Is Depression Always a Medical Problem – Another View

Advertisements for anti-depression drugs are constantly smattered across the tube today. They are accompanied with the possible advantages of taking one drug or another to relieve this common malady. By law such ads are followed with a list of contraindications (possible side effects) some which sound much worse than the  depression  itself.

Along with these ads is a little noticed disclaimer or shall we refer to it as a simple honest statement about  depression . That statement is that the cause for common  depression  is not fully known. I use the word common here for an important purpose. Surely some  depression  is in fact caused by chemical imbalance or emotional shock of some kind. No one could argue that point.

It is said that up to twenty million Americans have some sort of  depression . It seems to be a modern phenomenon in our history as a nation. There are few records of this malady prior to the early twentieth century.  Depression  prior to the modern era was often referred to as melancholy. Abraham Lincoln was said to suffer deep bouts of melancholy that were offset with times of joviality and levity. Perhaps a change in his attitude was his own way of making adjustments or a behavioral self medication of sorts.

Few studies conducted on  depression  include a side by side comparison with other countries or cultures. Some countries have virtually no sizable number of reported cases of  depression . Often these are the poorest countries in the world. A lot could be deduced from this about how much money; affluence and materialism have to do with making Americans happy and well balanced.

In thirty five years of studying the Bible I have never heard one preacher or theologian worth his salt ever approach the causes for  depression  based on a biblical view. Not only does the Bible explain the cause of  depression  but it provides a complete answer to it as well. No, it is not a miracle or a divine healing it is simply a profound change in a life that pushes the  depression  out sometimes instantly and in some cases more slowly. First let’s look at the cause for most general  depression  in people according to the Bible.

Contrary to the general consensus God doesn’t just wink at unbelief but he is actively engaged in convicting the unbeliever to answer his call to salvation. His dogged pursuit is fired not just by the fact that they are sinners but because he loves every human being that is born in a way that is beyond our imagination. God is trying to love people into his kingdom not drag them into it. To do this he has to make them fully aware of their separation from him. It is a present pressure applied by God’s Holy Spirit.

Jesus spoke of this matter and he said in no uncertain terms that it is one of the Holy Spirit’s primary works while he is in the world. He said in John’s gospel “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove (convict) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” Jn. 16:7, 8.

Believers often say they came under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and that is what finally brought them to pray and accept the salvation God is offering. Unbelievers say they’re depressed, moody or in some inexplicable state of mind. That the conviction described by the believer and the  depression  felt by the unbeliever is one and the same thing is verified by the countless millions over the centuries that ceased to experience the  depression  soon after they yielded to God. I have seen this result countless times in the past more than three decades. This first hand experience and the scriptural support have convinced me beyond doubt that millions of people are suffering needlessly.

I would never advise anyone not to see their doctor for a complete examination of their  depression . If it does happen to be a chemical imbalance or related to an emotional experience then the question is answered. If this does not answer the question then seeking God for his salvation should be the next move in their lives. In fact it should be the first move in their lives.

Speaking for myself I think living apart from Jesus’ love and having no certain hope of the future would indeed be very depressing. I’m glad I answered that question many years ago.

Depression Treatment Options

Depression treatment can be as diverse as those people affected by the disorder however options are available in many forms. Treatments range from physical, spiritual, and finally through means of medical intervention and with such a wide array of solutions it is important that you get as many facts pertaining to depression to insure that you make informed choices that will affect your life or the lives of a family member suffering with Depression.

Depression is classified as a Major Depressive Disorder which is classified by extended periods of lost interest or contentment for general life experiences and/or activities therein. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with in a report released in 2008 over 235,000 adults were interviewed and according to the CDC 9% conformed to the criteria for depression 3.4% were classified as major depression. You may be asking exactly how such conditions are diagnosed and how they may apply to yourself or your loved ones, well the process is more simplistic than you may realize. Two of the most common methods for assessment of depression are the Beck Depression Inventory and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. These two methods are often the most common determinants in a need for depression treatment.

The Beck Depression Inventory is usually in questionnaire formatting which asks a range of questions pertaining to the subject’s moods and self esteem. These questions vary in intensity and utilize a numerical scale which is attached to each question. For example:

0: I do not feel sad

1: I feel sad

2: I am sad all the time and I can’t snap out of it.

3: I am so sad and unhappy that I can’t stand it.

The questionnaires take a cumulative numerical value based upon the answers provided by the individual to make and assessment to assist a mental health provider with a generalized idea of the current mental status of the patient. If you are interested in learning more about theses type assessment methods or would like to take an exam for yourself or your loved one take a look at our resources page.

Depression Treatment is far from an exact science as many times there are a multitude of acting factors that can determine a person’s mental health. There are many choices for treatment which include physical exercise for starters, counseling, and on the far end in the perfect world the use of pharmaceuticals for treatment. If you or your loved one has signs or symptoms of depression the earlier that you can identify and treat them the better your situation or theirs will be. By catching the problems associated with depression the early stages one can many times prevent and escalation of problems to include a person’s desire to escape the situation or to commit suicide. Early detection of depression is the key to successfully treating the disorder therefore we encourage you to take action in your life as well as those around you. Depression treatment does not have to be done solo, contact a mental health provider as soon as possible.

Can Depression Lead to Anxiety? – Find Out Here

About the article

In this short article I want to talk about  depression  and the role it might play in anxiety. Maybe you are beginning to experience excessive anxiety and can’t quite put your hand on what might have caused it.

What I intend to cover in this article is first a look at  depression . Then I investigate if whether or not anxiety can be attributed to  depression , how you can recognise  depression , its symptoms and some of the best ways to prevent  depression 

I would recommend reading the entire article, however if there are particular bits that interest you more than others you will be able to find them easily under the various headings

A look at  depression 

 Depression  is best described as feeling sad, unhappy or just down in the dumps. Nothing major there. Almost everyone feels this way at one stage or another for short periods of time.

However, true clinically diagnosed  depression  is a mood disorder in which the feelings I described above are experienced, but much more intense. Interfering with everyday life for days, weeks and sometimes longer

Some of the main contributing factors to  depression  can be:

• Sleeping problems

• Certain medications, e.g. Steroids

• Alcohol or drug abuse

• Medical conditions, e.g. Cancer

• Stressful life events, e.g. Divorce, job loss, childhood abuse or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend

Can  depression  be related to anxiety?

Absolutely. Although no one knows exactly why  depression  and anxiety are linked, a recent study showed 85% of those with major  depression  were also diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder while 35% had symptoms of a panic disorder. Anxiety and  depression  are known as the fraternal twins of mood disorders, because they so often go hand in hand.

As you can see, while anxiety and  depression  are two separate disorders, they are linked incredibly closely. It’s a case of cause and effect. In this case the  depression  is the cause and anxiety is the effect. Two separate ‘things’ (disorders) but one acting as a stepping stone for the next.

Think of it as a well paying job and financial freedom. These are two separate ‘things’ but you can’t have the effect (financial freedom) without the cause (a well paying job). For those who like analogies!

How to Recognise/Symptoms

Nearly everybody has an idea as to what  depression  is. In a nutshell, we all know it’s when someone feels down or sad. But are we aware that people who have  depression  will usually see everything with a more negative attitude than others and are unable to imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way? What exactly are the main symptoms of clinical  depression ?

Below I have listed some of the main symptoms:

• Becoming withdrawn or isolated

• Finding it very difficult to concentrate

• Thought of death or suicide

• Trouble sleeping OR excessive sleeping

• Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss

• Feelings of worthlessness, self hate and guilt

• Restlessness and irritability

• Sudden loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed

NOTE:  Depression  can often appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness, as you might expect

Best ways to prevent  depression 

 Depression  is one of the most highly treatable medical conditions that there are. Some forms of  depression  may not be preventable due to it being triggered by a chemical malfunction in the brain. However, research confirms that  depression  may be alleviated, or sometimes prevented, with good health habits. As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’.

Yes, you have probably heard this over and over before but to best prevent a depressed mood a proper diet and frequent exercise are essential. It’s also important to take time out from work and your everyday life to relax and have fun, do what you really enjoy! Now you might be saying, ‘I’ve heard all this before’. Well, have you tried it, have you stuck with it?! The fact that your reading this indicates to me that you haven’t.

What you just read, if implemented correctly, will be enough to prevent  depression  and subsequently anxiety in most cases. However if you have tried what I suggested, I mean really tried, and you find it doesn’t do anything for you than, don’t worry, maybe you need a little extra help from a professional.

Begin now by researching the Amygdala, and how this little organ may be the cause and solution to all your bad experiences

Can Reiki Heal the Root Cause of Depression?

Depression is a mental or psychological disorder that changes the emotional state to doom and gloom and affecting how a person physically functions and interacts socially. Different types of depression include major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and atypical depression.

Having mentioned all the types of depression, medical research and studies have been conducted to determine what causes depression. The pharmaceutical industry has a pet theory that the brain’s deficiency of serotonin is the source of depression or in a more general/basic term, a chemical imbalance in the brain. This theory was created when depressed people are found out to have a reduced amount of monoamines (i.e. serotonin and norepinephrine), which is a certain type of neurotransmitters. Unfortunately, this chemical imbalance is more of a symptom than a cause. To appreciate it better, a simple explanation is that these low serotonin levels is a result of carrying out more negative contemplation and seldom participating in activities that gives an individual self-contentment or happiness. In this regard, there really isn’t any study yet that has conclusively confirmed or substantiated the exact or precise root of depression.

Others perceive depression as a biological disorder but it is not nor is it a virus that can be acquired or passed on by others. In the 2003 book edition of “Human Givens” by J. Griffin & I. Tyrrell, it was often repeated and emphasized that depression is not a disease neither a chemical imbalance. They have described depression as an individual’s spontaneous response to specific emotional introspection. In the absence of a defined or a clear cut explanation and understanding of the cause of depression, people somehow stick to the closest or nearest medical explanation there is.

Recent statistics about depression is very alarming showing that there are an estimated 70 million people who suffers from its symptoms that includes but not limited to uselessness, having a hard time sleeping, feeling of moroseness, lack of energy, and poor attitude toward life. These and other symptoms lead to destruction of oneself starting from being pessimistic, lacking enthusiasm and having no initiative. As a result of these negativities, the body and mind receives and also sends out negative energies. Illnesses, disease and other medical conditions are sometimes a result of this situation. Other consequence may be despair, irrational or thoughtless decisions and actions which the individual later on regrets.

As alarming as it sounds, each individual must take heed to lower the figures and to prevent it from increasing it more. While the cure is different for each depressed individual, the common goal is to reverse the condition and give back the normal life that each and every one of us deserves. With its different causes, there are spiritual ways that will help pull the depressed people up from the situation they are in and be able to live a vibrant, happy and full life.

As explained earlier, depression is not a chemical imbalance. It is not a cause of depression but merely a symptom. Having said this, some people say and believe that it is all in the mind or it is a state of mind. The individual being in a state of depression has lost connection to what eternity, bliss and knowledge is really all about as part of quality of life. No medication or science can really be a solution to changing and overcoming depression because the point here is that attitude and behavior are the ones in question here.

To see a more holistic view of depression, the following should be taken into consideration as causes or part of the cause of depression:

a. Medical Factors – Physical or health factors can trigger a person to have a different perspective in life or mental disposition in life. They are starting to feel and think negative thoughts and eventually stop trying to feel positive about their condition. Hormonal imbalance, improper diet, weak nervous system can hamper one’s positive outlook in life.

b. External Factors – Social status, culture, system, traumatic experience or as simple as the weather can be causes of being depressed. People do sometimes get sad and depressed when it’s cloudy or raining. There is just something in the weather that attracts melancholy.

c. Emotional or Psychological Factors – Mistakes that one can’t get over with are also a cause of depression. When a person tends to dwell on guilt and mistakes that can’s be undone, surround themselves with negative people, holds grudges, jealousy and envy will likely to have depression.

According to an associate professor (Harold Koenig, MD) at the Duke University Medical Center, spiritual force and holistic healing plays a significant role and cannot be ignored as a variable in helping patients cope with depression. Studies have revealed that strategies which include spirituality or religion provide a better result as acknowledged in the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting conducted last 2002.

This remarkable result paved the way to see spiritual support in a different light. One should then pay attention to a patient’s beliefs and spiritual practices to better find the right solution or cure for them. Although spirituality is not the sole answer to depression it is indeed a great help if not curing it 100% then at least making it in a lesser degree and eventually solving it. Here are some ways and tips on how spirituality can uplift a person from the depressed state of mind:

Analyze the root cause of the problem – To determine the real cause, one has to reflect and spend time over the concern. It may even take days and it would be helpful to take note of thoughts and have someone who can help you find the root problem.

Right cure for the right problem – Once the root problem is determined then one can already address and find the right solution. If the problem is physical or health-related then you can go and see the doctor to resolve the difficulty or the pain that triggers the depression. Exercise, nourishing diet or strengthening the nervous system by relaxation or regular prayer can help out in giving you the energy for a more refresh and invigorating physical and mental individual that aids in overcoming the weak body and depressed mind.

If the problem is external, emotional or psychological, one should avoid habits that are undesirable. Try to live a simple, pure and righteous life by associating or surrounding yourself with the right group of people or friends who has the same values, spiritually inclined and has only positive outlook in life. These people will help you face your difficulties and problems to be free of the negativities that you have been holding on to.

We can be in control of our body and mind if we have a strong spiritual help. We can always feel positive about everything if we believe on something greater or more powerful than us can really help us. Reiki healing can be of great support to a depressed individual. The energy healing that Reiki provides is more than enough to project and supply positive energies from a Reiki healer to be transferred to a depressed individual. Reiki healing presents an intangible gift (peace of mind and soul) to any person receiving it hence a more holistic point of view and different perspective is experience.

Dual Diagnosis and Depression

What is Depression in a Dual Diagnosis?Dual diagnosis is a condition that is comprised of two components; a psychiatric disorder and drug addiction or alcohol addiction. While many people understand drug addiction or alcoholism, a great deal are confused when it comes to depression. Depression is best described as a mood disorder with a wide range of symptoms such as a loss of pleasure, feelings of worthlessness or suicidal thoughts, The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, lists nine symptoms for major depression, five or more which must be present over the same two-week period, including one of the first two:

1) Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day, or 2) Markedly diminished pleasure. The other seven symptoms include: 3) Significant weight gain or loss, 4) Insomnia or hypersomnia, 5) psychomotor agitation or retardation, 6) Fatigue or loss of energy, 7) Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt, 8) Diminished ability to think or concentrate, 9) Recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thinking, suicide attempts.Is Depression a person’s fault?Depression is a medical illness which affects brain, which in turn affects the rest of the body. One can no more snap out of depression that one can snap out of diabetes or heart disease. It would help to have a positive outlook, but the very nature of depression is a lack of positive outlook. Unfortunately, having depression still carries a stigma, though not nearly as bad as in the past. If there is any consolation, you are in good company: Winston Churchill and Mike Wallace, just to name a few, all had crushing depressions.The same holds true as it relates to drug addiction and alcoholism. Both of these are diseases, which are diseases of the brain, which can not just be wished away. Drug addiction and alcohol addiction must be treated in conjunction with the psychiatric disorder.

That is why treating a dual disorder or a person with a dual diagnosis is so challenging. Is there more than one type of Depression?Yes, there are several types of depression. Dysthymia, melancholic depression, atypical depression, bipolar depression, psychotic depression, catatonic depression, seasonal affective disorder, and postpartum depression all fall under the category of depression. Along with the emotional aspects of depression, there is also a physical component. Mind and body are very much connected. The risk of heart disease is doubled in people with depression, and a previous depression is often the greatest risk factor for heart disease and other ills, over smoking, drinking, high blood sugar, and previous heart attacks. Depression has also been connected to diabetes, bone loss, stroke, irritable bowel syndrome, and possibly cancer. In addition, people with depression have much higher rates of alcoholism and drug abuse than the general population.According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 18.8 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the US population age 18 and older in a given year, have a depressive disorder. According to the World Health Organization, depression is presently on track to becoming the world’s second-most disabling disease (after heart disease) by the year 2020. In addition, depression is responsible for some $87 billion a year in lost productivity in the US (a conservative estimate), and according to Bank One, is responsible for most lost work days in its employees after pregnancy and childbirth.

Additionally, one million people worldwide die by their own hand, most as a result of a mood disorder. Finally, the linkage between depression and a host of physical illnesses makes it arguably the world’s greatest killer. Where should I get treatment? If you are suffering from depression and it is part of a dual diagnosis, meaning there is a drug abuse or alcohol abuse problem associated with it, you can look into an addiction treatment program, drug rehab or alcohol rehab. All the above, should have the ability to treat your depression and substance abuse issues. If you do not have a drug addiction or alcohol addiction in conjunction with the depression, than you should in accordance with your attending psychiatrist, locate a psychiatric hospital nearest you.