With financial woes hitting more and more families, not only throughout the U. S. , but literally worldwide, anxiety levels, as well as huge personal loss, have increased dramatically at the same pace. This could easily lead to unprecented levels of depression. Even if we, ourselves, don’t come to that dark place, having knowledge and resources to help others is invaluable. Depression can have many causes, of course. Some are hereditary factors, past or present abuse issues, serious illnesses, chronic pain, certain medications, etc.
But often depression results from drastic life events like death of a loved one, divorce, or moving. The current financial difficulties facing many families can be that type of event. And, according to medical authorities, prolonged anxiety and high levels of stress can result in brain chemistry changes leading to clinical depression. This is why dealing with any stressful situation we face immediately is so important. Even if we can’t change the situation itself, changing the way we deal with it will help put the likelihood of the worsening effects of depression far away from us.
Of course, not keeping ourselves healthy in both mind and body will just make it more difficult for us to get a handle on things-such as the worsening economic conditions. So, the first and most fundamental key is to control our thinking. Parents modeling this behavior for their children is vital. We all need to keep in mind that how we think directly controls how we feel, and in turn, these emotions give way to how we act, and re-act! Easily said, not necessarily easily done, right? One very simple little helping hand in this regard comes in the form of a small bottle of drops with a bright yellow label.
This powerful remedy called appropriately Resuce Remedy was developed in the 1930s by British doctor Edward Bach and has been in use ever since. Health practitioners worldwide have recommeded it, and lay people have relied on it. Many celebrities such as Salma Hayek and Jennifer Aniston are also fans of these amazing de-stress drops. Every family would benefit from having Rescue Remedy on hand. And as the daily pressures increase and we face financial stress unprecedented in our lifetimes, let’s give ourselves and our loved ones this simple, inexpensive aid.
Remember, controlling our thinking and emotions will be an enormous benefit enabling us to weather all of life’s ups and downs more effectively, with our health and families intact. Source: Causes of Depression Thinking Your Way Out of Depression Bach Company Info The first cause of holiday depression is relationships! According to the researchers at the Mayo clinic, “Relationships can cause turmoil, conflict or stress at any time, but tensions are often heightened during the holidays. Family misunderstandings and conflicts can intensify – especially if you’re thrust together for several days.
On the other hand, facing the holidays without a loved one can be tough and leave you feeling lonely and sad. ” The second area is finances. “With the added expenses of gifts, travel, food and entertainment, the holidays can put a strain on your budget – and your peace of mind. Not to mention that overspending now can mean financial worries for months to come. ” And lastly, the physical demands that accompany the holiday season. “Even die-hard holiday enthusiasts may find that the extra shopping and socializing can leave them wiped out. Being exhausted increases your stress, creating a vicious cycle.
Exercise and sleep – good antidotes for stress and fatigue – may take a back seat to chores and errands. To top it off, burning the wick at both ends makes you more susceptible to colds and other unwelcome guests. ” (www. mayoclinic. com) Depression is a serious biologic disease that affects millions of people. It affects all ages, genders, races, and economic levels. However it seems to slightly discriminate. Women are at a significantly greater risk than men to develop major depression. Research shows that episodes of depression occur twice as frequently in women as it does in men.
Although anyone can develop depression, some types of depression, including major depression, seem to run in families and can be genetic. The disorder is directly associated with changes to levels of chemicals in the brain such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Recent research conducted at Rockefeller University shows that in patients who suffer from depression. Their levels of serotonin p11 protein are decreased. This protein is related to serotonin transmission within the brain. A decrease in Norepinephrine is also implicated in depression. Norepinephrine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter.
It is released when a host of physiological changes begin to occur in an individual as a result of a stressful event. Serotonin-norepinephrine inhibitors are, simply put, antidepressants. They work by increasing the amount of both of these hormones to postsynaptic cells in the brain. Depression and other psychiatric disorders are associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Ironically, although antidepressants are used to treat the symptoms of depression, antidepressants can also increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents and young adults.
In adults, over 65, there is a substantial reduction in this risk. Unfortunately, it has been my clinical experience that many patients suffering from this illness have suicidal preoccupations of drives by the first time they are seen by a professional. The term ‘Depression’ as commonly used by most people refers to a mood change such as: sadness, dejection, despair, gloominess, despondence or melancholy. If an individuals’ change of disposition is not overt most people do not consider them depressed. Minor depression is cunning and may hide behind numerous personality facades such as laughter, joviality, and humor.
Sometimes even a professional therapist can be fooled. Often, until a patient outwardly exhibits the symptoms of advanced depressive behavior and this conduct dominates the clinical landscape, even a trained clinical social worker, psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist may not be aware that a serious, fundamental psychiatric disorder is at hand. The depressive affect and even many depressive syndromes may be so masked that symptoms masking depression are not limited to hypochondrias (people who always act and think they are sick; claiming illness) or psychosomatic (mental illness) disorders.
It has become quite obvious to me in my 24 years of clinical work, that numerous behavioral patterns can mask even exceptionally severe underlying depressions. I have had many patients in whom severe depression was masked by alcoholism, drug addiction, latent or active homosexuality, rage responses, delinquency, bulimia, sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction, lack of sexual desire, dyspareunia, and learning disorders to name a few. Another eye-opener is that masked depression is exceptionally common among very successful people such as top level executives.
For most success does come with a high price beyond the outward trappings of success. It also represents a very serious ailment among junior executives. I am not implying that all successful people suffer from masked depression, but I am asserting that more often than one thinks depressive disorders of severe proportions are masked by what appears to be monetary or fulfilling success. Depression is one of the most common disorders seen here in the United States.
Despite the frequency of its occurrence, masked depression is rarely diagnosed at or near its inception. Many years can past before it is ecognized and acknowledged by the person who is suffering. Depression may also be disguised by various types of “acting out” or behavioral disturbances. These behavior masks may take the form of impulsive sexual behavior, compulsive gambling, destructiveness, antisocial acts, temper outburst, sadistic or masochistic acts, compulsive work, behavior patterns, histrionic dramatizations, drug and alcohol addictions and more. Probing behind psychosomatic disorders, hypochondriacal symptoms or various behavior patterns one will find a depressive core from which a depressive affect will eventually become overt.
Over time the depressive core usually rises to the surface spontaneously with the passage of time, like an iceberg that may rise to the surface under certain climatic conditions. According to Stanley Lesse and Irving Bieger, MD, “The process of masking depression at this point through acting out is masking an active depression with the depressive core just beneath the surface, and can be readily uncovered by a perceptive therapist. ” A depression is not only a disturbance of affect; it is also complex with attitudinal and behavioral components.
In overt depression both the patient and the therapist are very aware of the depression, and therapeutic decisions revolve around alleviating it. In a masked depression , the individual may be unaware that he or she are depressed; they may not feel depressed yet recognize signs and symptoms that have come to identify as depression; or the individual may feel depressed yet be able to conceal it from others. Masking may occur in any type of depression, acute or chronic. According to Irving Bieber, depression is a reaction to loss or threatened loss of something. The common denominator of all depressions is the high value placed upon the loss.
Two types of depressive reactions can occur. First, the individual believes in some way they are responsible for the loss whether conscious or unconscious; second is a grief reaction, associated with the loss of a love one where there is no harboring of guilt associated with participation in bringing about the loss. Pure grief is not accompanied by guilt or hostility toward the lost one. The loss of something of value is operant in all depressions. Sigmund Freud once pointed out that love and work are the two basic elements of human existence. The sense of loss that presages depression can usually be found in either or both of these areas.
Depression inhibits pleasure and individuals suffering from depression often have an inability to partake in fun or to enjoy oneself free of anxiety about doing so. When possible they may try to avoid situations in which others are enjoying themselves. Frequently there is change in sexual behavior. Both women and men can suffer from the lack of sexual desire. In addition, men can suffer from performance anxiety due to low libido. In part two of this article I will explore, in depth, sexual dysfunction and, for some, its roots in depression. Depression in parents of takes a great toll on their infants and toddlers.
The greatest impact obviously occurs when the parents is the prime caregiver, most often the mother. The attitude and behavior of the parent affects the child’s behavior as a young child and throughout the following years of his life. The sketch of a depressed parent is one who is occupied with his or her own cares and leaves little room for the needs of the child. This parent may be reserved or detached from the child, failing to respond to his cries. They may also fail to recognize the negativity in their child, (this negativity being the result of the parent’s attitude).
The child of such a parent will project his dissatisfaction and the resulting negative traits in different ways. Some may be unable to quiet themselves. Crying is a mechanism used to arouse the parent and to supply the satisfaction or aid the child seeks. However, if one’s parent falls short of providing the necessary response, the child will continue to cry and will have difficulty stopping. They may not take part in different activities that another child would find pleasurable. These children, themselves, become depressed and unresponsive since they are used to feeling alone and uncared for.
While a child may originally be happy and content, he responds to the person who cares for him. If this person displays a negative attitude, the child will react to this and will exhibit his own manifestation of this mind-set. The child may reveal his own downbeat mood which can show itself in his evasion of eye contact or his own serious or subdued expressions. He may fail to make contact or interact with his mother or other caretakers. The first few years of one’s life are vital in creating a sense of security and in forming a strong bond between him and his caregivers.
A depressed parent most negatively impacts his or her child’s life during his infant and toddler years. One of the expressions of this phenomenon may be out of control behavior since the child is not used to being responded to when he acts. Such a child may attempt to display more and more egregious or shocking behavior in a desperate attempt to elicit a parental reaction. Ultimately, this pattern may repeat itself in later years, in increasingly outrageous or surprising activities. A preschool child will display a solemn or serious demeanor and will not be as laid-back or carefree as other children.
They are short-tempered and easily angered, even when not provoked. An older child’s behavior will be even more obvious, demonstrated through unruliness, aggression, difficulty in dealing with other children, or failure to interact positively. Other striking effects may be threats of suicide or self-loathing. Such a child might experience a perpetual bad mood, insomnia, or significant weight loss. They may have a sense that they are worthless or might not be able to maintain focus. Regular or persistent thoughts of death or suicide might also be apparent in such a child.
Each action or character trait on its own may simply be a character flaw, but when several of these issues are constantly manifested in a specific child, this may be indicative of a child who has depressed parents. It is evident that the depression or dejection of parents may play a role on the character development and in the subsequent mental well-being of children. Even healthy mothers who feign depression can cause the negative reaction in their offspring. Children can sense when their parents are happy and they respond to that.
Children also want attention and actively seek it. A depressed parent is not thinking about her child, only about herself and her issues. The child, then, is forced to devise ways of gaining his parent’s focus. This can include increased or consistent crying, or in older children, negative behavior. The lack of interaction between parent and child in the case of a depressed caregiver will result in the child feeling a sense of lack-of-control. The impacts of depression are great and its negative impacts follow the child in the future. I had to visit a rheumatologist recently.
While ulcerative colitis was not his specialty, he was very familiar with it on a personal level as well as being aware of symptoms and results of the illness that overlapped his particular field. Illnesses that create pain often create immobilization. Immobilization creates additional physical problems such as muscle atrophy and mental problems such as depression. This is known as the “Chronic Symptom Cycle” or just “The Depression Cycle”. The reason that the name is used in conjunction with the mind more than the body is that because the cycle takes away the mental desire to fight.
Anyone who has ever suffered from depression knows how hard it is to make yourself move and also how little one wishes to interact with other people. The problem with “The Depression Cycle” is that there is often a legitimate reason not to move. Ulcerative colitis can be a very painful illness involving cramping among other things. With fever, it can even cause muscle and joint pain. Failure to move or exercise prevents the release of endorphins which trigger an “upbeat feeling”. The failure to produce endorphins leaves an ulcerative colitis sufferer open to more severe depression.
Once the ulcerative colitis patient is severely depressed, beating the illness seems impossible. The ulcerative colitis patient will tend to stay at home and withdraw. Further they will become dormant even within the home. I have experience with the “The Depression Cycle” and it is very difficult to cope with. I often have cramping from ulcerative colitis. This takes away all desire to do any exercise. Further, I don’t want to be around friends or family for fear of an embarrassing episode even though most of my friends and family are aware of my condition.
I also suffer from occasional bouts of depression. This feeds on my inactivity. What has happened to me from the ulcerative colitis and “The Depression Cycle” is typical of a person who is trapped in this depressive cycle. I have not been fun to be around and have been less than productive. However, the greatest damage has been to my body. I have always worked out to some degree. However, since I have been inactive my muscles have started to atrophy. This then makes it even more difficult to exercise and break the cycle, and, I have begun to be embarrassed about my physique.
How does someone break “The Depression Cycle”? The first step is to re-evaluate with your physician that you are on the right medications and, further, that you are not suffering from depression as a separate illness. The next step is the hardest one. The ulcerative colitis sufferer must move, and, in fact needs to begin to exercise. While this may seem impossible, taken in bites it is more than possible. I have a friend who had gotten to the point that his ulcerative colitis condition had virtually paralyzed him. He set a goal to walk 50 feet every day. 0 feet was not much of a goal.
My friend walked this every day for a week and then he went for 100 feet. He initially doubled his goal every week until he had gotten to longer distances at which time he switched to every two weeks. As I have previously indicated, there had been muscle compromise and it was all he could do to initially walk even those incredibly short distances. It did not take long for him to begin to lose the depression and hopelessness. He began to be much more effective in battling his ulcerative colitis condition.
Following in my friend’s footsteps, I have begun to take corrective steps as well. I have started to feel better but I have a ways to go. “The Depression Cycle” is a universal danger innate to every illness. If one chooses to remain dormant after a heart attack for example, they may deteriorate so much that it literally becomes a fatal decision. It is depressing when one is initially diagnosed with ulcerative colitis; however, to give in to the natural and common desire to be dormant can trap you in “The Depression Cycle” and greatly diminish your life.