All Articles Tagged "depression"
One day I was normal and then suddenly I wasn’t. I remember being a happy teenager with hopes and dreams, silly crushes, loving school, my family and friends. Then, I noticed that my dreams were being replaced by a sense of utter hopelessness and despair. Friends stopped being fun and school became drudgery. I was sixteen and all I knew was that getting out of bed every morning was becoming a struggle. This was the beginning of my seven-year battle with depression.
October is Depression Awareness Month. It is estimated that yearly over 19 million adults and approximately 33% of all teenagers suffer from depression in some form.
Referred to as the “dark night of the soul,” this disease is not always easily diagnosed. In fact, for most of my depression, I simply thought I had just become short-tempered and mean. I hated my bad attitude, but I didn’t have the energy—or mental wherewithal—for anything else. Negative thoughts consumed me and I sought solace in isolation. It wasn’t until others confronted my harsh exterior and stopped letting me hide that I mustered the courage to ask for help.
Maybe you or someone you love is dealing with depression and perhaps you don’t even know it! Here are a few signs and suggestions for turning on the lights and outing depression:
1. PMS Every Day: Depression sends our emotions into overwhelm and constant irritability may be a sign that something is wrong. During the “dark night of the soul” nothing feels normal.
For me, regular daily tasks became energy-draining chores. Brushing my teeth, combing my hair—such simple things—required focus. I was channeling all my energy into keeping it together—so dealing with others quickly sent me into emotional withdrawal, which played out in spurts of anger, irritation and even acting overly passive. I just couldn’t deal!
2. Fashion Failure: Before my depression, fashion was one of my passions. I loved dressing up—even for high school. To be honest, I was a bit over the top! But gradually, I lost interest and stopped caring about my appearance. If you notice a change in a loved one’s appearance—or your own desire for self-care—it could be a sign of something more.
Read more at Essence.com
Every month, women around the world are experiencing pre-menstrual syndrome, better known as PMS. The symptoms of PMS vary and are based on where women live, their occupation, and diet. But regardless of the differences, most women will tell you they do not feel like themselves in the week prior or during their monthly cycle.
As common as PMS is, some women experience symptoms that are even more severe, which is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), or “PMS on steroids,” and according to NPR, under the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the DSM-5, PMDD is now considered a distinct mental disorder. While as many as 85 percent of menstruating women have at least one PMS symptom, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, no more than 1 percent of menstruating women are affected by PMDD, which requires the following criteria for diagnosis:
- The symptoms have to correspond with the menstrual cycle for a minimum of two successive months.
- The symptoms must be truly disruptive to a woman’s ability to carry out her normal activities. That’s different than in PMS, where most symptoms are mild.
- PMDD women must report that they aren’t depressed all the time, just in the days leading up to their periods.
As Dr. C. Neill Epperson, Director of the Penn Center for Women’s Behavioral Wellness, told NPR, the woman must clearly have “symptoms under a certain hormonal state that are not there under another hormonal state.”
While PMDD’s inclusion in the DSM-5 is a victory for Epperson and others who served on a work group in charge of updating the manual, the decision was not without controversy. She explained:
“I think any time a disorder occurs more frequently in women or only in women, there’s going to be a group of individuals who have concern that this will diminish women’s role in society, their sense of being capable.”
One such individual is Sarah Gehlert, PhD, who studies health disparities in the school of social work at Washington University in St. Louis. Gehlert is on a quest to find out how many women actually have PMDD to see if there is “any evidence for this disorder.”
“I wanted to go into it as scientifically and objectively as possible,” she told NPR, expressing concerns over how this label may infringe on how women are viewed in society.
“Say a poor woman was in court, trying to see whether she could keep custody of her child. Her partner’s or spouse’s attorney might say, ‘Yes, your honor, but she has a mental disorder.’ And she might not get custody of her children.
“I would feel much, much more comfortable if we understood the biology behind it. Even though we found evidence, the question remains: Is what we described real?”
I’m sure to the women who experience PMDD, this is very real. But whether they feel it’s a real mental disorder will be interesting to watch. What do you think about this new labeling?
We’ve all felt pressure at some point in our lives, especially when it comes to balancing a stressful 9 to 5 and tending to our family’s needs. Sprinkle in time for the hubs too, and by the time you can grab a couple minutes to take in a breath, you are worn out. That life can get completely overwhelming, and you may experience bouts of depression and even contemplate suicide. Celebs are no different, only they lead their lives in the limelight for all to see. They, too, harbor feelings of self-doubt and a sense of worthlessness at times, to the point of wanting to end it all. Unfortunately, some celebs couldn’t handle the pressure, and ended up doing just that. Let’s remember these cherished celebrities who’ve committed suicide.
Lee Thompson Young
Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young committed suicide without leaving a note. The 29-year-old actor of Rizzoli and Isles died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and was found by his landlord in his North Hollywood Apartment. Friends and family were not aware of any life issues the young star was going through.
As the world continues to mourn the tragic death of 29-year-old Rizzoli & Isles star Lee Thompson Young, family, friends and fans remain in the dark about the circumstances surrounding his untimely death. While his death has been confirmed as a suicide, the question of why still remains. What caused this bright young man with so much talent and promise to take his own life?
As previously reported, investigators are still trying to find motive to explain the former child star’s actions, but the chances of solving the complex puzzle seem pretty bleak. After going through his diary and personal computer investigators remain stumped; however, a new detail regarding Young’s mental health history may have shone a bit of light on the investigation. Although those close to him say that they were not aware of any major life issues that he was dealing with, a family member reportedly told authorities that the Famous Jett Jackson star was a victim of “depression issues.”
According to TMZ, a list of doctors who may have treated Young for his condition have been contacted by authorities in an attempt to gauge the severity of his depression.
Our prayers and condolences continue to go out to Lee’s family. Hopefully they are able to find some sort of closure in the wake of this terrible tragedy.
The birth of a new baby is generally a joyous occasion that is celebrated by the welcoming family, but unfortunately, the jubilant life event has been marred by tragedy for one Texas family. KHOU 11 is reporting that a 32-year-old Texas man—whose name has yet to be disclosed to the public—fatally shot himself in his wife’s hospital room shortly after she’d given birth.
The incident took place at the Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital on Sunday afternoon. Investigators say that the child, who was born a mere 3 and a half hours before the shooting, was not in the room at the time the incident occurred. Details surrounding what pushed the new father to take his life are still scarce, but Houston police spokesperson, John Cannon, revealed that his family noticed that he’d been upset lately.
“Family members said he has been distraught recently,” Cannon expressed.
While some reports suggest that the man’s wife was present in the room at the time of the incident, others say that she was not. What has been confirmed, however, is that she was not injured. Witnesses told reporters that they heard arguing coming from the room a little before the shots were fired.
Following the shooting, the man was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he died earlier today. In addition to investigating the circumstances surrounding the man’s suicide, authorities are also trying to figure out how he was able to smuggle a gun into the hospital.
This is such a sad story, but it’s relieving to hear that no one else was injured.
Watch KHOU’s full report on the next page.
Many people have turned to music at sad times in their lives. Singer Lionel Richie is no different — except the music he turned to was his own.
Richie told the U.K. Mirror that in the 1990s, he was going through a divorce and fighting depression
“Then a friend said to me: ‘Lionel, I have some inspirational tapes I want you to listen to,’” Richie recalled to the newspaper. “He handed me my own songs with certain ones underlined and I started listening to my lyrics – this time from the point of view of someone who needed that message.”
Read more at theGrio.com
Blood-curdling photos of cutting have surfaced on Paris Jackson’s Tumblr page among many other photos dealing with death, depression and suicide which makes TMZ’s report that Jackson “will be in treatment for months” due to depression seem quite fitting.
Her suicide attempt earlier this month, according to one TMZ source, was “not the first attempt.” The site also reported that the injuries to her arms when the bandages were removed were “horrifying.”
Though it is hard to pinpoint what specifically has caused such a downward spiral in the life of the daughter of the King of Pop, her Twitter account shows a consistent string of sad song lyrics and questions, some of which even might suggest cutting:
“ every time i try to distract myself it never works and i end up making the same mistake i make every single night………”
There is no official word yet from the Jackson family but TMZ sources reported that Paris will remain in treatment although she is “doing better” at UCLA Medical Center but still in denial and is fighting therapy.
They have also reported that she will be moved from UCLA Medical Center to a different treatment facility where she could stay for three months.
I hope other celebrities like pop star, Demi Lovato, who has fought with cutting and won will reach out to Jackson in support. Last year, Lovato shared her story about depression, suffering from an eating disorder and bipolar disorder and how she began cutting at the age of 11. She also shared how she tackled these things through support of her family and friends and her faith.
We are sending our thoughts and prayers to Paris Jackson and all those dealing with this serious illness.
Depression is a serious illness that can strike anyone, even those that seem to have it all. Here’s a lit of 15 celebs who, despite their success, have battled with the disease.
Angelina Jolie rarely cracks a smile on the red carpet and for a while Jolie felt she had little to smile about. The U.N. Goodwill Global Ambassador battled with depression in her teens and early 20’s. When Jolie’s mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, passed away in 2007, the Tomb Raider star once again fell into a dark period. Jolie agreed to star in the movie Wanted as a means of coping with the depression. “My mother had just passed away, and I wanted to do something physical to get it out of my head for a while,” she said in July 2008. “I felt I was going into a very dark place, and I wasn’t capable of getting up in the morning, so I signed up for something that would force me to be active.” Jolie recently announced she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy earlier this year.
MN, M.D.: I’m Just Entering The Workforce But My Social Anxiety Leaves Me Physically Sick Before I’m Supposed To Arrive At The Office
Q: Do you have any advice for someone just entering the working world who suffers from social anxiety? I experience physical symptoms like headaches and nausea a few hours before I’m supposed to show up at work. I have a hard time feeling comfortable and confident when I finally get there. I absolutely hate being around others and meeting new people. I find myself going to the bathroom unnecessarily just to escape being around others. I reflect for hours on my interactions at work after I get home imagining how stupid I must have come off to people. Unfortunately, I cannot put off working any longer. I’m 19 and really need the experience and money. However, I just realized how hard my life is going to be if I cant figure this anxiety and work thing.
It seems like you have a severe case of social anxiety disorder (SAD). Don’t worry, you are not alone. It is one of the most common psychiatric conditions in the U.S. Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults. You probably have a relative with a similar case of anxiety or you had a traumatizing experience in the past (eg, speaking in front of an audience or a history of childhood teasing). Either way, SAD causes an annoyance to daily living. People often report that the anxiety when they were in their teens, but some have noticed it as early as 5 years old. You probably were also quite shy when you were young. SAD often occurs when there is an anticipation of a new environment or experience (eg, job promotion that requires public speaking) and usually improves when the person gains experience in that area.
Here are a few tips to help you cope with daily living. Taking time for you is first and foremost. Try ways to take the stress off by practicing yoga, listening to music, mediating, or getting a massage. Find ways to relax and clear your head about anything that causes you to stress. Getting enough sleep, exercising daily, limiting alcohol and caffeine can all be used in reducing stress and ultimately removing anxiety. Stop aiming for perfection because it does not exist. Have a good attitude in everything. Lastly, try to look for local anxiety support groups that can help you in coping with this on a daily basis.
For me, when I come across a stressful situation, I always remind myself that it is only for a “season.” Whatever happens only happens for a moment of time. Even if it is going to be a recurring part of my life, I have to tell myself that it is something I am going through but it does not become me. I strive for the best, and if it does not turn out to be a success, I can leave that situation knowing that I did what I could do for that moment. Yes, I try to think about how I can do it better in the future, but I cannot let the past continue to be my present! It happened and I need to move on. Don’t waste time thinking about what others think about you. You may think they notice you are nervous, but keep this in mind: they are not thinking about you. They are busy trying to think about how they are coming across. You need to go into every situation “like a lion” and when the nervous feeling comes into play, always have a strategy on how to quickly resolve it (eg, prayer, taking deep breaths while inhaling and exhaling, counting to 10 slowly). And as I often tell people when dealing with a situation that is causing anxiety, “fake it ‘til you make it”! In other words, present yourself as a person of confidence until that experience becomes comfortable for you.
There are several medications that can help to curb this anxiety. Antidepressants are typically used to treat depression, but also are quite effective when it comes to anxiety disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy is another therapy that is effective. It involves a psychologist or counselor talking with you about what you are experiencing. They will then help you change how you see your situation and how you react to it. The ultimate goal is to teach you how to cope better with your anxiety. Some people find it effective to take medications only, while others take medications and do therapy at the same time. It is very important to talk to your doctor about this because anxiety can lead to other conditions like depression, substance abuse, and even suicide.
Like many others, we watched Amanda Bynes appear in court this morning, tugging on her Halloweenish wig before she was whisked off to a psych ward. Immediately, the office, my co workers and I, started playing psychologist, talking about what could be going on with her, the child star we’d grown up watching on television. A couple of us were certain that what Amanda is going through right now is probably something mental. After all, Amanda Bynes had a very successful career back in the ‘90’s and was able to keep her composure for over a decade afterward. Something had to have happened. My coworker and I speculated that Amanda was suffering from some type of mental illness.
But one of my coworkers couldn’t be certain. She questioned us, how do we know it’s mental illness? Aside from her family saying that she was bipolar and had stopped taking her medication, what evidence was there that she had suffered from some type of mental dysfunction.
I argued that the type of behavior she’s been exhibiting is consistent with someone whose thinking is off.
Then my co worker brought up a good point asking, if behavior like Amanda’s is due to a mental illness, how are we supposed to hold people accountable for their actions?
I argued that just because someone has a mental illness, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s carte blanche to behave any type of way. Somehow Chris Brown’s name came up in the situation and I said that based on the evidence in the way he attacked her, biting, punching, all while maintaining control of the car, blacked out in a rage, shows that he was out of his mind. Another co worker argued that because Chris had grown up seeing his mother being abused, his conditioning led him to believe that type of behavior was acceptable. I still say believing that behavior is appropriate is a form of mental illness. Not being able to control your anger is a mild form of mental illness.
And I don’t mean that because his mental state was altered, that he deserved to get off scott free.
Essentially, I was trying to argue that mental illness is not as uncommon or “other” like the media would make it seem. Any one of us could snap at any moment. Our brains our constantly receiving signals, reacting to hormones and processing information that will ultimately affect our behavior. An altered mental state doesn’t mean that we’re going to live in that state permanently. There are varying degrees of mental instability. And while someone who is depressed or schizophrenic or suffering from some form of dementia shouldn’t necessarily be held accountable for their actions, there are altered states of mind that we can control and should subsequently be willing to suffer the consequences.
But that’s just my opinion. The truth is the mind is still such a mystery that it’s all just theory at this point.
What does mental illness mean to you? When is it appropriate to hold someone responsible for their actions despite mental instability?