Friday, March 12, 2010

Oddly Reassuring

I happened on this thoughtful article about Christian faith, ministry, and depression from a magazine called Just Between Us. No new information for me, but lots of things that I can't hear often enough.

The section on major depression helps me feel less freakish. It's good to see that everything I feel overwhelmed by is common to this disease. I'm not dealing with all of these symptoms, but enough of them at various times to feel like I'm totally losing myself. I am comforted and alarmed every time I read a list of depression symptoms and recognize myself.

Major Depression. This is severe clinical depression, an illness. Your physiology, thinking, and emotional state are disturbed. It is disabling and interferes with your ability to function and think normally. It can be experienced at one time in your life or at repeated intervals. It can go on for months or for years, if untreated. The symptoms need to be constant for two weeks or longer to be diagnosed as major depression.

The symptoms include:

  • a persistent, sad, empty mood
  • crying or inability to cry
  • loss of interest and enjoyment in most things
  • significant weight loss or gain
  • waking in the early morning hours and not being able to go back to sleep; insomnia
  • excess sleep, fatigue
  • loss of energy
  • social withdrawal
  • feeling agitated
  • a profound sense of worthlessness
  • feelings of inadequacy or shame
  • loss of sexual desire
  • difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • indecisiveness
  • recurrent thoughts of death or dying, possibly with suicidal plans
  • substance abuse

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Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.