Am I Depressed?

According to Google stats a lot of people search using the phrase ‘Am I depressed?’. I find that interesting…because surely you would know…but as it turns out a lot of people don’t. They think that being sad is the same as being depressed. This is through no fault of their own because society uses the words interchangeably…

“I’m SO depressed that Bieber cancelled his tour”.
“It’s almost that time of the month. Maybe that’s why I am feeling so depro!”.
“Bessie-Sue’s been totally depressed since Billy-Bob left her at the alter”.

Everybody gets sad once in a while, but it’s not the same thing as being clinically depressed. So, maybe you’re the number one ‘belieber’ and were planning on proving it by throwing your panties at him from the golden circle. And, maybe you do get emotional before your blood moon. You may feel down in the dumps because of unrequited love. You may feel terrible grief over the loss of a loved one. These are horrible things to endure (arguably not the Bieb thing), but they aren’t depression.

Most people think of depression as an advanced case of sadness, and although that’s true it’s not quite accurate. Depression is more like emptiness. Like a numbing despair. A person may feel sad that they got dumped, but to a clinically depressed person, the thought of a romantic relationship may seem empty and pointless anyway. Depression carries with it a sense of futility. There is no joy in anything or looking forward to any future event because everything is worthless and devoid of pleasure.

As always, Mayo Clinic, or as I like to call it ‘The Holy Grail for hypochondria’, has a little checklist of symptoms. To be diagnosed with clinical depression, Mayo Clinic says you must have at least five of the following symptoms over a two-week period, nearly every day – most of the day.

  • Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as constant irritability).
  • Significantly reduced interest or feeling no pleasure in all or most activities.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected)
  • Insomnia or increased desire to sleep
  • Either restlessness or slowed behavior that can be observed by others
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Trouble making decisions, or trouble thinking or concentrating
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt

Some people are unfortunate enough to experience depression multiple times and for prolonged periods in their lives. I have only experienced depression once and that was at the height of my nervous breakdown. I know of others who have also experienced anxiety and depression simultaneously, and interestingly the drugs prescribed for depression (e.g. prozac) are pretty much the same thing as the drugs prescribed for anxiety (e.g. paxil). In fact, in the book Prozac Backlash, the author says:

“Four potent seratonin boosters – prozac, zoloft, Paxil, and Luvox – are the focus of the first half of this book. Also called the Prozac group, these four drugs are officially treated as a class because of their similarities. Many patients on Zoloft, Paxil , and luvox are unaware that these are close relatives of Prozac, sharing the same primary mode of action and many side effects.”

These drugs are called SSRIs (Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) and they don’t work for everyone. In fact, if you do even a cursory search on anxiety and depression forums, you will see that for many people, their symptoms actually get worse, or where they previously only had anxiety, they now also have depression, and vice versa. Even if you are one of the lucky ones and these drugs do help you, you surely won’t want to live on them. Searching for a natural holistic cure that doesn’t involve paying a lot of money each month should be a priority for you, and that is where I believe I can help you…

A natural cure for anxiety, and perhaps depression too…

I wrote a book entitled How I overcame Panic Disorder Without Drugs and I am currently giving it away for free. I know that this book can help you if you are suffering from an anxiety disorder and I’m fairly certain it can help you if you are suffering from depression too. So, please feel free to grab a pdf copy from GumRoad. There are no strings attached. If you enjoy the book, please consider donating via GumRoad, or give me a nice review somewhere (amazon/goodreads/kobo). That is all I ask.