When de­pres­sion strikes

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Annie Lane

I want peo­ple to know that de­pres­sion can hap­pen to some­one even if her life ap­pears won­der­ful. I know from ex­pe­ri­ence. A few years ago, I had just mar­ried a won­der­ful man and moved to a beau­ti­ful home in a fun new city. I had been look­ing for­ward to these changes for months. How­ever, once we moved, I found my­self deeply sad and ir­ri­ta­ble.

I re­mem­ber when our wed­ding pic­tures came in the mail from our pho­tog­ra­pher. I felt as if I were look­ing at a stranger when I saw my­self. The happy bride in the pho­tos seemed a mil­lion miles away. I won­dered what was wrong with me. How could I have been so happy just a few weeks be­fore? I was ab­so­lutely pos­i­tive that I would never smile again the way I smiled in those pho­tos. On top of that, I felt so em­bar­rassed and ashamed to be so un­happy. Af­ter all, a large group of my friends and fam­ily just cel­e­brated with us, brought gifts and wished us well.

I forced my­self to join a so­cial group in my new city and saw my pri­mary care physi­cian for a re­fer­ral to a men­tal health pro­fes­sional. She di­ag­nosed me with de­pres­sion and ex­plained that a ma­jor life change can some­times con­trib­ute to de­pres­sion, even if that life change is some­thing great. I got treat­ment and have felt much bet­ter. I want other peo­ple to know that they don’t have to suf­fer with de­pres­sion. There is help avail­able. — Chris in Mas­sachusetts

Thanks so much for com­ing for­ward and re­mind­ing all of us that de­pres­sion is com­mon and treat­able. To­day, Oct. 6, is Na­tional De­pres­sion Screen­ing Day. About 10 per­cent of Amer­i­cans suf­fer from de­pres­sion each year. Symp­toms to look out for in­clude feel­ings of hope­less­ness and pes­simism, de­creased en­ergy, in­som­nia or over­sleep­ing, and sig­nif­i­cant changes in weight. If you feel you or a loved one may be de­pressed, see a li­censed ther­a­pist.

Any­one can take a free and anony­mous de­pres­sion screen­ing at http://www.HelpYour­selfHelpOthers.org.

In re­sponse to “Sick and Tired,” the gen­tle­man who is 5 feet tall and hav­ing a tough time: My hus­band and his brother were both short. The dif­fer­ence in the two was that my hus­band car­ried him­self tall while his brother used his height to gain pity.

My hus­band not only han­dled ev­ery­day life well but also stood up for those who could not stand up for them­selves. Once, when a gang of teens sur­rounded a man in a wheelchair, ter­ror­iz­ing him, my hus­band, who was us­ing a cane at the time to get around, waded into the fray, giv­ing the man a chance to get into a nearby store.

The store man­ager, a woman, came out to help, while all the “tall” men hid like chil­dren in safety.

It is not your height that makes you tall. It’s how you feel about your­self. — Proud of My Hus­band

Symp­toms to look out for in­clude feel­ings of hope­less­ness and pes­simism, de­creased en­ergy, in­som­nia or over­sleep­ing, and sig­nif­i­cant changes in weight. If you feel you or a loved one may be de­pressed, see a li­censed ther­a­pist.

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