Friday, May 19, 2006

Depression

The reason I hadn't washed my clothes or my hair was because it seemed so silly.
I saw the days of the year stretching cahead like a series of bright, white boxes, and separating one box from another was sleep, like a black shade. only for me, the long perspective of shades that set off one boc from the next had suddenly snapped up, and I could see day after day after day glaring ahead of me, like a white, broad, infinitely desolate avenue.
It seemed silly to wash one day when i would only have to wash again the next.
It made me tired just to think of it.
I wanted to do everything once and for all and be through with it.

- Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar


My first year psychology text book defines six different types of depression that people can suffer from.
1. Exogenous Depression
2. Endogenous Depression
3. Primary Depression
4. Secondary Depression
5. Involutional Depression
6. Post Partum Depression

We all suffer from one form of depression or other at some point in our lives. When you discover that your boyfriend or husband's been cheating on you and you cry uncontrollably in bed and refuse to get out of bed, you're depressed.

But all this isn't clinical depression. Clinical depression is when it is chronic, when it is acute and when it needs to be treated by more than a tub of ice cream and a day at the spa.

It's common now. Some kids get diagnosed with it and skip school for two weeks because it's exogenous depression and they can't bring themselves to come to school for the fear of failing. Adults get it for a variety of reasons. But the question is, do they all justify treatment and medication? What's happened to the plain ol' traditional way of "dealing" with it?

Is it a symptom of society that people are left so helpless that they have no way of coping with what comes their way? And the thing is these people who are unable to cope and seek medical assistance are able to make it known to the world and there is a legitimate reason for sympathy. But what about those who struggle and claw and fight their way out of their problems, emerging battle-scarred and war wary? The ones that don't make their battles obvious. They don't get any sympathy. More often than not, it isn't even noticed that their life is shit, just because they are able to cope and are able to function.

I have absolutely no doubt that those who seek help for their problems feel like their worlds around them are collapsing and it's a last ditch effort to save themselves and it is good that they do seek help when they've run out of the resources to do it by themselves. But I cannot help but feel for those who don't seek help because maybe, they just don't have the luxury to do that. Maybe it never occurred to them that it was a viable solution.

I'm glad for the mental health physicians. I think we need them. I contemplated training to become one in my fourth year. But as a human being, who has gone through her share of things being hurled her way, I wonder, has the human race in the developed world just turned to mush, as helpless as a babe in swaddling clothes?


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Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:59

2 thoughts...

2 thoughts...

At 9:22 pm Blogger claudia said...

"But what about those who struggle and claw and fight their way out of their problems, emerging battle-scarred and war wary? The ones that don't make their battles obvious. They don't get any sympathy. More often than not, it isn't even noticed that their life is shit, just because they are able to cope and are able to function...But I cannot help but feel for those who don't seek help because maybe, they just don't have the luxury to do that. Maybe it never occurred to them that it was a viable solution."

It's thoughts like these, that people who are able to emerge through depression by their own will power and endurance are more able, that cause some depressed people to even be prejudiced against their own illness and even themselves.

Sure, probably some have only depression so mild (situational) that battling it alone will suffice. Some are some others are chemical.

With the prevalence of the mindset that people who survived depression without medical assistance are not 'soft' and 'unpredictable' as the others, perhaps all depressed people will not seek psychiatric treatment, mild and seriously depressed ones alike.

Wishing that it's as casual as in US here (ally mcbeal?), seeing therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Here, when they hear you are seeing someone it's like you are 'kuku', woodbridge material and dangerous. Sometimes, honestly, it's not just about being happy and positive. Depressed people, are just irrationally unable to be happy (to them, it's logical to be unhappy).

Mental illness is an illness too.

Personal experience. I have had the belief that I am strong enough to get out of depression myself, and I also wanted to prove it to the world, and my future employers that I can; that I'm better than depression, that I will not be a burden to anyone because of it. On hindsight, it's silly really, looking at the path of destruction I've left in my life, and lives of people around me. Or perhaps I was just too proud and stubborn.

After battling approximately twenty years of dysthymia, pure-ocd, manic depression I've surrendered that sometimes, just fighting with your mind isn't enough. Serotonin deficiency really does very scary things to a person's mind. Unfortunate genes. Haha.

Urm, now I feel it's better to seek help even with a minor depression. Let the professionals decide. It'll be too late a few years down the road, with all the mess at work or school and in relationships you may have caused along the way, being all debilitated and unstable.

:P Just trying to give another perspective.

(sorry, i realise i rambled.)

 
At 11:12 pm Blogger healthvalley said...

The types of depression and explanation is very good ideed.
Other thoughts from the BMJ journal include.

Facts about Stress:--
Psychological stress (such as a life event like bereavement) is known to be implicated in the onset and course of major depressive disorder

Events in the brain determine whether stress is followed by depression, and a triad of neurochemical responses (to steroids, amines, and peptides) seems to be involved

Changes in stress responsive steroid hormones are important—increased cortisol may alter mood and can damage the brain, while reduced levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may contribute since it is a natural cortisol antagonist

Brain serotonin, and other amines such as noradrenaline, respond to stress and may alter the brain's vulnerability to stress induced malfunction

Peptides such as corticotrophin releasing factor are potent regulators of the adaptive response to stress, and changes in peptides in parts of the brain known to be linked with emotional responses (such as the amygdala) may precipitate depressive illness

Understanding depression and finding new avenues for its treatment depend on combining social, psychological, and neurochemical information about stress and its consequences for mental health.

http://www.eStressHelp.com

 

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