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DEPRESSION
Hope Is Giving Your Pain Meaning

Elizabeth, a married 42 year old female with two children, presented to my office for the first time. She described how, over the past several months, she had become increasingly unable to “deal with life.” She reported feeling sad, hopeless at times, not finding things like her kids’ soccer games or date nights with her husband enjoyable and trouble getting out of bed in the mornings, despite getting around 10 hours of sleep a night. Her appetite was erratic and she would sometimes go more than 24 hours without eating “because I forget to eat,” while other days she found herself binging on carbs and sweets. Elizabeth told me she had never considered herself to be a “sad” person and feeling like this was making her “feel like I’m going crazy.” She tearfully admitted that she sometimes fantasized about driving her car off of the interstate “just so I wouldn’t have to feel like this anymore. Of course, I’d never do that. I have two kids whom I love too much to ever do anything like that. Still the thoughts come and they scare me.

We decided she would start seeing a therapist weekly and would also begin medication to help her manage her depression. Elizabeth was cautious but willing to give it a try. Six weeks after starting therapy and an antidepressant, Elizabeth was back in my office. “I feel lighter. I’m not sleeping as much but I seem to have more energy during the day. I’m learning to challenge some of my negative thinking patterns in therapy and that’s been hard but helpful. And I haven’t had thoughts of wanting to die in over 3 weeks, which is such a relief.” Elizabeth continued her treatment plan and within 4 months, reported such fantastic improvements in her mood that she asked to come off the medication. She was advised to continue it for a few more months, decreasing her chance of relapse later. She agreed and, after 12 months on medication and completing her therapy program, she was able to successfully wean off the medication without return of any symptoms. “I have my life back and I actually like it again. I love watching my kids play sports and my husband and I have date night every Friday night, which I look forward to all week. That’s worth everything to me.

Self-Test for Depression

1

How often have you been bothered by feeling down, depressed, irritable, or hopeless over the last two weeks?

2

How often have you felt that you have little interest or pleasure in doing things over the last two weeks?

3

How often have you had trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much over the last two weeks?

4

How often have you felt tired, or had little energy over the last two weeks?

5

How often have you been bothered by thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way over the last two weeks?

If you answered "More than 7 days" to 2 or more of these questions, you should speak with a professional about the possibility of having Depression.

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What WellPsyche Patients Are Saying

“My depression came on so quickly. I had a series of bad things happen in my life, right in a row, and then it was like the depression just smacked me in the face. I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. Then I told myself everyone feels this way and I should just suck it up. But when I started missing days of work and my family started having to tell me to shower every few days, I knew this was bigger than just feeling blue. It wasn’t easy to ask for help but I’m so glad I did. I don’t know if I’d be here if I hadn’t.”

Tenille, age 27

“After the birth of my second child, I really struggled. My OB referred me to WellPsyche and, although I was unsure at first, I’m so glad I followed her recommendation and reached out. My WellPsyche provider helped me out of a really dark time in my life.”

Suzanne, age 39

“In my family, you don’t talk about your feelings. You certain don’t tell anyone you want to die because you feel so bad. I had so much shame about the way I felt. WellPsyche taught me that depression is an illness with real treatments that actually work. I will teach my children it’s okay to ask for help, even when the problem is ‘in your head.’”

Cesar, age 48

Did You Know?

MANY famous and highly successful people have been diagnosed with Depression inlcluding Dwayne, The Rock, Johnson, Actor, Katy Perry, Singer and Musician, Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer and gold metalist, Kristen Bell, Actress, Bruce Springsteen, Musician/Singer, JK Rowling, Author, Sheryl Crow, Singer and Musician, Terry Bradshaw, NFL Hall of Famer and sports commentator, just to name a few.

Depression Resources

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