Recurrent Breast Cancer

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Depression should never be considered “normal.”
Depression occurrence is highest for people who live in the southeastern states. 

Nine percent of two hundred thousand adults in the U.S. are depressed.
The National Mental Health Association predicts one in eight women will suffer from depression during her lifetime.

Who are likely to be depressed? People forty five to sixty years of age, African Americans,        Hispanics, persons with less than a high school education, unemployed people, and those who have no health insurance. 

What are signs of depression?  
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, loss of interest in daily activities, and no interest in former hobbies, social activities, or sex.  
Unexplained increase in physical complaints, including headache, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Weight loss or gain of more than five percent body weight in a month.
Early morning awakening, or oversleeping; energy loss, mood swings, substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, and dangerous sports.

Triggers for depression in men and women: stress at work or school, disability, marital or relationship problems, failure to meet important goals, unemployment, job change, money/health problems, chronic illness, injury, disability, quitting smoking. Other stressors are death of a loved one, caring for children, spouse, and aging parents, retirement; and loss of independence.

What are differences between male and female depression?

Women tend to:
Blame themselves

Feel anxious and scared

Avoid conflicts

Feel slowed down and nervous

Avoid setting boundaries

Find it easy to talk about self-doubt and despair

Men tend to:
Blame others
Feel angry, irritable, and ego inflated
Have suspicion
Create conflicts
Need to feel in control at all costs
Find it “weak” to admit self-doubt or despair
Use alcohol, TV, and sports, to self-medicate
Find it “weak” to admit self-doubt or despair
Use alcohol, TV, and sports, to self-medicate

The elderly: Older depressed people can have psychotic symptoms. These includes delusions (false beliefs), such that he or she feels they “are dying,” or a perception that punishment is deserved.
Some prescription medicines can contribute to depression, such as antibiotics, sleeping pills, blood pressure medicines, and drug treatment for cancer, seizures, and hormone replacement.

Treatment -- Short-term psychotherapy and low-dose antidepressants can improve symptoms, especially in the elderly.
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 If this is the worst time in your life, it’s going to get better.” Pastor Jean Hess, Denver, Colorado.