Fighting The Beast Of Depression…And Winning!

It feels like a tsunami; a giant wave of water that engulfs your entire being as it sucks you under and sends you crashing to the ocean floor, before rolling you over and over with its powerful force.

It may, at other times, feel like you’re at the bottom of a big black hole of desolation, into which you’ve been pulled, and left with no way of climbing back to the surface from where the light of life emanates.

You feel immobilized, dull in thought. You’re not having any fun, and you’re certainly not feeling or looking good either. Depression has you in its grips…”You’ve fallen and you can’t get up!”

Depression can have many causes, and if these analogies sound familiar to you, don’t put off seeking help.

Depression may be inherited, but it may also stem from the death of a loved one. It could come from isolation, old age, injuries or declining health which can cause loss of mobility and quality of life. Marital or financial distress can certainly be a big contributing factor as well. Whatever the case, do something about it, please!

Don’t be embarrassed about seeking professional help when the going gets too tough for you. There’s absolutely no shame in talking it out with a qualified therapist.

We can’t always solve our problems, but by seeking help, we can be given another outlook on life, and ourselves. We can often get help by learning “coping skills” that therapists are trained to teach us.

New approaches to problems or situations, and new perspectives can also be tremendously helpful, as can just having our problems heard and seen through the eyes of someone else.

In a sense, depression can be seen as a beast, in that it can devour positive thoughts, lead to low self-esteem, quash happiness, and makes you feel not only sluggish, but ill as well.

Most importantly, if depression remains untreated, it can, and often does lead to suicide.

Just remember: you have the right to dispel this “creature of darkness,” to take back control of your life, and to rid yourself of it.

How can you tell if you’re depressed? Well, there are generally nine symptoms given that indicate major depression. If you have at least five or six of the symptoms listed below, you may indeed be experiencing a bout of serious depression and should seek help.

Symptoms Of Depression:

  1. Feelings of uncontrollable sadness, desolation, despair, tearfulness, or emptiness.
  2. Loss of, or little interest in activities you once used to enjoy, including sex.
  3. Change in appetite or weight.
  4. Sleeping much more, or less than usual.
  5. Restlessness or decreased activity.
  6. Fatigue, loss of energy.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
  8. Difficulty maintaining concentration or in making decisions.
  9. Thoughts of death or suicide.

The general diagnosis for depression is typically made upon identifying the presence of these nine symptoms. There are also tests given to indicate the severity of your depression, or if you may have deeper cause for concern.

Sometimes “talk therapy” can help and, in some cases, a prescription may be given to get you back on the right track. Depression is a common and very treatable illness. It is not a sign that you are “mental,” weak of spirit, or defective in any way.

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Listed at the end of this article are names of organizations, and telephone numbers should you decide to make that preliminary call before you take further steps to make an appointment with a therapist. These centers for help are staffed with qualified employees who can determine your need for help.

They also have information to get you to the proper doctors and clinics in your area. The people working these hotlines are very well trained and can give you the pertinent information you may need to have when placing your call for help. They may also be able to give you suggestions as to what to say or ask when the time comes for your first visit to the psychologist or psychiatrist.

On a personal note: I overheard a woman one day as she said she didn’t want to be given any of those “crazy pills” when a prescription was suggested. Folks, this is not a true assessment and the doctors who deal with issues such as depression, never give out “crazy pills.”

The need for psychotropic medicine (psychotropic: Greek for capable of “turning the mind”) is very well assessed before this type of medication is prescribed, and it isn’t always necessary for everyone. Only an unenlightened mind would refer to medication of this nature as “crazy pills!”

To “soften the blow,” depression IS a natural by-product of being human. We love, we lose, we bury our loved ones, we worry beyond our endurance sometimes, and we become depressed.

But when depression stays with you for too long, it’s a good idea to go to a doctor, especially when you’ve been a happy person most of your life, and you notice such changes taking place.

A great effort is ongoing within the mental health medical community to educate people and patients, so they won’t feel the stigma that is often attached to those who need help with depression. When the going gets too tough for you…please get help!

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About Author

Mo Pascoe-Hoyal was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, daughter to Charles and Eleanor Pascoe. While residing there, Mo was an award-winning Equestrian. She was also a member of the Screen Extras Guild, with movie and television series credits. When living in Nashville, Tennessee, she was a signed recording artist with the the "Soul, Country & Blues" label, as well as a signed writer with Acuff-Rose Publishing Company, and also with Blue Umbrella Music in Brooklyn, New York. Mo now lives in Louisiana and is the very proud mother to son and daughter, and "The MeMo" to her four beloved grandchildren. She considers them to be her finest achievements! In 2014, she was made "Lady Mo-Pascoe Hoyal of Glencoe, Scotland", however, she prefers to write under her usual name. There is still a beloved horse and pony at her barn!