Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Depression-A Silent Epidemic That Knows No Boundaries

Just over a week ago, sadly, comedian and actor Robin Williams killed himself. The man had everything any person could want and more: family, friends, and a financially rewarding career. He also had something no one wants: a history of depression, an addiction to cocaine and alcohol, and the early signs of Parkinson’s disease. Rest in Peace, Mister Williams. You will be sorely missed by many. Hopefully, your death will raise awareness for those that will not seek out help.
     Depression strikes many. In the early days, doctors often thought of it as a “woman’s disease”. That is until men started showing signs of it. An estimated 19 million American adults are living with major depression. Robin Williams was just one of them. Sadly, because of his sudden suicide, light is being shed on depression. Depression can happen to men, women, teenagers, the elderly and even in young children.
     When you have depression, it's more than just feeling sad. Intense feelings of sadness and other symptoms, like losing interest in things you normally enjoy may last for a long time. Depression is a medical illness, not a sign of weakness. And it's treatable, but the trick is to seek out treatment. Are you suffering with depression? Do you know someone that is? How can you tell?
     Are you depressed? If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression. 
    You can’t sleep or you sleep too much.

    You can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult.

    You feel hopeless and helpless.

    You can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try.

    You have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating.

    You are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual.

    You’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior.

    You have thoughts that life is not worth living (seek help immediately if this is the case).

    Things that you enjoyed before no longer interest you.

    You suddenly act reckless and throw caution to the wind without thinking twice about it.

    Any sudden change in normal behavior may be a sign of depression. 

If you or someone you know maybe depressed, there is no reason to go it alone. Treatment is available in the form of medication, counseling, etc. If you or someone you know maybe depressed, I urge you to seek out help, from your family doctor for a referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist or a counselor. Sometimes, just talking to someone is enough to make you feel yourself again. Sometimes stronger avenues are needed such as medication, which can only be subscribed by a physician. Whatever you do, do not delay. There is no reason for you or someone you care about to isolate oneself. Seek out help! Do It now before you forget.  

Until next post....stay safe. Be happy. Smile. Show compassion. Be nice to others and pass it forward.
S. J. Francis
 In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.
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