“But, You Don’t Look Depressed”
Sorry, I didn’t bring my rain cloud with me today. – Danielle Behm
Depression is a mental illness that often goes unnoticed. It is a hidden pain for many people that extends far beyond being “sad”. Having depression is not the same as being disappointed, down, or burnt out. Depression does not have to mean crying all day, or never showing your face in public. For many, life still must go on, and it does. Life goes on around you but you feel stuck, unmotivated, and uninterested. Feeling alone or sad is just one aspect of depression. In fact, depression is much more.
According to the Diagnostic Standards Criteria, Depressive Disorder is characterized by a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activity or depressed mood for more than two weeks. In addition to diagnose depression a physician is also looking for specific symptoms to be present nearly every day. Depression is impaired functioning in a variety of areas such as social, occupational, and educational. But depression is so much more then these definitions.
Depression is significant weight changes, changes in appetite, sleep and activity. Depression is feeling too fatigue or low energy to get out of bed. Depression is feelings of guilt or worthlessness but not knowing why. Depression is agitation, excessive crying, irritability and social isolation. Depression is difficulty concentrating, slowness in activity or thoughts of suicide. Depression can present itself in a variety of ways and is not always clear-cut.
Individuals suffering with depression often express feeling misunderstood or not heard. Friends and family tell them to “just be happy,” as if depression is something they have chosen to suffer from. Depression is not irrational thoughts or something you can easily overcome. Another comment is “it’s all in your head.”
“Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” –Albus Dumbledore
The above quote beautifully encompasses my view on mental illness. Of course what you are feeling is real, I believe you. I also believe you can make positive lifestyle changes to improve your mental and overall health. Yes, Depression is in your head. Depression, although not fully understood, is thought to be due to imbalances in neurotransmitters; serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Balancing these hormones is not an easy task as there is no way to effectively measure these hormones. To make matters worse there is so much we have yet to discover about the brain and its complex interactions with neurons, and neurotransmitters.
There are approximately 100 billion (100,000,000,000) neurons in the human brain that orchestrate the release of these neurotransmitters. Simultaneous as new neurotransmitters are released, some are being used, broken down, transformed, activated and inactivated.
As you can now appreciate depression is not an easy beast to identify and manage well. There are natural options available. With every treatment there are risks and benefits. The final course of treatment should always be up to you. If you want to know more or are in need of support contact me.
I am here to listen to your story and connect you to your highest potential. A pre-requisite for gaining the most out of life means that your body has your back at all times. If you are ready to align your health and set the world on fire, then we are meant to be.
I want to hear from you, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Resources: Click Here to check out the PHQ-2 evaluation primary caregivers use to screen for depression.