An­tide­pres­sant stigma

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - HEALTH - Dr. Gwen Ran­dall-Young Psy­chol­ogy for Liv­ing Gwen Ran­dall-Young is an au­thor and award-win­ning psy­chother­a­pist. For per­mis­sion to re­print this ar­ti­cle, or to ob­tain books, cds or MP3s, visit www.gwen.ca. Fol­low Gwen on Face­book for daily in­spi­ra­tion.

“Al­though the world is full of suf­fer­ing, it is also full of the over­com­ing of it.”

Many peo­ple suf­fer from de­pres­sion, which may range from mild to de­bil­i­tat­ing.

It may be the re­sult of life cir­cum­stances, hor­monal in­flu­ences, or the in­di­vid­ual’s body chem­istry.

Some mild de­pres­sion re­quires no treat­ment. It goes away on its own. Sit­u­a­tional de­pres­sion may lift when ac­tion is taken to change the cir­cum­stances that are con­tribut­ing to the prob­lem.

When de­pres­sion is deeper, or more long last­ing, that is when it can in­ter­fere with the qual­ity of life.

Some turn to drugs or al­co­hol. Oth­ers feel sad all the time, and lose in­ter­est in the things they used to en­joy. Re­la­tion­ships can be af­fected.

In se­vere de­pres­sion the in­di­vid­ual may not even want to get out of bed, neglect per­sonal self-care, or even be­come sui­ci­dal.

There are com­mon sense things that can be done to help al­le­vi­ate de­pres­sion. Get­ting ex­er­cise, eat­ing healthy foods in nor­mal amounts, get­ting a good night’s sleep and avoid­ing neg­a­tive peo­ple all help.

See­ing a ther­a­pist is also ad­vis­able, and some in­di­vid­u­als re­quire anti-de­pres­sant med­i­ca­tion.

In some cases it is true that a com­bi­na­tion of ther­apy and med­i­ca­tion to­gether work bet­ter than ei­ther one alone.

Un­for­tu­nately, some are re­luc­tant to con­sider med­i­ca­tion be­cause they feel there is a stigma at­tached to hav­ing to take med­i­ca­tion.

I tell my clients it is no dif­fer­ent than a di­a­betic hav­ing to take in­sulin. A de­pres­sion with bio­chem­i­cal at­tributes is nei­ther the per­son’s fault, nor is it a weak­ness.

If you are some­one who re­quires this med­i­ca­tion, do not be hard on your­self. If you are some­one who has never been de­pressed, or re­quired such med­i­ca­tion, be sup­port­ive of those who re­quire it.

Do not make jokes about anti-de­pres­sants be­cause there is a good chance some­one in the room is tak­ing them.

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