Women Living With Depression

There are many women living with depression and needing help to overcoming the crippling effects of the varying degrees of depressive states. Depression can range from a mild moodiness to a severe and disabling clinical disorder. The word depression is a word that is used to cover a multitude of moods and behaviors, and there are truly different types of this condition and different methods used to treat it. One of the most common depressive states for women is postpartum depression. This form of depressive state usually occurs within the first year after a woman has given birth and is considered a clinical condition. After-pregnancy depression is just beginning to be researched and understood. For years women living with depression after the birth of child experienced either shame about their thoughts and actions, or dismissed the symptoms as common results of having a new born baby in the home.

As much as seventy-five percent of all females who have given birth will experience some instances of feeling down, often referred to as "baby blues". However, postpartum depression is much more that an occasional mood swing or bout with sadness. The common ups and downs of giving birth are associated with hormone changes, sleepless nights, and the life changes that are brought about by having a new family member. The clinically troubling condition of true postpartum depression can mirror baby blues, but the feelings of anxiety and despair are much more intense and debilitating.

The clinically depressive state that can occur in some women after the birth of a child is marked with uncontrollable feelings of extreme anxiety, sadness, and irritability. Also, physical symptoms may manifest in postpartum women living with this condition. These symptoms can include difficulties in sleeping patterns, suppressed appetite, heart palpitations or pain in the chest area, and an inability to concentrate or make clear decisions. Along with these outward indicators there are troubling thoughts occurring in the mind of women living with depression. Thoughts can be over exaggerated concerns about the welfare of the baby, or a feeling of being disconnected and not bonded with the child. In extreme cases, some women have felt violent towards themselves or their newborn for unexplained reasons. When the mother is experiencing these feelings, either way, she will often attempt to hide or suppress her thoughts, knowing that these thoughts could lead to judgement from others or for a fear that she might actually act upon them.

There are many different treatment plans that can address the problems for women living with depression. The type of drug and intervention therapy that a doctor will prescribe will be dependent upon the degree of the postnatal depressive state. But, talking with a counselor, friends, or family members can relieve some of the initial shame surrounding the belief that a mother should be nothing but joyful during this special time. Sharing feelings and fears can often make the feelings and fears less intimidating.

Often doctors can prescribe a temporary treatment plan that will help the woman's body produce the hormones needed to level moods. Treatment plans can range from three months to a year and a woman's body takes a couple of years to totally recuperate from gestational work, making time an important healing factor for postpartum depression. And, for those women who are having long-term struggles with severe depressive states, long-term therapy plans will be necessary. There should be no shame involved with getting medical help for emotional or physical conditions. Just as the body may need medication to heal an infection or disease, the body may also need help in producing a sufficient amount of hormone or chemical to help with mood levels.

Many of the wonderful Biblical characters that God used to teach His people and readers today about His ways and character suffered from depression. Most all women will experience some form of this condition in a lifetime. During bouts of sadness or despair, God wants His own to cry out to Him because He wants to be the One to bring comfort and healing. "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

When a mother who has given birth within the last year cannot shake her "blue mood" and suspects that she may be dealing with postpartum depression, it is advised that she speak with a professional, seeking help right away. The effects of clinical emotional disorders can far outweigh the risks involved with taking antidepressants or other drug therapies. Severe depressed conditions experienced by the mother will effect an entire family, bringing even more stress and confusion. Start by talking over fears with a doctor and ask for explanations about any drug he or she may prescribe.

Depression In Men

Depression in men is not limited to age, gender, ethnic background, or social status. Notable symptoms that often manifest in individuals suffering with depression include headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain. While these are some signs of depression there are other symptoms that should be considered. Changes in sleep habits, lethargy, anxiety, among other things could be indications of mental illness. Major symptoms may interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat, and find enjoyment in life. Less severe manifestations and other types of depression may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, such as bipolar disorder. For individuals suffering with symptoms of mental illness it is imperative that professional help is sought, especially if suffering with thoughts of suicide.

Traumatic events can trigger depression in men. Intense guilt or natural disasters can trigger episodes associated with mental illness. There is help available to individuals who find themselves feeling overwhelmed or in a hopeless situation. It is very helpful to seek Christian counseling and prayer. Belonging to a church helps facilitate this type of assistance, however, most organizations that provide Biblical instruction to deal with life's setbacks will provide some help and guidance to anyone seeking it. There are many helpful sites on the Internet that can provide some answers when suffering with signs of depression. "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him" (Psalm 28:7).

Financial difficulties can be a substantial cause for depression in men. Coping with debt issues can bring about overwhelming feelings of hopelessness. There are many non profit organizations on the Internet that can assist with debt repair or provide counseling to individuals and families who find themselves with mounting debt problems. Making positive changes in spending habits and learning to live on a budget will provide some relief. List all debts including monthly payment amounts and income by writing the information down or typing the information into a program on a computer. Compare the two and figure out how to tackle one debt at a time until the problems are diminished. Just having a plan is half the battle, sticking to it will be the difficult part. Get some help from a consumer credit counseling organization, as seeking help will alleviate some stress and finding out options will bring relief as well.

Feelings of sadness and irritability are signs of depression that should be addressed. Sometimes one may find difficulty in acknowledging feelings and this could bring about compulsive behavior as a result. Becoming obsessed with work or hobbies might be one way that individuals deal with mental illness. People deal with situations in life differently. Some people dig into a project at work compulsively or begin indulging in reckless behavior or develop a complacent attitude. Depression should be taken very seriously and if anyone recognizes manifestations of mental illness in a loved one, measures should be taken to get some assistance. Undiagnosed or untreated depression could result in serious complications. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance" (Psalm 42:5).

Prescription medicine is available to those suffering with signs of depression. Many people take anti-depressants and claim that they help to eliminate or minimize depression. See a professional about this form of treatment for depression in men. Oftentimes it is necessary to stay on the medication for at least 6 months before maximum effectiveness is realized. Medication along with counseling may prove to be beneficial for anyone suffering from mental illness. Mental dysfunction is not limited to gender or age and can afflict anyone. It is important to educate one another on signs and symptoms of mental illness so that individuals affected can realize they need to find help especially if suffering with thoughts of suicide.

A good physical examination will help to diagnose depression in men. Seek help from a physician and communicate all symptoms being experienced. A physician needs any and all information possible in order to provide a thorough diagnosis. Before going to a doctor appointment make a list of all symptoms and behavior that may be related. Most physicians will rule out physical causes by doing appropriate tests and eliminating other causes that could contribute to signs of depression.

There are psychotherapies that are available to individuals suffering with mental illness. Cognitive behavior therapy helps patients to change negative thoughts into positive ones by bringing understanding to behavior patterns. Interpersonal therapy can help a patient work through relationship issues that may be causing a problem. Professionals that can help administer these methods of therapy are licensed mental health providers including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and mental health counselors, as well as Christian counselors. It is vital to obtain help when suffering with mental illness.

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