Altered Images – Mental Health


Please remember Never Give up, Never to give in. 

Welcome to what I hope is the first of what I hope will be many blogs to do with mental health illness.  It is a shame that even in this day and age, people are often all too afraid to talk about mental health.  But it ‘s nice to see many people like Wentworth Miller and many others speaking out about their fight with mental health.  It is a battle every day for someone who has mental illness or even a special need of some kind.     I wrote this many months ago, and it is currently upon on the Sane website, Sane is a charity which helps people with mental illnesses.

As a young child I had no idea what depression was, or for that matter I had never heard of mental illness, back in the eighties it was hardly talked. I think it was in my teen years I first heard what mental health was but then it seemed like a work of fiction.  Not once did I believe that I would ever hear the words “Depression or Anti-Depressant” from a doctor so when the diagnosis with psychosis and depression and anxiety as well as EUPD I was surprised personally in the belief I need a new evaluation done and then I can move on trying to help me.    Although I can honestly say my illness caused by a series of events not just one thing, even when it is a happy time there is a period of sadness.  That said when I first found out I had depression I was relieved to know I wasn’t going insane, but then again in a way, it was something I wasn’t expecting either.  I had always had issues with opening up over feelings not talking about things; I kept the bullying and bad stuff locked to me.  Sometimes I think that if I had been able to share the deep emotions, then things might have been different, I lived a life thinking I wasn’t good enough for anyone or anything.      Since childhood I had learnt to utilise my imagination to help with how life was and dealing with emotions, once I was handed the diagnosis my mind some would call it my inquisitive nature wanted to know more about depression. I was surprised to realise that there were so many different variations of depression.  The number one way of raising awareness is to try and explain in basic terms what depression is, the only way I can do this is a personal view of the illness.      Please bare in mind, that I’m not nor have I ever been trained in this and therefore, have researched this subject extensively over the years to the best of my ability I am always willing to learn more.  The problem with writing about Depression is that there is so many different types of depression and many different symptoms for what I think is the same illness at the end of the day.  Sure it will be different for everyone who has depression, a condition I have had for many years.  So let’s start with the major depression it’s identified by a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy activities as well as to function such as washing, housework the stuff people take for granted, to me these were once pleasurable. But a disabling episode of depression like this may occur only once, but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime. This type of depression is also known as:

Clinical depression 
Unipolar depression 
Major depressive disorder. 

A branch of major depression is atypical depression. Atypical depression signs and symptoms are similar to those of major depression. Unlike a person with major depression, someone who has atypical depression will also have one or more of the following:

Significant anxiety 
Panic attacks 
Overeating or significant weight gain 
Increased sensitivity to rejection. 

Atypical depression is the most common subtype of Major depression. This type of depression is common in women.  In any case, I would say that depression is a serious illness that affects a person’s body, mood, and thoughts. It can strike anyone, destroying both family life and the life of the individual who is depressed. Symptoms can include restlessness and irritability; feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness; and persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment. Treatment for depression often involves medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. I know many people who are on both medication and psychotherapy, while others are on just one thing.    As you can tell from what I have written depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way they feel about themselves, and the way they think about things. Depression is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is NOT a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away.  According to the official statistics in any given one-year period, almost 10 percent of the population suffers from depression. Yes, I can hear you now… What about the Economic cost of this disorder? Yes, that is a point well made by many people because the price of treating this condition is extremely high, but then again the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated. Depression often interferes with normal functioning and can cause pain and suffering, not only to those who have it but also to those who care about them. I am only too well aware that the severe cases can destroy family life, as well as the life of the person with this illness. But much of this suffering is unnecessary.
Depression is also known medically as

Major depression 
Major depressive disorder 
Clinical depression 
Unipolar depression. 

At this point I feel that I need, to say that if you’re experiencing major depression.  You may feel feelings of extreme sadness, hopelessness, lack of energy.  Irritability, trouble concentrating, changes in sleep or eating habits, sense of guilt, physical pain.   Thoughts of death or suicide — and it is a battle to get a diagnosis, please hold on in there, this is not because they are ignoring you,  This is because diagnosis, of your symptoms, must last for more than two weeks. I once thought that after the birth of my daughter, that I was over the darkness of the depression I had previous to her birth, but over time I learned that I was not over it I just missed the signs of me falling.  But then in some instances, a person might only experience one episode of major depression, but the condition tends to recur throughout a person’s. I can see the harm the medication can do to a person health talking therapy and medication still seem to have the primary treatments.  But I checked the figures out again recently, and there is a golden lining to the cloud above my head in another word good news: As an estimated 80 to 90 percent of people with major depression respond well to treatment. As this is a type of depression I have had to research and study well, as it was a form of depression that’s less severe than major depression, but is still very real — dysthymia.  You see Dysthymia is a kind of depression that causes a depressed mood over an extended period — perhaps for a year or more.
“People can function adequately, but not optimally.” Symptoms include sadness, trouble concentrating, fatigue, and changes in sleep habits and appetite. This depression usually responds better to talk therapy than to medications, though some studies suggest that combining medication with talk therapy may lead to the greatest improvement. People with dysthymia may also be at risk for episodes of major depression.  The following form is one that is close to my heart, A whopping 85 percent of new mums feel some sadness after their baby is born — but for up to 16 percent of women, that depression is severe enough to be diagnosable. I remember after the birth of my daughter I was put through to the mother and baby team. It appeared to me that they did not take much interest in me. I could never understand why I was even seeing the doctors after my girl had been born.  Sure there was the talk of Postpartum depression, which characterised by feelings of extreme sadness, fatigue, loneliness, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, fears about hurting the baby, and sense of disconnect from the child. It can occur anywhere from weeks to months after childbirth; it most always develops within a year after a woman has given birth. But things was difficult I felt as if the baby in my arms was not my girl she was something that I guess was on loan to me from something else. I felt a failure as if I was aware something was wrong, and yet everything was the opposite. Everything was normal and happy; I did not think anything of it everyone said I had bonded well and yet I felt disconnected from the moment I found I couldn’t breastfeed her. Needless to say, it turned out that my medication and mental health could have caused this, but over the course of a few months and me pushing this to one side I took steps to be the mum I had set my heart on achieving it.  We become close almost inseparable in a good way I knew what she wanted with each cry, I knew that I was nine times out of ten what she needed and wanted and I became a mum. I did everything I could for my angel, my princess she never went without and still does not if anything now I say she gets away with too much. Have you ever felt the sadness that comes with the damp, rainy days? Would you prefer to hibernate during the winter than face those cold, dreary days? Do you tend to gain weight, feel blue, and withdraw socially during the season? If that is the case, then you could be one of the sufferers to have seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Though many people find themselves in winter funks, SAD characterised by symptoms of anxiety, increased irritability, daytime fatigue, and weight gain. This form of depression typically occurs in winter climates, likely due to the lessening of natural sunlight. “We don’t know why some people are more sensitive to this reduction in light.  But symptoms are usually mild, though they can be severe.” According to one doctor, I spoke with recently over this matter. This depression usually starts in early winter and lifts in the spring, and treated with light therapy or artificial light treatment.  Atypical Depression despite its name, atypical depression is not unusual. In fact, it may be one of the most common types of depression — and some doctors even believe it is under diagnosed. This kind of depression understood than major depression. Unlike major depression, a common sign of atypical depression is a sense of heaviness in the arms and legs — like a form of paralysis. However, a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry (now known as JAMA Psychiatry) found that oversleeping and overeating are the two most prominent symptoms for diagnosing atypical depression. People with the condition may also gain weight, be irritable, and have relationship problems. Although some studies show that talking therapies work well to treat this kind of depression Psychotic Depression: Psychosis — a mental state characterised by false beliefs, known as delusions, or false sights or sounds, known as hallucinations — doesn’t typically get associated with depression. But according to the mental health figures, there are people with depression who have episodes so severe that they see or hear things that are not there. Individuals with this psychotic depression may become catatonic, not speak, or not leave their bed.  Treatment may require a combination of antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. According to figures on this that I have found on the Internet, a review of 10 studies concluded that it might be best to start with an antidepressant drug alone and then add an antipsychotic medication if needed. Another report, however, found the combination of medicines was more effective than either drug alone in treating psychotic depression. Bipolar Disorder: If periods of extreme highs follow your periods of extreme lows, you could have bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic-depressive disorder because symptoms can alternate between mania and depression). Symptoms of mania include high energy, excitement, racing thoughts, and poor judgement. Symptoms may cycle between depression and mania a few times per year or much more rapidly. This disorder has one of the highest risks for suicide. Bipolar disorder has four primary subtypes: bipolar I (characterised by at least one manic episode); bipolar II (marked by hypomanic episodes — which are milder — along with depression); cyclothymic disorder; and other specified bipolar and related disorder.  I have met many talented people from musicians through to writers who have this condition and just like them many others with bipolar disorder are typically treated with drugs called mood stabilisers. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, is a type of depression that affects women during the second half of their menstrual cycles. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Unlike premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which affects up to 85 percent of women and has milder symptoms, PMDD affects about 3 -8 percent of women and is much more severe.  PMDD can be severe enough to have an impact on a woman’s relationships and her ability to function when symptoms are active. Feeling depressed because of debts, or Job loss then you could be suffering from a form of depression called Situational Depression. Which is also known as adjustment disorder, situational depressions triggered by a stressful or life-changing event, such as job loss, the death of a loved one, trauma — even a bad breakup. Situational depression is about three times more common than major depression, and medications are rarely needed — that’s because it tends to improve over time once the event has ended. However, that doesn’t mean it should by any means taken for granted or ignored in any way: Symptoms of situational depression may include extreme sadness, worry, or nervousness, and if they don’t go away, they may become warning signs of major depression.
Above are just a few of the many types of Depression illness’s that are out there as I say there are several different types of Depression.  I am not an expert in the field of mental health merely a lady who due to my illness, has decided to research the conditions.  I can’t help being who I am and having the disease’s I do, but I can use it to help others, by getting as much information out as I can.  Just because you can not see the internal effects your behaviour has on a person and I do not act like a hot headed idiot and hit you for your thoughts, and you can’t see my illness’s do not think for one moment my illnesses does not exist.
But please if you or anyone you know suffer from Depression or any mental illness please remember that you can defeat the disease and not to be afraid to accept the help that is out there.  Even on Facebook, there are groups such as DEPRESSION IS AN ILLNESS NOT A WEAKNESS.  Which aims specifically to help sufferers of depression this is the group who many have helped me to publish the few books I have.  I will try to write notes on the illnesses that affect me like this, in turn, will I hope to educate the readers about the conditions, it is only through getting the information out in the open that we will see the changes we need to see.

Please remember you are not alone and never to give in and never give up.

Take Care

Copyright © 2016 by Hewitt


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