depression

how to cope with long term depression

simply stephen / January 11, 2011

This is part 1 of 3 in a series on long term depression.

This is not medical advice. It comes from someone that has suffered and succeeded at managing long term depression without the use of medication. It comes from someone that has been there…and then some!

part 1 – how to cope with long term depression

part 2 – causes and prognosis of long term depression

part 3 – what can you do to help with long term depression

Since we are in the heart of winter it generally brings on many forms of depression, so it’s a great time to expand on a previous post which provided various links to deal with depression.

It’s important to know how to cope with long term or chronic depression and understand the options available for you to get help.

what is chronic or long term depression?

Chronic illness is a long term condition that may not be completely curable. Chronic or long term depression is no different than any chronic illness. There are, however, lots of ways to keep it under control.

Chronic depression is one of the most common and serious mental health problems people face today. Perhaps as many as 1 in 20 people suffer from some form of depression. There is no doubt that depression is a highly debilitating and extremely misinterpreted disease…that’s right disease.

Chronic depression is a less severe form of depression but it may last for several years. Here’s a few types of chronic depression:

Melancholic: loss of pleasure in all activities
Atypical: sleep problems, dietary issues & hypersensitivity
Postpartum: intense depression after women have given birth
Seasonal Affective Disorder: depression occurs in the fall or winter (for several years running)
Catatonic: a rare form of depression with non responsive motor skills and speech

I could continue but instead let’s look at the bottom line…chronic depression is an intense and highly deadly problem that stops people from functioning and having a happy, healthy life.

A bit like having a permanent flu…it stops you from doing just about anything.

symptoms of long term depression

Know that it is also possible to suffer from other mental health and mood disorders such as seasonal affective disorder (winter depression) or manic depression concurrently.

Those suffering from chronic depression (or many forms of depression) may have several or all of the following symptoms.

  1. change in appetite
  2. sleep disturbances (too much, little or insomnia)
  3. extremely low energy levels
  4. mental and physical incapacity
  5. low self esteem or sense of worth
  6. indecisiveness
  7. lack of concentration
  8. persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, guilt & despair
  9. aloof
  10. unapproachable
  11. incredibly angry
  12. loss of interest in most or all activities
  13. lack of ability to enjoy
  14. more extreme – thoughts of suicide or causing harm to others (get help immediately)

There are many more symptoms and combinations of all or some of these symptoms may be the sign of chronic or long term depression.

I know that you are waiting for more answers on the cause, prognosis and solutions but there is a lot of information and detail to cover.

Right now, if you are suffering from any of these symptoms, the best thing you can do – go to the doctor and get a diagnosis.

You need to get treatment or discover if you have depression or some other mood disorder. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis. Once you get a diagnosis, it’s important to take your treatment seriously and follow through on it.

It will probably take many years to learn how to fully control or adjust to your depression tendencies. Stick with your treatment until the end, which could mean lifetime management.

One thing is certain, without treatment you will never completely recover, the symptoms will always return.

Next week please join me to find out more about the possible causes and prognosis of long term depression.

3 thoughts on “how to cope with long term depression

  1. I think one of the most difficult things for folk is to admit they are depressed. It seems to me that sometimes when people get caught up in personal development they try too hard to be positive all the time. This can cause you to deny the true feelings that are there… thinking of those people who are grossly happy all the time, but you can tell it’s an act.

    It’s so helpful to talk about it. And in today’s society this topic is such a “no-no”. Good post Stephen. People are starting to open up and talk about this more. It’s good to see. After a prolonged period of “pretending” things are okay, I believe we start to break down and after a while, we can’t take care of ourselves. There is just no energy to do it anymore.

  2. Davina…coming to terms with any issue is difficult. Society trains us to be stoic and keep things to ourselves. When you are healthy this attitude can certainly help keep a positive aura and motivate all the people in your life but…when you are unhealthy it can be very detrimental.

    Ahhhh….energy, it’s funny how it comes and goes. Learning the triggers and finding solutions with diet, exercise, habits and education is a much greater approach than pretending it’s all right and sweeping it under the rug. There is still a stigma attached to mental health and fatique. What people don’t understand, they can’t accept…perhaps people are learning more or maybe they are becoming a little more accepting.

    Thanks for your contributions and insights.

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