Sunday, September 14, 2008

Depression is different from feeling blues or down

My friend, Peggy, has just started "Mission 4 Monday".

The purpose of MISSION 4 MONDAY is to share YOUR MISSION each week.

I am thankful to God that I can continue to serve Him through this blog.

One of the missions of my blog is to share with others God's goodness and mercies to me in managing clinical depression and bipolar disorder, as well as resources that will benefit a person with a mood disorder and information for their family and loved ones.

Last 2 weeks, I shared two articles written by my friend and fellow blogger, Marja Bergen namely "Trust during rough times" and "Finding meaning in a life with bipolar disorder".

Today, I like to share that there is a great difference between depression/clinical depression and feeling blues or down.

Everyone has an occasional time of feeling down, disappointed or sad. Usually this feeling doesn't last very long and one can get over this after a while by thinking in a more positive way, engaging in pleasurable activities or recreations, spending time with friends and loved ones, etc etc. Some people said they are "depressed" during such time but in reality that is not depression but feeling blues or down.

Depression is a mental health disorder that can affect the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. A depressive disorder is more than a passing mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness, and it cannot be willed or wished away.

Depression is a far more severe condition in which a person is not able to will himself out of it. Symptoms lasts everyday for more than 2 weeks and can persist for months until it has run its cycle or cut short through medication and other intervention or treatment.

A depressive episode is diagnosed if five or more of the following symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer :

• Lasting sad, anxious, or empty mood
• Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex
• Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being "slowed down"
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
• Restlessness or irritability
• Sleeping too much, or can't sleep
• Change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain
• Chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury
• Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

A depressive episode is a real medical condition that can be treated and needs to be treated. Without appropriate treatment it can last for months and sometimes years, and the sufferer's life is greatly incapacitated.


My friend and brother-in-Christ, George, sent me a link to a very encouraging video on depression "Depression - A Stubborn Darkness" by Edward T Welch. It turned out to be a video that was posted by another of my friend and brother-in-Christ, John.

This short and moving video on depression sheds some light on depression and it's impact upon the sufferer and his loved ones.

If you are a Christian and you are suffering from prolonged clinical depression, you will likely have to cope with false guilt. I recommend that you read the messages of Dr David P Murray on the "Depression and the Christian" and you will find much encouragement and help. Clinical depression is a medical condition that can be treated. I hope you will seek help besides praying to God.

Know that you are not alone and we can find comfort in God and His Word while we await His restoration through His Words and the various means He has made available for us in this generation.

Hope this short video will bring some comfort to you if you or your loved ones are suffering from depression. This video "Depression - A Stubborn Darkness" is posted by John on YouTube.

Thanks again for stopping by! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements!

Take care and God bless :)

For more Mission 4 Monday posts, visit Peggy at MAZES, MESSES, MIRACLES...aMAZING GRACE. It will be a very encouraging experience for you!

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