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Understand depression and learn to beat it!

Understand depression and learn to beat it!

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Published by Dr Leow
If you need to learn more, you may always visit my blog at http://drgeorgeleow.blogspot.com/
If you need to learn more, you may always visit my blog at http://drgeorgeleow.blogspot.com/

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Published by: Dr Leow on May 06, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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lot o people are not aware that they havedepression. The simple act is that depression has becomeone o the most common psychological disordersaround the world today. It has now reachedepidemic proportions in industrialised societiesand is increasing at a very high rate in developingcountries too. The main symptoms o depression include changesin emotional states, changes in motivation and theway you unction, and also cognitive changes.
Seeping into depression
By Dr Leow Chee SengIs depression knocking on your door? Understanding how this malady slowlytakes over your whole life is the best way of addressing it.
Emotional changes include mood swings likeeelings o sadness, gloom, pessimism and ear. Thisis generally accompanied by bouts o crying andtearulness.Depressed people eel the world is boring andmeaningless. The world is colourless and the onlycolour in their mind is gloomy black.Motivationally, the depressed person loses interest
in doing anything. He or she may fnd great
difculty getting out o bed in the morning or beingmotivated to go to work.
MAR/APR 2009 • OH!
 They have diminished interest or pleasure in all ormost activities, most o the day, nearly every day.Nothing spurs their interest.So, unctionally they become greatly impaired,ailing to do things they previously excelled in. This decreased ability o unctioning is also relatedto cognitive changes. The depressed nds difcultyin concentration and clear thinking. Their thoughtsare dominated by negativity, guilt and lack o sel-esteem. They may also seem to have become retarted in theirmovements and may sleep too much or too little,generally waking up too early or too requently –with difculty in alling asleep again.
Clinically, there are dierent types o depression.Psychiatrists usually classiy them into threecategories: normal depression, reactive depressionand endogenous depression. These types have since been renamed in mostmodern classications o mental illness but the earliertypology is clearer and probably more accurate.Normal depression is the more common typeaicting most people. Most o us, rom time totime pass through periods o sadness. We eeldown in the dumps and lack our usual ability o concentration and creativity.
However, this change in mood passes away quickly
and we return to our happy hard-working selveseventually. So, i you nd yoursel in a dejected orsad mood, with no interest in everyday activities thatyou usually enjoy, do not jump to the conclusionthat you are suering or are beginning to suerrom depression. The second type is known as reactive depression.It is caused by a catastrophic incident in one’s liesuch as the death o a close relative, ailure in anexam or loss o money. Sadness, pessimism andnegative thoughts are more severe and can last ormuch longer. To give you, readers a personal example, I willmention the case o my mother. She came downwith depression ater my dad passed away.When we bought her a new mattress, she keptcomplaining that the previous one was soter andthat the new mattress was too hard and she couldn’t
sleep at night. Of course, insomnia was one of the
symptoms o her depression.We once brought her out or lunch but no matterwhich restaurant we went to, she elt that theood was not delicious. The negative thoughts sheexperienced because o the grie over my ather’sdeath was in act generalised to everything.Fortunately, this type o depression is treatableby taking anti-depressant drugs such asuoxetine, paroxetine, doxepin, phenelzine andtranylcypromine. Cognitive therapy by itsel or incombination with drug therapy may also help. The third and most severe orm is termedendogenous depression. In modern terminology,this may also be identied by terms like majordepression or uni-polar depression.
MAR/APR 2009 • OH!

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