I Don’t Even Try to Explain Depression

I Don’t Even Try to Explain Depression
I used to tell a white lie when asked why I appeared to be “down.” I’d say it was due to some physical problem. That was easier than trying to explain depression to someone who’d never experienced it. My first clue to the challenge ahead of me was when someone asked, “What are you depressed about?” As if depression were “about” anything! The Mayo Clinic defines depression, aka major depressive disorder, as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.” It “isn’t a weakness, and you can’t simply 'snap out' of it." The causes are as diverse as the symptoms. The symptoms vary from person to person. The most common for me are insomnia, fatigue, loss of interest in things I once found pleasurable, trouble making decisions, loss of appetite, and increased severity of physical problems. Other people experience the exact opposite of these symptoms in addition to others not listed here. Some depressed people are able to tolerate one or more of the prescription drugs designed to address this issue. Others rely on natural supplements such as Sam-e, St. John’s Wort, and 5-HTP. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. My digestive system is intolerant of them all. Knowing this, I make an extra effort to get the recommended nutritional therapy from my diet. I get vitamin B6 in the form of baked potatoes, avocados, bananas, and chicken breast. These are the staples of my diet. I get Omega-3 from salmon and anchovies. A daily salad provides folic acid. I also manage to tolerate a dose of liquid vitamin B-12 once a week. And I eat some dark chocolate every day. Whether the food I eat improves my depression is difficult to assess. I’m unwilling to alter my diet in order to test the theory. Over time I’ve d
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4 comments

  1. Brenda says:

    totally enjoyed this article. Thank you for sharing. Fibro-MONSTAH flares back to back these days. Daily temperature and rain every day or so. Slammin’ doors in Mr. Depression’s face. Had to alter exercise routine after tipping in Tai Chi and dizziness episodes during Yoga session. We will not quit!

  2. LisaR says:

    My wintertime SAD has also improved since moving from the gray Midwest to sunny Colorado, but I still feel the seasonal changes with the shortening of the days. I find that 30 minutes of blue light (light box) every morning really helps!

  3. PollyG. says:

    I agree totally about the diverse causes of depression, and how they can be wildly different person to person. Living my whole life in the Deep South, I can assure that attitudes regarding depression (even among physicians and psychiatrists) vary just as much. Regardless of what you, the patient and the one *Who Is Supposed To Know Most About Your Symptoms* – says in the time allotted in your appointments, somehow, the subject almost always comes back to a few standard causes for depression.

    Treatment plans here almost never include the patient in the development; and it’s almost silly to even use the term “treatment plan” because it only consists of a prescription of one or 2 standard depression meds (Paxil, Prozac) and a lecture to remind you that only you can control your thoughts, and you should pick up a hobby.

    Having a somewhat medical background, I have an idea about the proper way to diagnose depression. Asking me if my husband could be having an affair (“well, you know men have to have their time out… Seriously???) —that’s ynot in the diagnosis protocols anywhere!

    I think all the many facets of Fibromyalgia should be taken apart, considered singly, and all primary care and internal medicine physicians should be retrained in this anomalous disorder, one attribute at a time, then as a single nightmarish disorder. Not only that—they need the Psycho/Social classes to go with the medical training, so they can get an idea of how we live our lives daily. They should be forced to listen to anecdotal histories from various patients, more than the 5-8 minutes they might give us in the exam room!

    Now, if anyone has an idea how to implement this grand idea of mine, please let me know! If I’m not too depressed or too agoraphobic, I’ll talk to you! Lol…

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