How to Overcome Depression

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How to overcome depression

I must tell this from my point of view, for I have the mental illness of depression. I was diagnosed 18 years ago after a suicide attempt. This is the first time I have written about it. Only close friends and family know about my struggle with this disorder. What is depression? According to Wikipedia, is called “Major depressive disorder, also known as major depression, unipolar depression, clinical depression, or simply depression, is a mental disorder characterized by a pervasive low mood, loss of interest in a person's usual activities and diminished ability to experience pleasure. The diagnosis is made if a person has suffered one or more major depressive episodes. The onset is usually in early- to mid-adulthood. Diagnosis is based on the patient's self-reported experiences and observed behavior. There is no laboratory test for major depression, although physicians often test for physical conditions that may cause similar symptoms before arriving at a diagnosis. The course varies widely: it can be a once-in-a-lifetime event or have multiple recurrences; it can appear either gradually or suddenly; and can either last for a few months or be a life-long disorder.” (Wikipedia) There are several different forms of depression, the most common being major depression and dysthymic disorder, or mild depression. Major depression is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to function in daily activities. It may occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but in most cases, it recurs throughout a person’s life. Dysthymic or dysthymia, it is long term, but less severe. The symptoms might not disable a person, but it could prevent them from functioning normally or feeling well. Bi-polar disorder is characterized by altering states of moods between extreme highs and lows. Although not as common, it is still just as crippling as the other two. The most common symptoms of depression include, persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings, feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism, feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness, irritability, restlessness, loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex, fatigue and decreased energy, difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions, insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping, overeating, or appetite loss, thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts, persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment. (National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH)) Well here are some steps to achieve a balanced life with mental illness. The first thing to do is to GET HELP! I know that sounds simple, but it is not. Most people with mental illness do not seek help because of the stigma that comes with the diagnoses. I did try several times to seek help before my attempt, but I would chicken out and not tell anyone. I just keep stuffing the feelings and problems down into a dark place in myself. As long as I appeared happy to the world, everything was all right. Soon the dark place was full and over flowing. I had to start feeling and dealing with the problems again and it was hard. It really overwhelmed me. I ended up thinking about silence, not death; I just wanted everything to be silent; everything was too busy. I just want everything to be silent. Then I called the suicide helpline and got an appointment to see a counselor. At my appointment, we talked about my goals, hopes, dreams and wishes. I discovered that I had an unrealistic list that I applied to my life. I HAD to be married by 25, I had to have children before 30, I had to finish college before 29. My counselor made me realize that life is not a list. We are just to live it. It is good to have a goal, but plan for the bumps in the road. I have learned that some bumps are bigger than others, but you should still be able to enjoy life. Tell a trusted friend, a...
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