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Under such circumstances the neutral, yet sympathetic, observations and responses of a doctor or skilled therapist can usually result in a suitable treatment programme being formulated to the benefit of both the sufferer and the concerned family members.
For those persons who do get depressed, one of the major hurdles to overcome is the fact that because of the apathy, loss of hope, sheer misery, feelings of guilt and self-reproach, and disinclination to bother people with what appears to be a hopeless case, they often just do not believe there is any point in seeking help.
It is often said of depressed people they;
- do not want anything to be done
- do not believe others, who try to reassure them they will get better
- insist that the bleak vision they have of their own life, in particular, and of life in general is true
- are extremely resistant to suggestions that all is not lost, that recovery can be achieved, they will feel better and they have felt better in the past.
Many of the accounts of suicide reported in the newspapers relate to such a sad state of affairs. It is a regrettable fact that few people in the immediate circle of the suicide victim ever grasp the nature of what is happening or, if they do, have little or no idea of what help is available. Such deaths are especially tragic in this day and age because few people suffering from depression or mania need die. Suicide is preventable for the most part.
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression.