Depression: No Longer Taboo

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Depression: No Longer Taboo

Mental health word cloud collage, health concept background

Mental health word cloud collage, health concept background

Mental health word cloud collage, health concept background

Mental health word cloud collage, health concept background

Christian Deleo, Staff Writer

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Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest.  Major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms.  These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem.  Depression drains your hope of happiness or desire to be around others.

History of Depression 

Originally, the idea of depression was thought to be caused by demons and evil spirits.  This theory has existed in many cultures, including the ancient Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, Chinese, and Egyptians.  Because of this belief, it was often treated with methods such as beatings, physical restraint, and starvation in an attempt to drive the demons out of the afflicted individuals. 

In ancient Greece, depression was referred to as melancholia, deep sadness or gloom. Many thought melancholia was caused by the demonic forces that haunt this world.  Hippocrates, a Greek physician, suggested that personality traits and mental illnesses were related to balanced or imbalanced body fluids called humours.  There were four of these humours:  yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood.  Hippocrates classified mental illnesses into categories that included mania (lunacy), melancholia (depression), and phrenitis (brain fever).  He believed melancholia was caused by too much black bile in the spleen and used bloodletting, bathing, exercising, and dieting to treat depression. 

It wasn’t until the 21st-century that depression became a major topic of conversation.  It used to be that if you had it, you would just shake it off or not mention it because it was something to be hidden.  Today there are about 300 million people around the world that have been diagnosed with depression.  

The young, modern British royals (Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, and Megan Markle) have begun a movement to spread awareness of mental health and to dispel the myth that people with mental illness are weak or defective.

Prince William said, “While the circumstances of any one situation are unique, it is clear that many families could have been helped if they had found it easier to talk openly about mental health challenges in the home…  And I have been really disheartened to learn that even with all the progress made in recent years, many parents would still be ashamed if their children had a mental health problem,” he continued.  “It is often said that fathers can often find it hard to talk about their own feelings so there’s no wonder they struggle to speak to their son or daughter about the topic.  But we don’t really have a choice. I really believe that a child’s mental health is just as important as his or her physical health.”

Treatment

  • Exercise-Exercise produces endorphins, which are nature’s happy pills.  This is the cheapest and most effective treatment for depression!  And it only has positive side effects!
  • Think positively-Think of the good in things and make good decisions that positively impact others. 
  • Care for a pet or visit the animal shelter and/or rescues-Pets can help simulate the care and affection of a human being.  Go out and walk your dog and get some fresh air!
  • Try to engage in social activities-When you feel depressed, you often want to be alone in your shell.  The feeling of communicating with other people can pull  you out of a funk.  
  • Find the right treatments-Find a therapist and check out your options; they don’t necessarily involve medication!
  • Chocolate
  • Pray to god. God hears and sees all. He can turn your life around in seconds. Tell him what’s wrong and trust in Him to guide and lead you.