistance is low. Case in point for naps (or meds).

At the end of the day? It doesn’t matter what the clinical diagnosis. Follow your symptoms, and if you feel you need to talk to someone about them, do it.

No point in being macho about depression when we KNOW it’s the one illness that we can cure. (see previous post, Depression Feeds on Itself)

Copyright 2006, TherapyDoc

4 comments:

Beloved Parrot said...

I enjoy your blog. Tonight I was reading about depression and came across this:
"No point in being macho about depression when we KNOW it’s the one illness that we can cure. (see previous post, Depression Feeds on Itself)" from your post on Depression Varies.

But the link doesn't work. I'd love to be able to read the post but can't find it.

Thanks.

therapydoc said...

Parrot, I think it works now. Thanks for letting me know.

Barbara a said...

I've often wondered how my therapist can separate herself from the horrors of what she hears on a daily basis. She once told me that she spends time each day in prayer for each one of her clients.

Regarding Ophrah airing shows on abuse, I have a level of discomfort about interviewing survivors. She does not have any education in counseling and I think that personal intense work like this cannot reap benefits in the course of one hour. Why sensationalize something so deeply intense? As you have said, depression feeds on itself and I worry about the consequences for viewers.

Barbara a said...

I have an addition to a previous comment.
I'm grateful for all the mental health profession has done for the benefit of survivors of abuse.
Thank you so much!