Leading a fulfilling life means taking care of your physical and emotional health. When one is struggling with Depression it very difficult to find fulfillment in anything, anyone, and life in general.
This is a major symptom of depression: no longer experiencing pleasure in things that were once enjoyable. Everything requires a great deal of effort. Some days it is difficult get out of bed and other days it feels like an insurmountable task to leave the house and face the day. Depression is not laziness, it is not a character flaw, it is not something that happens to those that a weak willed, or those that do not have enough faith in God.
Depression is a medical diagnosis with very real symptoms. Below is an image of a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan that depicts a brain without depression, and one that is depressed.
A PET scan measures important functions, such as blood flow, oxygen use and sugar (glucose) metabolism, to help doctors evaluate how well organs and tissues are working. What this scan highlights is that a depressed brain has significant less activity than a non-depressed brain.
This means that many areas of a depressed brain are not functioning at an optimal level, hence symptoms such as brain fog, memory difficulties, attention problems, in addition to lack of pleasure, trouble sleeping, very low motivation, and tearfulness and sadness.
UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTING THAT DEPRESSION IS A SERIOUS MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS SEEKING EFFECTIVE MEDICAL INTERVENTION.
Understanding and accepting that Depression is a serious medical diagnosis is the first step towards seeking effective medical intervention. Effective treatment for depression is psychotherapy with a licensed therapist and/or medication.
Depression can have dire consequences when left untreated, such as family strain, relationship difficulty, social isolation, employment issues, even suicide. Do not suffer in silence. Getting the appropriate interventions will help you lead a more fulfilling life.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
- Restlessness, irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms
If you or someone you love is having thoughts of suicide, call 911, go to the emergency room, call the suicide lifelines (24/7, English/Spanish) at 1(800) 273-8255.