Severe Depression

10 Signs of Depression in Men

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More than 5 million men in the U.S. experience depression each year. While the symptoms used to diagnose depression are the same regardless of gender, often the leading complaints can be different among men and women.

Here are 10 signs of depression in men.

1. Fatigue: People who are depressed experience fatigue, as well as a slowing down of physical movements, speech, and thought processes. Men are more likely than women to report fatigue and other physical symptoms of depression as their chief complaints.
2. Sleeping too much or too little: Sleep problems, like insomnia or excessive sleeping, are common depression symptoms.
3. Stomach or backache: Health problems like constipation or diarrhea, as well as headaches and back pain, are common in people who are depressed. Many men often don’t realize that chronic pain and digestive disorders are connected to depression.
4. Irritability: Instead of seeming down, men often show signs of irritability. Negative thoughts are a common aspect of depression, but men report feeling irritable because they are having negative thoughts constantly.
5. Difficulty concentrating: Psychomotor retardation can slow down a man’s ability to process information, thereby impairing concentration on work or other tasks.
6. Anger or hostility: Some men manifest depression by being hostile or aggressive. A man who realizes something is wrong may need to compensate by showing that he is strong or capable.
7. Stress: Men might be more likely to report symptoms of depression as stress. It’s not necessarily that they have more stress; it’s just more socially acceptable to report. Research has shown that prolonged exposure to stress can change the body and brain, which can in turn lead to depression.
8. Anxiety: Men may be more likely to experience anxiety because it’s often easier for men to talk about feeling anxious rather than sad.
9. Substance abuse: It can happen for both men and women, but using drugs or alcohol to mask uncomfortable feelings is a strategy men will employ instead of seeking health care.
10. Sexual dysfunction: Depression is a common reason for loss of desire and erectile dysfunction, and this is one symptom that men are prone to not reporting. However, ED can be the result of other medical conditions or medications, and ED by itself does not signal depression.

If you or any man you know suffers from these symptoms. It may be time to talk to a medical professional.

Resource:
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20521449_12,00.html

Sticky
Sep 11, 2013
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7 Ways Seniors Can Get Out of Depression

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Almost 25% of people over the age of 65 suffer from one or more of the 5 Ds. These are disability, decline, diminished quality of life, demand on caregivers and dementia. More than 50% of doctor visits, by older people, are to complain about being depressed. Around 20% of all suicides are committed by people belonging to this age group and depression is cited as the main reason for deteriorating health amongst older people.

Use these 7 tips to help battle depression in your older years:

Separate the illness from depression. Depression is hard to diagnose because it may not have any physical ailments. An effective way to get out of depression, is treating the physical and mental symptoms simultaneously.

Control drinking. Because of their condition and loneliness, a lot of depressed older people may start to drink excessively or take various pills. Using both could have disastrous results.

Start exercising. Exercising is a healthy way for seniors to get out of depression. Elder people should be especially careful while exercising because nearly 33% suffer from falls. Some form of mild exercises can increase strength, sense of balance and confidence.

Treating sleeplessness. Older people usually have less deep levels of sleep. Depressions adds to this sleeplessness, and the greater the depression, the more sleeping problems arise. Cut down on caffeine and go to bed at the appropriate time to improve quality of sleep and fight depression.

Differentiate grief from depression. Feelings of grief like after a spouse has passed, will eventually dull, but depression persists indefinitely unless treated. It is essential to recognize the difference to effect remedial steps.

Keep photos of loved ones. This usually helps to resist depression. Photos generally trigger good or fond memories. The reminder leaves memories that can put a person in a better mood and ward off depression.

Be social. Research has proven that people who are outgoing and friendly usually do not suffer from depression. Losing family and friends is part of growing up and growing old. So making new friends is especially important for older people. That is a great buffer against depression.

Sticky
Sep 10, 2013
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Escaping The Traps of Depression

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Everyone knows that positive lifestyle habits such as daily exercise and eating healthy foods are important to staying healthy, both physically and psychologically. However, if you have depression the condition presents a delicate problem. Even though these habits can help to keep your depression in check, it is tempting to temporarily numb your feelings by indulging in unhealthy coping mechanisms and habits.

Here are some depression pitfalls to watch out for and how you should avoid them:

  • Drugs and Alcohol: “You feel better when high or intoxicated, but the later effect is a reduction in brain activity,” says David M. Reiss, MD, a psychiatrist. “Alcohol is actually a chemical depressant. Many drugs, such as amphetamines, can have a chemical ‘crash’ afterwards — they cause the high by stimulating neurotransmitters and then, when they wear off, there is a depletion of neurotransmitters.”
  • Withdrawal: Keeping yourself isolated is an all too unfortunate symptom for many people with major depressive disorder. Since those who have depression usually want to be alone, it can be a difficult depression trap to break out of. “Depression is often about feeling alone, about feeling a loss of connection to anyone else,” says Leslie Seppinni, PhD, a clinical psychologist. “Try to find some spiritual, not necessarily religious, connection to give you stability as well as a purpose. Utilizing the four Cs – courage, conviction, commitment, and curiosity – will help people avoid depression traps.”
  • Skimping on sunlight: One of the major problems with staying shut in your house all day it that you are robbing yourself a healthy dose of sunlight. Sunlight can boost serotonin levels, which is one of the brain’s feel good chemicals. Simply getting outside and walking around a bit each day can be helpful for your depression.
  • Too little sleep: A lack of sleep can lower your serotonin levels and can cause depression. Practice good sleep hygiene by going to sleep and waking up at the same times every day. However, if you have insomnia and can’t sleep despite your best efforts, you might want to speak with your doctor.
  • Self-medication: Trying to boost your mood with antidepressants that were prescribed to a friend or relative is dangerous and doesn’t address the underlying reasons for your depression. This is not an effective substitute for seeing a qualified health care professional.

 

Resource: http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/the-biggest-behavioral-booby-traps-of-depression.aspx

Sticky
Aug 14, 2013
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When to Go to the Hospital for Severe Depression

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Deciding when you should commit yourself or a loved one to the hospital to be treated for severe depression can be a tricky area. There aren’t any set standards, such as when you have a cold. Sometimes your physician will make that decision for you, but usually it is up to you. Here are a few guidelines to help:

  • When you are in danger of hurting yourself or someone else: If you are very suicidal and have gone as far as making plans, you should be in a safe place. A place where you don’t have to rely on your sheer willpower, worrying that it will eventually cave. At the same time, if you are with young children or other people you could harm in a fit of rage, if you don’t have full control over your emotions, it might be time for you to admit yourself into the hospital for help.
  • When you need to be treated aggressively: Because of the close monitoring in a hospital, you can be treated more aggressively. Your doctor can change meds, try new combinations, in a fashion that would take weeks or even months with outpatient care. Since the support staff offers round-the-clock care, any problems you may have will be caught immediately. This can give your recovery a much needed jumpstart.
  • When you need ECT treatments: Electroconvulsive therapy is a form of neurostimulation therapy that has a high success rate for treating persons with severe and chronic cases of depression, especially with those that have failed to respond to medication and psychotherapy. It involves applying electrical pulses to the scalp to induce seizures throughout the brain while a person is under general anesthesia. The procedure is performed inpatient because you can recover from the anesthesia in a safe environment with your doctor closely monitoring your progress.
  • When you can’t function: If you are unable to stop sobbing at work, in front of your family or have little control over your emotions in general, you should think about hospitalization. If you can’t sleep, eat, shower or get dressed which are minimum tasks of daily functioning, you may be better off in a hospital where people can care for you and help you.
Sticky
Aug 09, 2013
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