Are you depressed or just unhappy?
No one is happy 100% of the time. You have to experience the doldrums and unhappiness to experience the highs of being truly happy. Do not make the mistake that many men do in self-diagnosing their depression. They tell others that they are just going through a rough patch. For some reason men believe they will be viewed as less virile and less manly if they seek help or look for professional advice.
Depression can occur for a multiple of reasons. There are outside causes like divorce, death of someone close, loss of a job or severe illness or injury. No one would expect you to be happy in any of these situations. You have a ‘right’ to your depression. Depression can also be experienced when someone is trying to become clean and sober – whether from alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal drugs (and anabolic steroids). The other reason is that some chemicals in the brain have become unbalanced. This does not mean you are mentally unstable. Compare it to a slow thyroid. You need so much thyroid hormone to operate efficiently. Without it, life sucks.
Actually, when you visit a psychologist or psychiatrist the first time they will want a complete thyroid panel done with bloodwork. You would be surprised how many times people believe they are depressed when they actually have low thyroid hormones. Many of the symptoms are the same.
If you are diagnosed with depression there are three general categories:
Major Depression – The bad news is you just cannot function. You can’t get out of bed, can’t eat, can’t think, and generally don’t give a damn about anything. The good news is that this type of depression happens only once in a person’s lifetime although you can have several episodes.
Dysthymia – This is when you have symptoms of depression for around two years. The good news is it does not last as long as a Major Depression and the symptoms are not as severe.
Minor Depression – This is just what it says. It does not last as long as either of the above nor are the symptoms as severe. For example, you are depressed because you lost your job and finances are super tight. Then you find a better job with better pay. Abracadabra. You are cured.
So you are reading this saying that you are not depressed. You laugh a lot. Here are some of the symptoms of depression. A few can seem like contradictions, but you have to answer in terms of your everyday life.
• Are you sad or do you feel like you have a hole in your heart? • Do you feel hopeless, irritable, anxious, or angry without real provocation? • Have you lost interest in sex, your family and/or your children? Do you shy away from thing you used to enjoy? • Are you tired or lethargic all the time? • Do you have issues remembering details or problems concentrating? • Do you suffer from insomnia – or are you sleeping too much? • Are you over-eating – or not eating at all? • Have you had thoughts of suicide? • Do you feel like a hypochondriac because you always have a pain somewhere on your body or in your head? • Have you ignored responsibilities with your job or family?
This is not everything but it gives you a good start. If you go on-line and read the symptoms for low thyroid you will see some of the same things. This is why it is so important to get that bloodwork done.
You can be proactive without visiting a specialist first. See your family doctor and tell him you want a full thyroid panel. If he tells you everything is normal, then you can see a specialist. If he sees a low hormone level, he will give you a prescription to bring it up to normal levels. You will be back in the pink in no time at all.