What’s the difference between Sadness and Depression?

 

The difference between sadness and depression?  and why so many people get it wrong….. This article below appeared in www.psychologytoday.com written by Guy Winch Ph. D

Sadness is a normal human emotion. We’ve all experienced it and we all will again. Sadness is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation. In other words, we tend to feel sad about something. This also means that when that something changes when our emotional hurt fades when we’ve adjusted or gotten over the loss or disappointment, our sadness remits.

Depression is an abnormal emotional state, a mental illness that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors in pervasive and chronic ways. When we’re depressed we feel sad about everything. Depression does not necessarily require a difficult event or situation, a loss, or a change of circumstance as a trigger. In fact, it often occurs in the absence of any such triggers. People’s lives on paper might be totally fine—they would even admit this is true—and yet they still feel horrible.

Continue reading “What’s the difference between Sadness and Depression?”

Bipolar Disorder ~ Were you perhaps Misdiagnosed?

 

Bipolar Disorder Often Misdiagnosed as Major Depression

Researchers Pinpoint 5 Factors That Can Help Improve Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder

I’ve been hunting for an article just like this, perhaps info for my dilemma ‘Major Depression diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder’.

 I was diagnosed as BP II in 1997, at which time psychiatrists prescribed mood stabilizers, followed by antidepressants and a myriad of medications throughout the years. 

A number of these medications are still prescribed, so I’m puzzled by this diagnosis, considering primarily fighting off major depression for years.  Episodes of “mood swings”, “rapid cycling” or “mania”, just aren’t there.  I’m demanding a reevaluation; perhaps confirming meds that may not even be necessary.

About one in three people diagnosed with major depression may actually have bipolar disorder, researchers report.

Five characteristics, including extreme mood swings and psychiatric symptoms at a young age, may help pinpoint which patients actually have bipolar disorder, they say.

Bipolar disorder covers a spectrum of disorders in which patients may be sad and down one day and feeling on top of the world, hyperactive, creative, and grandiose the next.

Continue reading “Bipolar Disorder ~ Were you perhaps Misdiagnosed?”

Depression: Planning my Escape

Attending a party when you feel like crap? Imagine planning your escape the moment you walk in?

Envision feeling lonely when you are actually with people; with friends, celebrating a birthday party at someone’s house. You experience emptiness. The room is filled with chatter and laughter, yet you are seated; numb.

Depression is lonely. Curled up in a ball – lonely.

This actually happened to me. I was pretty much forced to attend a birthday party, and although I resisted, I soon surrendered due to the fact that it was for a dear friend and I was absent from all other celebrations throughout the past year.

Seated in a Lazy-Boy for part of the evening, I held tightly onto a diet Coke. I thought it polite to rise and finally mingle; show a smile, pretend to enjoy the evening, yet the feeling of hollowness was debilitating. Laughter echoed.

For the majority of the year, I had been in the hospital more than out. Depression was black; I felt as if I was literally dumped into a black hole and left for dead. It was stated there was light up at the top of this hole, yet I was forever waiting to witness any.

Continue reading “Depression: Planning my Escape”

Why Am I Still Waiting for my Antidepressants to Work?

Image result for depression

I recall questioning my psychiatrist many times when he prescribed a new antidepressant and feeling nil results. His quick answer, “be patient“, and with that, I’d roll my eyes thinking, ‘yeah, you’re not the one with depression’.

Depression is a mental illness that affects how a person feels, thinks and handles daily activities. Antidepressants are prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of depression and help the brain process and use certain chemicals that regulate mood or stress. Unfortunately, existing medications usually require two to four weeks of use before patients respond.

In a recent Paper of the Week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Mark M. Rasenick and his team at the University of Illinois at Chicago describe why antidepressants have a delayed impact.

Continue reading “Why Am I Still Waiting for my Antidepressants to Work?”

Your first appointment with a Psychiatrist, are you prepared?

Reflecting on my first appointment, I was clearly unprepared and this article would have come in handy.  Bringing someone would have helped immensely, and when the pdoc asked if there were any questions, it would have prevented me from sitting there looking stunned. 

This article was written by: Natasha Tracy on Healthyplace.com

Recently, someone wrote me and asked how to best handle a first psychiatric appointment. This is a good question because, essentially, people are walking into the vast unknown. If you’ve never seen a psychiatrist before, how could you possibly know what to expect? And, the kicker of that is, the doctor will be asking you why you’re there. So you’re supposed to know what to say when he says that. So how do you handle your first psychiatric appointment?

Write Down What Concerns You Before Your Psychiatric Appointment

Many people get in front of a psychiatrist a freeze, completely forgetting all the issues that brought them there in the first place. This is extremely common. So, before you head off for your first psychiatric appointment write down all your concerns. Everything that has been odd and everything that you think might be odd should go down on the list, with examples.

Continue reading “Your first appointment with a Psychiatrist, are you prepared?”

Depression: Am I here in this black hole forever? Huh?

I used to ask myself, almost every day throughout my depressive illness; is this it?  Does it get ever any better?  Am I stuck here in this black hole forever?

Sounds pessimistic, but my history of recurring hospital admissions and medications that were ineffective, coupled with suicide attempts and unrelenting depression, didn’t illustrate a positive picture.  At separate hospital admissions, I was frequently greeted by the same bed, same patients and same nurses who precisely dispensed my medications.  Many years ago, hospitalization was a sort of an incarcerated life; that of daily rituals, set meal times, social activities, lights out at 11:30 pm, and scheduled visits from visitors.   Finally, discharge, after serving my “time”, which meant adjusting to home life all over again.

With zilch changing; I’m asking “is this as good as life gets?”

It’s both upsetting and scary, no one should ever have to endure this type of life, and depression, for me, proved a dreadful existence.  After spending months in the hospital, I would continually sense that I was one footstep away from hospital waters every waking day.  Continuously, just a step away from hell; surviving only on the surface.

Continue reading “Depression: Am I here in this black hole forever? Huh?”

Why I Created “Living in Stigma” and 9 Ways We Need To Stop Mental Illness Stigma

stigma_2

When I activated my first blog in 2005, it focused on humorous articles only.  During that time I was struggling with major depression, yet amazingly I was competent enough to write posts, and surprisingly these articles were a remarkable success.

I continued on and gathered many followers, all the time questioning whether to write about my mental illness, yet frankly, I was very embarrassed and uncomfortable to share my thoughts and life of hell with any of my blogging buddies, the blogging world, or should if anyone in my circle of “personal people” were ever to uncover my ‘secret’, I’d be devastated.

I eventually mentioned it to two trusted blogging friends my apprehension, and them replying, “why are you so embarrassed, it not your fault you were ill, write about it, who cares if people don’t like it, go by ‘anonymous’, not using your real name this time”.  And so I did, in 2007, I began this blog.  It’s been an enormous success from day one, with so much support from the blogging community and it was the stigma that held me back from starting this blog sooner.

I was living in stigma (shame) thus the name “Living in Stigma” –Deb

~~~~

Continue reading “Why I Created “Living in Stigma” and 9 Ways We Need To Stop Mental Illness Stigma”

What is PSYCHOTIC DEPRESSION?

This is a very distressing condition where people often describe feeling black and empty, unable to think or feel.  Suicidal thinking is related to the profound feeling of despair and feeling of self-punishment.

Symptoms of psychotic depression can be summarised as:

  • Observable severe depressed mood
  • Severe social impairment
  • Severe psychomotor disturbance (agitation, retardation, cognitive processing problems)
  • Psychotic features such as delusions and/or hallucinations.

If a patient is very agitated, assume psychosis.  Those with psychotic depression usually don’t recover on an antidepressant alone.

Diagnosis of psychotic depression

Psychotic features:  consistent with mood (mood congruent) or mood incongruent.  Delusions more common than hallucinations (90% vs. 10%).

  • Pathological guilt: common in psychotic depression
  • Psychomotor disturbance: profound
  • Cognitive function: mild cognitive processing problems through to pseudo-dementia.

Useful questions

Some additional useful questions which can help to determine if a patient is suffering from psychotic depression include:

  • Are you a good person? Do you feel guilty? Do you deserve to feel like this?
  • Are you being punished or do you feel you are being punished for something you have done?
  • Are you being watched?  Are you being poisoned?
  • Do you have voices telling you that you are bad … or deserve to be punished… or should kill yourself / someone else?
  • Do you have something physically wrong with you? Can you please explain your concerns to me? What evidence do you have?

Treatment

Continue reading “What is PSYCHOTIC DEPRESSION?”

Doc, should I be on this many psych meds?

image: The 104 Homestead

I have the luxury of a blister pack now which is filled by the pharmacist for all of my medications.  It also provides me with a record of all medication prescribed, when to take them, dosages, repeats etc., and as I gaze at the list I shudder questioning “ should I be on this myriad of medications, and for how many years now?”  According to my psychiatrist, I should.

Maybe it’s time to reexamine just what I’m taking, but need to ensure there would be no huge regrets.  Previously, at my appointments, it was considered, yet over the years I’ve struggled with some very dark times and meds required adjusting. I’m coping better now, so perhaps time to reassess the meds and also my psychiatric diagnosis from 1994.

An article on PsychologyToday.com talks about this subject, written by Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D.

Continue reading “Doc, should I be on this many psych meds?”

16 Ways Life Would Change in a World Without Mental Illness Stigma

This article was well written and appeared in The Mighty.  It contains quotes from people who have experienced stigma and how they feel their life would change if only they were free to be who they are.

I wrote a similar post that would set me free from the stigma of mental illness called “Stigma – What Would Your Life Be Like?” that I would like to share.  As some of you who have also experienced hell with this illness, I remain in the same boat.  It’s unfair, but we must remain strong while still getting the word out about STIGMA.

https://cherished79.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/no-stigma-what-would-your-life-be-like/

The Mighty Article

http://themighty.com/2015/10/16-ways-life-would-change-in-a-world-without-mental-illness-stigma/

How would a stigma-free world look like for you?

Your first appointment with a Psychiatrist, are you prepared?

Reflecting on my first appointment, I was clearly unprepared and this article would have come in handy.  Bringing someone would have helped immensely, and when the pdoc asked if there were any questions, it would have prevented me from sitting there looking stunned. 

This article was written by: Natasha Tracy on Healthyplace.com

Recently, someone wrote me and asked how to best handle a first psychiatric appointment. This is a good question because, essentially, people are walking into the vast unknown. If you’ve never seen a psychiatrist before, how could you possibly know what to expect? And, the kicker of that is, the doctor will be asking you why you’re there. So you’re supposed to know what to say when he says that. So how do you handle your first psychiatric appointment?

Write Down What Concerns You Before Your Psychiatric Appointment

Many people get in front of a psychiatrist a freeze, completely forgetting all the issues that brought them there in the first place. This is extremely common. So, before you head off for your first psychiatric appointment write down all your concerns. Everything that has been odd and everything that you think might be odd should go down on the list, with examples.

Continue reading “Your first appointment with a Psychiatrist, are you prepared?”

Which psych meds could be causing your weight gain?

You watch what you eat and fit regular workouts into your schedule. So why is the number on your scale going up instead of down? The reason might lie in your bathroom cabinet.“As many as 10% to 15% of weight issues are related to medications,” says Louis Aronne, MD, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medical College.Some meds can make you feel hungrier. Others slow your body’s ability to burn calories or cause you to hold onto extra fluids.The effects aren’t the same for everybody, though. “One person might gain 15 pounds on one drug. Another might not gain anything,” Aronne says.If you suspect the medicines that you take are behind your weight gain, don’t go off them before you talk to your doctor. “You might need to be on that drug to save your life,” says Donald Waldrep, MD, co-director of The Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Los Robles Hospital. You may be able to switch to another medication, including one that can even help you shed pounds. If not, your doctor can suggest what you should do to offset the weight gain.

“There’s evidence that a low-carb diet and more exercise may help,” says Sue DeCotiis, MD, a board-certified internist who specializes in medical weight loss.

Below are some types of medicines that may be the cause of your expanding waistline. It’s not a complete list, so speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about your prescriptions.

Continue reading “Which psych meds could be causing your weight gain?”

Depression: Combo of antidepressants and painkillers risky

Science Daily, Jul 15/15 ~  Taking a combination of antidepressants and common painkillers is associated with an increased risk of bleeding soon after starting treatment, finds a new study. The researchers say their results may have been affected by other unmeasured or unknown factors and should be interpreted with caution. However, they suggest special attention is needed when patients use both these classes of drugs together.

The researchers say their results may have been affected by other unmeasured or unknown factors and should be interpreted with caution. However, they suggest special attention is needed when patients use both these classes of drugs together.

Depression produces the greatest decrement in health of all common chronic conditions and depression in older people is an important public health problem.

But concern exists that antidepressants may interact with common painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to increase the risk of bleeding inside the skull (intracranial haemorrhage).

Continue reading “Depression: Combo of antidepressants and painkillers risky”

Situational Depression

Situational depression is a short-term form of depression that can occur in the aftermath of various traumatic changes in your normal life, including divorce, retirement, loss of a job and the death of a relative or close friend. Doctors sometimes refer to the condition as adjustment disorder. A person with situational depression may have symptoms that are more or less identical to someone with clinical depression; however, there are certain key differences between the effects and treatment of these two disorders.

More on this @ http://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com/depression/situational-depression/

Recurrent ‘Brief Depression’

Recurrent brief depression, characterised by frequently occurring brief depressive episodes, lasting less than two weeks, is now recognised as a common and disabling illness with a chronic relapsing course and a significant suicide risk.

The episodes have a mean duration of 3 days, but otherwise fulfill the symptomatic criteria for DSM III-R major depression. Some two thirds of episodes satisfy severity criteria for at least moderate depression and about a third for severe depression.

Continue reading “Recurrent ‘Brief Depression’”

ER Screening for Suicide Risk ~ not so good

TORONTO – May 20/15 –  Physicians, including psychiatrists, often fail to screen for known suicide risk factors in the emergency department (ED) setting, new research shows.

Investigators at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, found established suicide predictors including bullying, childhood trauma and suicidal plan and intent were not commonly assessed. Even though many of these predictors were deemed important by physicians they were missed in ED assessments.

Continue reading “ER Screening for Suicide Risk ~ not so good”

PTSD ~ Symptoms & Treatments

I have PTSD, and through therapy I’ve begun to heal from the trauma I suffered as a child who was sexually abused.  It takes time to recognize how the symptoms listed below have affected my life, and it’s taken years with a qualified therapist to work through and cope with the intrusive memories.

 

(newsmax.com/health) — Are you unable to overcome traumatic experiences that happened in the past? Do you have troubled sleep and a constant feeling of fear and anxiety? Depression, anxiety, and panic are some of the first symptoms that show in post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD is common in the U.S. among firefighters, combat warriors, and adolescents. Post-traumatic stress disorder develops when panic and anxiety after a traumatic incident are not sorted out even after the tragic incident is over.  Instead, the sense of panic and anxiety continues for many months or years of having witnessed the tragic incident.  In such cases, depression and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD begin to appear.

Continue reading “PTSD ~ Symptoms & Treatments”

This Therapist Caused Depression & Suicide Attempts!

I have an excellent psychologist I see for therapy currently and have worked with her for over 5 years on many issues, especially PTSD.  I feel fortunate to have found the right one for me, as I have been through some unqualified and useless therapists throughout the years.  You truly have to ensure you and your therapist are the “right fit” for therapy to be successful, or it can be harmful.  I didn’t always feel this way, my first attempt turned my world upside down…

——–

In 1994, I sought out therapy for childhood sexual abuse, and in hindsight I believe it was a horrible decision to make.  Digging into the past with therapy can alleviate the triggers of flashbacks, unspeakable dreams and memories, however, recognizing when life is becoming unmanageable, it’s time to discontinue or “back off” therapy in my opinion.

I met Betty in 1994. Crying spells were occurring at home, work, while driving – I honestly thought I was losing it.  An ad in our newspaper seeking volunteers through the hospital psychology department were to partake in a study, asking if, “Are you experiencing flashbacks, troubling dreams or nightmares?” interested me,  HOWEVER, ANSWERING THIS AD WAS TO BE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.   I knew nothing of therapy, and finally met up with Betty, a therapist, who surmised individual therapy would be best suited.  She said it was called Psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Continue reading “This Therapist Caused Depression & Suicide Attempts!”

CLINICAL DEPRESSION ~~ What is it?

Depressive disorders range in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Doctors use the term “clinical depression” to describe the more severe, persistent form of depression.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Persistent sadness or feeling of emptiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Loss of concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

Continue reading “CLINICAL DEPRESSION ~~ What is it?”

PTSD ~ Depression Symptoms Key to Recovery

New research suggests attention to depression symptoms can speed recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder.

In a new study, researchers at Case Western Reserve University found that during PTSD treatments, rapid improvements in depression symptoms are associated with better outcomes.

Continue reading “PTSD ~ Depression Symptoms Key to Recovery”

SUICIDE: THE TABOO WORD

Suicide: definition…is an act of willfully ending one’s life.

Males die much more often than females by suicide, while females attempt suicide more often. U.S. Caucasians commit suicide more often than African Americans do.
People commit suicide more often during spring and summer.

Suicidal ideation produces the perilous side of mental illness, acting as both a friend and seducer. Even though thoughts of dying encapsulate our mind on one hand, we yearn to remain living on the other. We desire just to feel better.

Continue reading “SUICIDE: THE TABOO WORD”

Depression: Hopelessness, Helplessness

I wrote and produced this video in 2009 for part of my psychiatrist’s presentation to students and colleagues.  Today, I actually sat down and figured out how to upload (light bulb went on) this video onto YouTube!

The title “Depression:  Hopelessness and helplessness” describes depression.

Men and Women Experience Depression Differently, How?

This article appeared on (Fox News.com) ~ It discusses forms of depression, and how men and women experience depression differently, and also includes other links.

Depressive disorders are a complex and often confusing family of conditions. Sometimes lumped under the general term “depression,” these disorders can cause any combination of several symptoms. Because of this, depressive disorders manifest in a variety of ways, making them sometimes difficult to diagnose.

Continue reading “Men and Women Experience Depression Differently, How?”

Treating depression: drugs or therapy?

I’ve struggled with depression for countless years and for me, well, I’m undecided if it’s the medication or therapy that eventually plucked me out from the bleakest of black holes, yet I haven’t required hospitalization in years.  Hmmm, kind of has me questioning the approaches, meds vs. therapy or if both are essential?  I remain on the remedy of both, but I also continue to live with this crappy depression.

On (well.blogs.nytimes.com) ~ by  ~an article was written about this very subject.

Continue reading “Treating depression: drugs or therapy?”

Tinnitus causes: Could my antidepressant be the culprit?

Mayo Clinic psychiatrist  Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D., answers:

Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) can be caused by many medications, including antidepressants such as Zoloft. If your antidepressant causes tinnitus, switching to another medication may alleviate the problem.

Continue reading “Tinnitus causes: Could my antidepressant be the culprit?”

Have you ever felt handcuffed to your house?

Yes, it felt as if I was handcuffed to my house.

Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?  But for countless years, and at times even today, depression = dark fog and black clouds.  Recalling my most difficult years of major depression, that’s the way things were.

Continue reading “Have you ever felt handcuffed to your house?”

ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Fewest Sexual Side Effects?

Sexual side effects are common with antidepressants in both men and women, so concern is understandable. The severity of sexual side effects depends on the individual and the specific type and dose of antidepressant.  For some people, sexual side effects are minor or may ease up as their bodies adjust to the medication.  For others, sexual side effects continue to be a problem.

MayoClinic.com answers this on their website:

Continue reading “ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Fewest Sexual Side Effects?”

Is Pot Safe for Depression?

Find out why some experts say medical marijuana could do more harm than good. 

I found this article on (naturalhealthmag.com) ~ This article written by: Paula Derrow goes on to read:

Continue reading “Is Pot Safe for Depression?”

PTSD & Type 2 Diabetes: Is there a link?

In an article written today @ (Time.com Health) ~ Women with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a two-fold increased risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

Continue reading “PTSD & Type 2 Diabetes: Is there a link?”

Depression: my words

 

 

“Depression, best known of all the mental illnesses, is difficult to endure and treat.   It renders one feeling hopeless and helpless.  Experiencing a sort of wintry solitude, one is completely immobilized with any light of optimism dimming.   It creates emotional and financial fallout, coupled with a horrible emptiness and black death-like existence.  Life tastes sour”. –  Depression: The Lonely Dance ~ written by Deb

 

3 WOMEN……And Mental Illness

3-tall-women

I had conversations with these three courageous women, while an in-patient on the psychiatric floor of a medical hospital a couple of years ago.  Mentioning my blog and my articles, they agreed for an informal interview as long as I didn’t use their real names.  I was able to converse with each woman separately where they shared their stories.

Note:  I was discharged earlier than any of these women, however, I revisited three weeks later to chat. 

~~~

Clara – Age (46)

Clara’s eyes well up as she recounts her story of anguish and to her, humiliation.  Both wrists are bandaged from a botched suicide attempt, and she stares downward at the floor as she speaks to me.  She has been in the hospital for over three weeks.

Continue reading “3 WOMEN……And Mental Illness”

FIBROMYALGIA AND DEPRESSION IN WOMEN

The WashingtonTimes.com reported that research from Sweden has shed some light as to why women are more likely to suffer from depression, chronic pain (CPS) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) than men.  Also the same study discovered why women are prone to depression and mood swings from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and post-partum depression.

Serotonin production, re-absorption and normal levels in many women are not sufficient and wreak havoc on the mind and bodies of those affected. The effect on female hormones is broadly significant. Serotonin, known as the ‘happy hormone,’ plays a significant role in pain management.

Chronic or clinical depression can be causation of chronic pain. Chronic pain can lead to chronic or clinical depression, so healthy levels of serotonin play a significant role in managing depression and chronic pain.

Continue reading “FIBROMYALGIA AND DEPRESSION IN WOMEN”