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Old December 12th, 2010, 12:37 AM   #1
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Name: Steph
Join Date: January 15, 2008
Location: Oregon
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Blog Entries: 6
Default Depression: What It Is, Getting Help & Suicide Hotline Numbers

Do not credit or rep me for this, the original posts got deleted by accident.

All credits go to thesphinx & Enbelism.

Post #1: About Depression
Post #2: Suicide Hotline Phone Numbers (multi-national)
Post #3: Getting Help


April 14th, 2008
02:45 PM

IMPORTANT: If you are considering attempting suicide, PLEASE skip down to the second post, it could save your life!

It can be a very difficult illness to deal with because it throws its victims into a physical and emotional hurricane. However, you are not alone, millions of people deal with depression and millions more have recovered. It is as treatable as a broken leg; you just have to give it time to heal.
I hope this can be helpful for you whether you are wondering if your depressed are depressed or concerned for someone, I hope this will help you answer your questions and cope with depression.

Basic Depressive Symptoms

Frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying
Decreased interest in activities; or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
Persistent boredom; low energy
Social isolation, poor communication
Low self esteem and guilt
Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
Difficulty with relationships
Frequent complaints about physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches
Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school
Poor concentration
A major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
Talk of or effort to run away from home
Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self-destructive behavior

Types of Depression
A good start in the battle against depression is to identify what type of depression you may be dealing with.
In accordance with the symptoms stated above we will be talking about specific types of depression and there differences.
(Please note we are not doctors, we cannot diagnose or treat depression)

Major Depression

Also called clinical depression or unipolar depression

An episode of Major depression will cause a noticeable difference in behavior and especially in normal routines.

You usually like to spend a lot of time with friends and family, you are a very social person. You have a Major depression episode and suddenly all you want to do is stay in bed and avoid any social situation, you have prolonged feelings of being sad and hopeless and that things will never get better.

You feel as if there is no more pleasure in life; you find that your regular sleeping or eating patterns have changed.
You are usually an active person but all of a sudden you find yourself in front of the TV all day, you’re bogged down and feel the weight of the world on your shoulders.

You have hobbies interests or activities that previously have given happiness and enjoyment but now seem replaced with emptiness and sadness. You are feeling guilty for no relevant reason; you feel sluggish and have a hard time concentrating.
You are having aches, pains and headaches that will not respond to treatment.

If you have felt like any of this for more than to week, there is a good chance its Major depression and not just “the blues”

Atypical Depression

Atypical depression is somewhat like Major depression, with the exception that at certain moments you are able to feel happy.
You feel that your happiness revolves around outside influences including, compliments, success at work or school, and other general positive events but you go back into the depressive state when things are not going so well.

You are extremely sensitive to rejection, failure or and type of judgment.
When you are in your happy state, you are able to feel pleasure again, life seems good, and you enjoy simple things like the taste of food again.

Since you have felt this depression, you have gained weight, and seem to be overeating to the point of gaining 10 or more pounds.
You are also over sleeping 10 or more hours a day (or 2 more hourse then you regularly would sleep without depression)you seem to always be late for appointments and other events because of not being able to get our of bed.
You feel a leaden (Heavy) like feeling in your arms and legs.

This is what it is typically like with Atypical depression, but since we are all unique we may have 1 or more different types of depression or even combinations.

Psychotic Depression

This is one of the most severe types of depression, and can be hard to diagnose.

You feel the common traits of being depressed as stated above (basic depressive symptoms) with the exception that that you will sometimes will experience visual or audio hallucinations.
Some people hear voices criticizing them, telling them that they are inadequate or evil, or telling them that they do not deserve to live and should kill themselves.
However, unlike other mental illnesses like Schizophrenia you are aware that they are untrue which can make you feel like your crazy.

Bipolar Depression
Bipolar depression is a feature of bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, an illness characterized by mood swings from depression to mania. They diagnose you with the same symptoms as Major depression, but bipolar patients tend to also have Atypical features.
Some bipolar patients rapid cycle can be up and down in a matter of minutes, and in mixed states and mania and sometimes others can be present at once.

Situational Depression
As the name says, it usually caused by a situation that includes Life change, relationships ending, school/work, death of a friend/family/pet etc.
This type of depression has the normal characteristics of depression (Basic depressive symptoms) but is caused by a situation as stated above.

The length of the situational depression generally is determined by the crisis level of the life event (as perceived by the sufferer). For example, a teenager who fails a big exam may be depressed for a day or two. A teenager who loses a parent may be depressed for weeks, months, or years. Big losses generally cause longer periods of depression.
Most of the time situational depression catalysts (casual events) will be easy to spot a death, divorce, job loss etc, but sometimes it can be more difficult to spot for instance.

You may have been optimistic for something and it does not turn out the way you wanted/planned for it to turn out.
You may not think too much of it at first, even though it was a bummer you did not think that it would cause depression.
However, you look back and maybe examine yourself before and after the event, you realize that it is the cause of your situational depression.

So you my point is you should really take a look at certain events in your life and examine how much of an effect they actually had on you.
One of the most effective treatment options for situation depression is therapy (read below “What is therapy”).

What are antidepressants?

Antidepressants are medications aimed at relieving the symptoms of depression.
There are three main classes of antidepressants –MAOIS, tricyclics, SSRIs, plus others that are referred to as having novel actions. Regardless of what class they fall into, all anti depressants work on the principle of enhancing one or more of of three neurotransmitters in the brain.

What are neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitters are molecules that specialize in delivering packets of information from one neuron to another across a narrow gap called a synapse to receptors on the receiving cell. After a wave of neurotransmitters are released by the presynaptic neuron and absorbed by postsynaptic neuron, the presynaptic neuron vacuums from the synapse any remaining neurotransmitters in preparation for the next wave of neurotransmitters it will release. Two classes of antidepressants work by blocking this “reuptake” action to keep the neurotransmitters in circulation.

What are MAOIs?

MAOIs – monoamine oxidase inhibitors – are old generation antidepressants, Parnate (tranylcypromine) and Nardil (phenelzine) being the best know. They work by blocking the enzyme monoamine ocidase, which allows the neurotransmitters to function as usual. Side effects can be very burdensome, which make these drugs a last option.
These include an outside risk of hypertension, which necessitates extreme dietary restrictions. Some psychiatrists, however, believe these drugs work particularly well for atypical depression, and should be regarded as a viable treatment option. Somerset Pharmaxeuticals has just released EMSAM (selegiline), a transdermal patch that is not supposed to have the usual MAOI side effects.

What are tricyclics?

Also called TCAs, tricyclics are old generation drugs that work by blocking the reuptake (or absorption by the neuron) of the neurotransmitters serotonin and the norepinephrine, Elavil (imipramine) and Pamelor (nortriptyline) the two best known. Like MAOIs, the side effects can be burdensome, but because the drugs operates with equal force on two neurotransmitters, some psychiatrists believe they may be more potent than the more popular single-actions SSRIs.

What are SSRIs?

SSRIs – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – work by blocking absorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin. The SSRIs include Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), and Luvox (fluvoxamine). Although these drugs have been hyped as breakthroughs for treating depressions, they are no more effective than their MAOI and tricyclic predecessors. Their one advantage is their more benign side effects profile. Nevertheless, the side effects can be considerable, including weight gain, dry mouth, drowsiness, disturbed REM sleep, and sexual dysfunction.

Although Anti-Depressants can be wonderful and take the edge off your depression your doctor may recommend Therapy.

What is Therapy?
Psychotherapy is a general term for a way of treating mental and emotional disorders by talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. It's also known as talk therapy, counseling, psychosocial therapy or, simply, therapy.
Through psychotherapy sessions, you may:
• Learn about the causes of your condition so you can better understand it.
• Learn how to identify and change behaviors or thoughts that adversely affect your life.
• Explore relationships and experiences.
• Find better ways to cope and solve problems.
• Learn to set realistic goals for your life.
Psychotherapy can help alleviate symptoms caused by mental illness, such as hopelessness and anger, so that you can regain a sense of happiness, enjoyment and control in your life.
Psychotherapy can be short-term, with just a couple of sessions, or it can involve many sessions over several years. It can take place in individual, couples, family or group sessions. Sometimes psychotherapy is combined with other types of treatment, such as medication.

Art Therapy
Art therapy, also called creative art therapy, uses the creative process to help people who might have difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings. Creative arts can help you increase self-awareness, cope with symptoms and traumatic experiences, and foster positive changes. Creative art therapy includes music, dance and movement, drama, drawing, painting and even poetry.

Behavior Therapy
Behavior therapy focuses on changing unwanted or unhealthy behaviors, typically using a system of rewards, reinforcements of positive behavior and desensitization. Desensitization is a process of confronting something that causes anxiety, fear or discomfort and overcoming those responses. If you have a fear of germs that triggers you to excessively wash your hands, for instance, you might be taught techniques to stop your excessive washing.
Cognitive therapy
Cognitive therapy is designed to help you identify and change distorted thought (cognitive) patterns that can lead to feelings and behaviors that are troublesome, self-defeating or self-destructive. It's based on the premise that how you interpret your experiences in life determines the way you feel and behave. If you have depression, for instance, you might see yourself and your experiences in negative ways, which worsens the symptoms of depression. Like behavior therapy, cognitive therapy focuses on your current problem, rather than addressing underlying or past issues or conflicts. Unlike behavior therapy, however, your experiences are an important part of the cognitive therapy process.

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy combines features of both cognitive and behavior therapies to identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones. It's based on the idea that your own thoughts — not other people or situations — determine how you behave. Even if an unwanted situation doesn't change, you can change the way you think and behave in a positive way.

Dialectical Behavior therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavior therapy. Its primary objective is to teach behavioral skills to help you tolerate stress, regulate your emotions and improve your relationships with others. It was originally designed for people with borderline personality disorder, who often have suicidal behavior. But DBT has been adapted for people with other conditions, too, including eating disorders and substance abuse.
Dialectical behavior therapy is derived, in part, from a philosophical process called dialectics, in which seemingly contradictory facts or ideas are weighed against each other to come up with a resolution or balance. For instance, you might learn about accepting who you are while at the same time making changes in your thoughts and behaviors.

Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy is a form of behavior therapy that deliberately exposes you to the very thing that you find upsetting or disturbing. It's especially useful for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. Under controlled circumstances, exposure to the event or things that trigger your obsessive thoughts or traumatic reactions can help you learn to cope with them effectively.

Interpersonal Therapy
Interpersonal therapy focuses on your current relationships with other people. The goal is to improve your interpersonal skills — how you relate to others, including family, friends and colleagues. You learn how to evaluate the way you interact with others and develop strategies for dealing with relationship and communication problems.

Play Therapy
Play therapy is geared mainly for young children at specific developmental levels. It makes use of a variety of techniques, including playing with dolls or toys, painting or other activities. These techniques allow children to more easily express emotions and feelings if they lack the cognitive development to express themselves with words.


In psychoanalysis, you examine memories, events and feelings from the past to understand current feelings and behavior. It's based on the theory that childhood events and biological urges create an unconscious mind that drives how you think, feel and behave. In this type of therapy, you explore those unconscious motivations to help make changes to improve your life. You might also do dream analysis and free association — talking about whatever happens to come to mind.
Psychoanalysis is a long-term, intensive therapy that often involves several sessions a week with a psychoanalyst for several years. In formal psychoanalysis, you lie on a couch and the therapist sits unseen behind you. The practice evolved out of theories developed by Sigmund Freud.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Psychodynamic psychotherapy, based on the theories of psychoanalysis, focuses on increasing your awareness of unconscious thoughts and behaviors, developing new insights into your motivations, and resolving conflicts to live a happier life. It's one of the most common types of psychotherapy. It's less intense than psychoanalysis and is usually done sitting face to face with a therapist. It's also less frequent — usually once a week — and is shorter term, usually a year or less.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy includes a variety of therapeutic techniques, such as exploring your past, confronting your beliefs and actions, offering support, and interpreting your thoughts and behavior. That process allows you to become aware of and acknowledge the link between a feeling, thought, symptom or behavior and an unconscious meaning or motivator. With that new understanding, you can modify unwanted behavior or thoughts.

Psychoeducation focuses on teaching you — and sometimes family and friends — about your illness. Psychoeducation explores possible treatments, coping strategies and problem-solving skills for your condition. You might learn about resources in your community, such as support groups or housing options. You can also learn about symptoms that might indicate a potential relapse so that you can take steps to get appropriate treatment. Psychoeducation can be especially useful for people with chronic or severe illnesses, such as schizophrenia.

Depression can be a crippling disorder If you let it, but with help from Family/friends and a Psychiatrist you can over come your depression and hopefully move on and grow from the experience.


So if you care to find me, look to the western sky.
As someone told me lately, everyone deserves a chance to fly.

✯ Alis Volat Propriis ✯

Last edited by Zephyr; December 12th, 2010 at 12:55 AM.
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