Depression, anxiety, and family…

So I have posted a lot of things that people with depression can read for themselves, but what about the people around them? Does depression only affect the person who is diagnosed with it? Or does its effects have a broader range?

I have people close to me who suffer from depression and anxiety, which has given me somewhat of a good understanding that depression can hurt more than just the primary victim. There are multiple things about that, that I find hard. One is, that is it hard to see your loved ones suffer. Another is, that in hard times or challenges, it is already a full-time job to help yourself stay happy. But when you need to try and help another be happy along with yourself, it stretches you.

I want to refer to a story posted in a discussion about depression on about.com.

“My husband is clinically depressed and was diagnosed almost a year ago. He has tried so many different meds and none seem to help him. He also has seen several different doctors still no relief of this disease. I hate that I can’t talk to anyone about his illness because of the stigma everyone seems to have with this disease and I hate that no-one believes this is real! My husband is the greatest man alive! Prior to this illness he would NEVER be sad to the point of tears & this depth of sadness has controlled & darkened his life and I don’t know how to help!”

It can be difficult to see your loved ones go through such a struggle. What makes it harder, is that you sometimes don’t understand it, even though you try so hard. Good examples of that are among the men and women in military service. They go through such awful things sometimes, and will carry those experience with them, and there is no way for us, who are back home, to ever understand fully how it must have been. There is support out there for families with loved ones in the military, who suffer from depression.

I want to really press upon the fact, that depression is a very real illness, and causes very real suffering. That suffering does not limit itself to the primary victims, but often extends itself to those around them. Just as it can damage the one suffering from it, it can indirectly cause such damage to those around them. They too need comfort. They too need support.


Depression in the Workplace

Clinical depression has become one of America’s most costly illnesses. Left untreated, depression is as costly as heart disease or AIDS to the US economy, costing over $51 billion in absenteeism from work and lost productivity and $26 billion in direct treatment costs. Depression tends to affect people in their prime working years and may last a lifetime if untreated. More than 80 percent of people with clinical depression can be successfully treated. With early recognition, intervention, and support, most employees can overcome clinical depression and pick up where they left off.

A big part of depression in the work place is don’t ask don’t tell. which is sadly the case most people go about it.

How can you manage your depression in the workplace? Make sure you are following up with your health care provider on a regular basis. Follow your treatment plan and take medications exactly as prescribed. Call your provider if you have questions, concerns or are experiencing a worsening in your symptoms.

At work, keep yourself active and challenged. Clearly understand your job description and your employer’s expectations of you. Talk with your employer if you need assistance. Use resources available to you in the workplace such as human resources or an employee assistance program. Work can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment and therefore, boosts your self-esteem. Set yourself up for success by treating and managing your depression!

It is very important that you talk to your employer about your situation and there are laws to help protect you and your job.


Am I depressed?

There is something I haven’t posted about yet, and that is the signs of depression.

Depression does not cause symptoms such as discoloring, inflammation, or most other visual symptoms. Would I be able to tell if I am depressed? Yes you would. Just like any other illness, depression and anxiety have their symptoms.

The makers of SeroquelXR, which is another medication for depression, have listed a number of symptoms that you could look for to see if you could be suffering from depression. These symptoms include:

  • Depressed mood most of the day; feeling sad or empty, tearful
  • Significant loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Significant weight loss (when not dieting) or weight gain; decrease or increase in appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Agitation; or slowing down of thoughts and reduction of physical movements
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Poor concentration or having difficulty making decisions
  • Thinking about death or suicide

You may not experience all these symptoms, but if you experience some…you may be depressed.

Trying to find out if you are depressed or have depression can be scary, but by catching it early, you might be able to prevent it from developing further. By knowing, you can take control of your life, rather than it controlling you. I know that sounds kind of like a cheesy slogan, but it’s true. Depending on the severity, depression can really take over someone’s life. By catching it, and taking the necessary steps, you can control it, rather than visa versa.

Another thing there is available is a depression test.  Depressed Test Logo offers a similar test to one some professionals might use. It consists of a list of questions that use your daily behavior and experiences to see whether there is a possibility that you might be depressed. When you finish that test you will get a little list of scores, like this:

Here Are Your Scores:

Disorder Your Score
Major Depression: ****
Dysthymia: ****
Bipolar Disorder: ****
Cyclothymia: ****
Seasonal Affective Disorder: ****
Postpartum Depression: **** or N/A

Let us all take control over our own lives and happiness. There are ways to be happy, even while you have depression.


Nutrition and Anxiety

What we put in our body can have a direct impact on how we feel physically and emotionally.  It is important to be aware of what you are putting in your body and how some foods could actually be increasing your experience of anxiety – especially if you are a sensitive person.  Some of the anxiety your experience may actually be due to particular stimulants your are consuming, or deficiencies in particular vitamins and minerals.  The following information is extremely important in your overall recovery program from anxiety.  Think about your lifestyle and what you may be doing that could be exasperating your anxiety.

here are some food you may want to avoid and some to eat more of.

Stimulants

Caffeine – coffee, tea, alcohol, energy drinks, & coke stimulate an adrenal response in your body, which can provoke anxiety, nervousness and insomnia to name a few side effects. They also deplete the body of necessary vitamins and minerals that help balance our mood and nervous system. Recommended dosage – less than 100mg per day (one cup of percolated coffee or two diet cola beverages per day. Less than 50mg per day is preferable.

Nicotine – this is as strong as caffeine – it stimulates increased physiological arousal, vasoconstriction and makes your heart work harder. Smokers tend to be more anxious than non-smokers and tend to sleep less well than non-smokers.

Stimulant Drugs – beware of prescription drugs that contain caffeine and amphetamines, and recreational drugs such as cocaine that increase levels of anxiety and panic attacks in people using them.

Salt

Salt depletes the body of potassium, a mineral important to the proper functioning of the nervous system. Salt raises blood pressure that in turn puts a strain on the heart and arteries and hastens arteriolosclerosis. Recommended dosage – do not excess 1gm of salt per day.

Preservatives

There are over 5000 chemical additives in commercial food processing. Our bodies are not equipped to handle these, and little is known about long term biological effects. Try and eat whole unprocessed foods as much as possible. Try to purchase vegetables and fruit that haven’t been treated with pesticides (organically grown).

Hormones in Meat

Most commercially forms of meat have been fed hormones to promote fast weight gain and growth. One hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES) has been implicated in the development of breast cancer and fibroid tumors. Try to replace red meat, pork and poultry with organically raised beef, poultry and fish such as cod, salmon, snapper, sole, trout.

Sweet, refined foods

Reduce intake of sweet refined foods as these affect the blood sugar that can lead to anxiety and mood swings while also affecting how the brain functions.

MSG

MSG from Chinese takeaway should be avoided as it can have a major irritating effect on the nervous system producing the following: headaches, tingling, numbness and chest pains.

Drink Soda Water

Soda water increases the levels of carbon dioxide that helps the body to become balanced when someone is hyperventilating. Soda water also decreases smooth muscle contractions and dilates blood vessels, which allows blood to flow easily around the body.

Food to eat to reduce anxiety and maintain calm state

  • Wholegrain cereals
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Molasses
  • Wheat germ
  • Brewers yeast
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Beetroot
  • Spinach
  • Paw paw
  • Celery
  • Stone fruit
  • Avocado


Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

Exercise has been shown to significantly help depression and anxiety. Many professionals strongly believe in Yoga . Yoga is great for both mind and body.

“Yoga teaches us that when we feel alone, alienated or depressed, we’ve lost our connection to who we really are Practice of Life Force yoga regularly and begin to reconnect with your true nature, the wholeness you are beneath the current mood.”

Amy Weintraub

 

A great book to read is “Yoga for depression” is is great step by step guied to help relive some of the symtoms of anxiety and depression.

 

remember any exercise is great for depression. If it is yoga, running or Marshal arts.

it will drastically alter your mood for the better.


Depression Can Affect Anyone

Many depressed people feel that they have done something wrong to deserve the depression, Or that certain religious beliefs make them feel like the sinned and thats is why they have this illness.  More and more religions such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have made it very clear that this in not the case.

Depressions is not determined by gender, race,  nationality, or economic status.  Many famous people suffer from anxiety and depression such as:

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore

Halle Berry

Halle Berry

Zach Braff

Zack Braff

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford

If you take a closer look at the society you will find that no one is immune to  deppression and anxciety

for a complete list of celebrity  who suffer from depression and/or anxiety check out the link.


Help Is Out There!

There are lots of different places you can seek help for depression and anxiety.

Listed below are the types of people and places that will make a referral to, or provide, diagnostic and treatment services.

  • Family doctors
  • Mental health specialists, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Community mental health centers
  • Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics
  • University- or medical school-affiliated programs
  • State hospital outpatient clinics
  • Family service, social agencies, or clergy
  • Private clinics and facilities
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Local medical and/or psychiatric societies

Support Organizations

A support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illness – over 1,200 state and local affiliates. Local affiliates often give guidance to finding treatment.

Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
730 N. Franklin St., Suite #501
Chicago, IL 60610-7204
(312) 988-1150
Fax: (312) 642-7243
Purpose is to educate patients, families, and the public concerning the nature of depressive illnesses. Maintains an extensive catalog of helpful books.

National Foundation for Depressive Illness, Inc.
P.O. Box 2257
New York, NY 10116
1-212-268-4260; 1-800-239-1265
A foundation that informs the public about depressive illness and its treatability and promotes programs of research, education, and treatment.

National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
2001 N. Beauregard Street, 12th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone: 1-800-969-6942 or (703) 684-7722
TTY-800-443-5959
An association that works with 340 affilitates to promote mental health through advocacy, education, research, and services.