June 27, 2017 5:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

On Depression: Chasing the Blues Away
Dr. Teresita M. Cantos-David
We all want to be happy – free from fears, worries, regrets or sadness. How we do it – through music, food, shopping, trips, and gimmicks with “barkada” – the means are as varied as the persons are. Or we surround ourselves with family and friends or be in the company of people who make us laugh or who make us feel good with ourselves.
Some people look happy, talk happy but actually are not. They fail to achieve the inner peace that they desperately crave. Deep inside is an unquantifiable sadness that things are not right, a lingering pessimism that a solution is not forthcoming.
If the negative view of self, of the world and of the future persists, doctors may make a diagnosis of depression. There would be emotional or physical symptoms that occur every day, all day, for 2 weeks or longer – feeling sad, numb, restless, crying for no reason, losing interest in things that were enjoyed before; changes in appetite and sleep patterns, body aches, having trouble concentrating or making decisions thoughts on suicide or death. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the most common illness worldwide. It is a serious mood disorder caused by imbalance of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) in the brain. It is not something brought upon oneself. It can be genetic or induced by medical illness, medications, drugs, alcohol or triggered by a tragic event or major life changes.
Every thought is a battle
every breath is a war
and I don’t think
I’m winning anymore -unknown
This is a cry for help and understanding – maybe happening in our homes and workplaces. We’ve read of famous people who have resorted to self-destructive behavior because of severe depression.
But depression, even the most severe, is treatable. Treatment is with medicines (antidepressants) with counseling (talk therapy) or with both, or electroconvulsive therapy in severe cases.
Here are some tips from the National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda) that may help you or a loved one during treatment:

  • Try to be active and exercise
  • Set realistic goals for yourself
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative
  • Postpone important decisions like getting married or changing jobs

There are depressed people who are successfully battling this illness. They are inspired by messages like “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” (author unknown). We should also be. And be happy that they are winning.
Each of us can be a healer of sorts, a therapist for hurting friends, colleagues or family members. For all we know ordinary folks that we all are, even if we simply give our time, be physically and emotionally present and really listen, be kind, non-judgmental, accepting, and we can help save one life, one precious, irreplaceable life.
‘Right to Health’ – Cheridine Oro-Josef M.D., Business Mirror, Oct 12, 2014, Healthshire.com – 93 Depression Quotes and Images from Social Media, National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, Maryland), psychcentral.com

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