Depression is a big deal. It is hurting so many of us, or those that we love. Let's figure out ways to help each other!
This episode is all about the facts, friend. All the definitions or symptoms you'd ever want to know about men, women, teens and the elderly and how depression might even look differently in those different groups.
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Hello, everybody, this is Shannon Earley, your hostess from nesting with the early birds. And today is part two of our depression series. This will be a series that it's going to go on for just a bit of time, particularly in the cold, dreary winter months. Whether you're feeling lonely or depressed, or you're curious about what is depression, then you have come to the right spot. Thank you so much for coming back. And stay tuned, I'll be with you in just a second. Hey, friends, are you ever interested in contributing to funding my show, there are so many different fees that go into podcasting, like website hosting, domain name, the name of my actual podcast itself, having files online on places like buzzsprout being found all of these different steps in growth, do take money as well as time. If you're ever interested in considering donating to my website, or to my show, please check it out at nesting with the early birds.com. And you will find a link to my Patreon account to become a patron of the arts. Thank you so much. And stay tuned. Alright guys, so welcome back to part two of my depression series. Depression and speaking about it is extremely important to me, I know that many of you are struggling with it yourselves, you know, people that are struggling with it. And maybe again, like I said, You're curious because you've heard people talk about it, and you just wanted to know more about it. It is so important for me to get the word out and to normalize. This is something that we can talk about, as a society, something that we can talk about as sprains and something that you'd be able to maybe help arm yourself so that you'd be able to talk about or understand more about it yourself. I have a family member that has been actually hospitalized for suicidal tendencies, tendencies and ideation. And I myself have suffered through depression, many of the women in my family have also suffered through it, which also helps me to remember that there's more than just situational factors. There's a lot of biological and genetic influenced factors as well. And so remember, if you are suffering from depression, it is not your fault. It is not your fault, one bit, there's help for you, there is help for your loved ones. And this is something that we can get through together, I want you to remember that you are strong, and you are important. And you have been made in the image of God, the Creator Almighty, who has created all things. And he has created us specifically. I don't know the reason that he's created you and maybe you don't either, but let me tell you something. Depression is not something that is given from the Lord. That is something that has been unfortunately given to us through the fall. If any of you are not familiar with that word, basically, when Adam and Eve ate that forbidden fruit sin entered the world. And with sin came things like decay, death, depression, these things were not the original plan. And guys, if you're suffering through it, and you're feeling terrible, well, that's because it does feel terrible. It is not something where you are supposed to be feeling. And I wanted to just let you know that you are not alone. There's also a lot of different places that you can find help. I know a lot of people right now are saying Well, during Coronavirus, you know, maybe I'm not making any money right now. Or maybe you don't have health insurance. Maybe you're scared about co pays and things like that. There are many different churches and other organizations that are similar, that actually will offer things like counseling and guidance that will be free to you. You can speak with a follow pastor or Rabbi you can speak with somebody of of your faith, and they will help you not to mention there's even a counseling center that is located within my church. And it also works through others. And it's called Wellspring Christian counseling. And they actually are a nonprofit and they are a ministry to the community, which I've actually used myself and they are fabulous. There are ways that you guys are able to get help. And I know that when you're depressed, it feels like a insurmountable mountain to try to even look out your window to even think that there's something else I know that maybe your teeth are feeling slick and grimy and you're just stuck in your bed and you just don't want to do anything. And I understand I've been there and I understand And you can also call your doctor general practitioners. But there's also different support groups out there. There's a support and referral group in the US that you can call it 1-800-950-6264. They are, you know, not religiously affiliated in any kind of way. Also in the UK, there's depression support groups, in person and online or you can call the mind info line at 03001233393. And there are many other sites that would love to give you guys or numbers but the two other important ones for suicide prevention help. In the United States, it's the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. And in the UK, and Ireland, it's called Samaritans UK at 116123. In Australia, it is called Lifeline Australia at 131114. And if you are in another country, you can visit ay ay ay ay SP, or the international suicide hotlines to find a helpline near you. Now it is time to get into the nitty gritty. I know that a lot of my episodes I try to give personal anecdotes or silly stories or things like that. But for this episode, I wanted to really give you guys the facts are wanted to arm you with some information that you can carry with you and know, you know, carry it in your mind and know Okay, this is what depression looks like. This is what somebody that is at risk of suicide might, you know, act like. And I want to give you guys that information so that you can help yourself or you can help others that might need it, especially during COVID. And the winter time all these things are really compounding depression in us and in those that we love. So as far as what depression actually is, feeling down from time to time, it's a normal part of life, guys, it's just what happens. But when you have emotions such as hopelessness, or despair, and they just take hold of you and will not go away, you might actually have depression. More than just sadness from things like your struggles in life or your setbacks. depression can actually change how you think, feel and function in your daily activities. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy life. Just trying to get through the day can be overwhelming. Some people describe depression as living in a black hole or having a feeling of impending doom, where others describe it as feeling lifeless, empty, or apathetic. Men in particular can feel angry and restless. And however you experienced depression, remember that if it is left untreated, it can become a serious health condition. It's important to remember that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are symptoms of depression, they're not the reality of your situation. No matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. By understanding the cause of your depression, and recognizing the different symptoms or types of depression, you can take the first steps to feeling better and overcoming the problem. Now, I want you guys also to remember that depression varies from person to person. Similar to autism, I think that it's one of those things where you might see some of these red flags, not all of them, maybe they're mixed in jumbled whatever it is, but there are 10 common symptoms of depression, okay. Also, the more symptoms that you have, the stronger those symptoms are or the longer that they've lasted, the more likely it is that you're dealing with depression. I'm actually reading these from a website and it is actually called help guide at lp GUI D. And I can link to that in my you know, podcast description and that kind of thing. But I did want to just read to you what they had written to help other people out there. This article was written by Melinda Smith she has an MA Lawrence Robinson and Jeanie Seagal PhD, they, those three have written this article. So I wanted to give you guys the facts on you know, what doctors might have to say about it. Okay. 10 common symptoms of depression. Number one, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, a bleak outlook, nothing will ever get better. And there's nothing you can do to improve Prove your situation. So that's the thought that's not the reality, but the feeling that there's nothing that's going to ever get better. Okay? Number two, loss of interest in daily activities. So that might mean that you don't care anymore about former hobbies, or pastimes, social activities or sex. So you've lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure. Number three, appetite or weight changes, significant weight loss or weight gain a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month. Now, granted, it's COVID. So in the winter, I'm kind of fattened up right now, like a hibernating bear is a depression probably but also is it fat wintertime, Shannon? Yeah, probably that too. Number four sleep changes. So you can either have insomnia, which is you know, the inability to sleep properly or go to sleep, especially things like waking in the early hours of the morning. Or you could also have sleep issues like oversleeping. Number five, anger or irritability, feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short and everything and everyone gets on your nerves. Number six, loss of energy, feeling fatigued, sluggish and physically drained, your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting, or they take longer to complete. Number seven, self loathing. You might have strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticized yourself for a perceived faults and mistakes. Number eight, reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports. I will say as far as escapist behavior, I wonder if that counts as things like playing a role play game on your ps4 or something. Number nine concentration problems, trouble focusing, making decisions or remembering things. And number 10, unexplained aches and pains, an increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain. Now, they've also found a link between depression symptoms and anxiety, they have said that they believe to stem from the same biological vulnerability, it might explain why they go so often hand in hand. But see, anxiety makes depression worse, and depression makes anxiety worse. So you really need to seek treatment for both contagious conditions. So there's also as far as depression goes, something called bipolar disorder. And you want to also make sure that you're dealing with one or the other. So bipolar, bipolar disorder, it used to be known as manic depression. It involves serious shifts in your mood, energy, thinking and your behavior. And because it looks so similar to depression, when you're in the low phase, it's often overlooked and misdiagnosed. So this is a serious problem when you're taking antidepressants for bipolar depression, because it can actually make your condition worse. If you've ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, or decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, or impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder. Also, guys, depression is a major risk for suicide. Nobody likes that word. It's terrible. It's mostly gives us a guttural reaction when you think about it, but the deep despair and hopelessness that goes with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. So if you have a loved one with depression, you need to make sure make a promise to me make a promise to the Lord that you will take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. And watch for the warning signs, though. So there's a few suicide warning signs that I want to give you guys as well. So want number one, talking about killing or harming oneself. Number two, expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped number three, and unusual preoccupation with death or dying. Number four, acting recklessly as if they have a death wish like speeding through red lights. Number five, calling or visiting people to say goodbye Number six, getting affairs in order like giving away their prized possessions or tying up loose ends. Number seven, saying things like, everyone would be better off without me, or I want out. And number eight, a sudden switch from being extremely depressed, to acting calm and happy. If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek help, immediately talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life. So that means guys, if you're feeling that way, talk about it. Okay, you are so important to be saved your life is so important talk about these feelings with people that you love or people you trust. And the people that are hearing these things, you need to take it seriously. I remember somebody saying once that, you know, it's just as important as any other emergencies, like a heart attack. If somebody talks about suicidal thoughts, you need to call your emergency services number. And when you're feeling depressed, or suicidal guys, your problems never seem temporary. They just, they seem overwhelming, but permanent, which obviously would be an awful feeling. But I promise with time, you will feel better, especially if you get help. There are so many people that want to support you during this time, guys, you are so important. Don't think they don't want to hear about it. They love you. They want to hear from you. Please reach out. I know it is so hard to reach out when you're already feeling depressed. But if there's anybody you can think of a co worker, a pastor of a long friend, you know, a friend you saw a long time ago, a cousin, anybody, a gamer friend, you know that you guys have been buddies playing online games forever, but you don't know them in real life. If there's anybody out there at all that you think remotely cares about you, let them know what you're going through so they can help you. So you can also read suicide help or call, again, one 800 273 talk ta lk in the US, or you can visit suicide.org to find a helpline in your country. Okay. So, depression symptoms actually will vary with gender and age, which is very interesting to me. I didn't realize that at first until I had done a little bit more research on this stuff. And I had no idea. So depression and men so depressed men, they're actually less likely to acknowledge their feelings of self loathing and helplessness. But instead, they tend to complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, loss of interest in their work and hobbies. And they're also way more likely to experience things like anger, aggression, reckless behavior, or substance abuse, substance abuse, guys, that might mean Oh, Harry's had a really tough time and now he's drinking. Okay, everybody understands that? Oh, it's so normal for a guy to drink. And then, whoa, Harry's still drinking. It's been two weeks and then he's really go into town. As that substance abuse Harry's got a problem on crime, depression and women. So women are more likely to experience depression symptoms, such as pronounced feelings of guilt, excessive sleeping, overeating, and weight gain. Depression in women is also impacted by hormonal factors during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. In fact, postpartum depression affects up to one in seven women that have had experienced childbirth. I was one of those seven women guys. What's crazy too is when it says that depressions impacted by menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. It's like, Oh, you mean so always? Women. We are always getting hit by the depression train like what is that? depression in teens. So for you teenagers out there listening up that you have a friend, parents of teens. So depression in teens looks more like irritability, anger, and agitation. They're often the most noticeable symptoms and depressed teens, not necessarily sadness. They might also complain of headaches, stomach aches, or other physical pains. And now older adults were talking you know, grandma's grandpa's during COVID are family members that are especially elderly have been just trapped in their own houses, trapped in their own minds. The loneliness is insane. Older adults tend to complain more about the physical rather than the emotional signs and symptoms of depression so they might complain more like about things like fatigue or explained aches and pains are memory problems. But a big sign is if they neglect their personal appearance, and stop taking critical medications for their health. So if grandma all of a sudden is like, yeah, I'm not gonna take my blood pressure pills, or my diabetes injections, who cares? That's a super big red flag. Okay. So mild and moderate depression are two different types of depression. So depression has a level, you know, of this is depression, like you still have depression of mild to all my goodness, this is a dire emergency right now, the thing is, with depression, if you don't get treated, it can always ramp up to that emergency situation, we want you to get help. before that happens, you are so important. Get help right now, if you have depression, guys, okay. But mild and moderate depression are the most common types. But more than simply feeling blue, the symptoms of mild depression, interfere with your daily life, so they robbed you of your joy, your motivation, those symptoms will become amplified in moderate depression. And that's when it starts to lead to a decline in your confidence and your self esteem. Okay. So there's actually a fancy word for recurrent, mild depression, and it's called dysthymia. So it's a type of chronic low grade depression. So that means more days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, but you might have brief periods of normal mood. The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression. But they do last a long time. So you're looking at least two years, some people also experienced major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia. So that's actually a condition known as double depression. Man, that's something like double jeopardy Ain't nobody got time for double depression. If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like you've always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is just the way you are. So not to be too silly, but I think kind of like your, you know, like, Oh, well, where it's like, well, wait a minute, there was a time to this was not you. But major depression. It's much less common than mild or moderate depression. And it's characterized by severe, relentless symptoms. So left untreated, major depression will typically last for about six months. So remember, earlier I said, Guys, don't worry, it's not permanent, you're going to get okay. But some people will actually experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime. But major depression can be a recurring disorder. Then there's a typical depression, a typical depression. And I mean, a typical as in not normal. So at y p, ICAO. A typical depression is a common subtype of major depression. But there's a specific symptom pattern. It responds better to some therapies and medications than others. So, identifying it can be helpful. People with a typical depression will experience a temporary mood lift in response to positive events like receiving good news or roll out with friends. But other symptoms of atypical depression include weight gain, increased appetite, sleeping, excessively heavy feeling and the arms and legs and sensitivity to rejection, which I guess that's me, guys. Okay, seasonal affective disorder talked about how it's the wintertime right now, and people are gonna need some extra love. So seasonal affective disorder, the acronym is sad, sad. Whoever did that they just loved it. They were like, it's gonna be wonderful. We're gonna play on words, so ponor but for some people in the reduced daylight hours of winter will actually lead to a form of depression, known as seasonal affective disorder, it will affect about one to 2% of the population, particularly women and young people sad can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer, hopeless, sad, tense or stressed with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. Sad usually begins in fall or winter when the days become shorter, and it will remain until the brighter days of spring. So there are also some depression causes and risk factors if you're still with me, you haven't turned there is some causes for this. Okay, so some illnesses have a specific medical cause which can make the treatment straightforward, but depression is way more complicated. So certain medications such as barbiturates barbiturates, why is there an orange button vigilance, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, and specific blood pressure medicine can trigger depression symptoms in some people, as can hypothyroidism. But most commonly, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that can vary wildly from one person to another. Despite what you may have seen in TV ads, or read in newspaper articles, or maybe even heard from a doctor, depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain having too much or too little of any brain chemical that can be cured with medication. biological factors can certainly play a role in depression, including things like inflammation, hormonal changes, immune system suppression, abnormal activity in certain parts of the brain, nutritional deficiencies, and shrinking brain cells, brain cells, but psychological and social factors such as past trauma, substance abuse, loneliness, low self esteem and lifestyle choices, these can also play an enormous part. Now, there are also risk factors that can make you more vulnerable to depression. It most often results from a combination of factors like we were talking about, rather than one single cause. So for example, if you went through a divorce, or you were diagnosed with a serious medical condition or lost your job, the stress could prompt you to start drinking more, which in turn, could cause you to withdraw from family and friends. And those factors combined could then trigger depression. So there's a different list of risk factors that can make you more susceptible to developing depression. And I'm not going to read the description of each of these because I think you guys can probably figure these out yourself. But one of them is loneliness, or isolation, marital or relationship problems, recent stressful life experiences, chronic illness or pain, family history of depression, personality, early childhood trauma, or abuse, alcohol, or drug abuse. But the good news guys is that if you don't understand the underlying cause of your depression, it's going to help you overcome the problem. So for example, if you're depressed because of you know, some dead end job, the best treatment might be finding a more satisfying career, rather than simply taking an antidepressant. Or if you're new to an area and you're feeling lonely and sad, finding new friends will give you more of a mood boost than going to therapy. In such cases, that oppression is remedied by changing the situation. To be honest, though, guys, like I really hate that I'm fat so much, and I just keep eating, is that depression? I think so. Right? low self esteem, self critical, I don't know eating a lot. So I feel you, I feel you. But in all seriousness, guys, if you are feeling depressed, it really can feel like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are so many things you can do to lift or stabilize your mood guys. So just have a few small goals and slowly build from there. And just try to do a little more each day, like maybe your one goal is, today, I'm going to brush my teeth, and take a shower, or maybe just brush your teeth, maybe just one goal for the day, maybe I'm going to make my bed, you can also reach out to other people. So isolation guys will fuel your depression. So reach out to friends or loved ones. So even if you want to be alone, you know, I understand that I understand completely not wanting to let other people in, not wanting to have to, you know worry about how they feel feeling like I'm a burden, I get it. But the simple act of talking to someone face to face, like, you know, on the phone, about how you feel can be an enormous help and the talk isn't something that's it doesn't mean that has to be able to fix you. That person just needs to be a good listener, and you'll know who's there listening. Also, when you're depressed getting out of bed can seem so daunting, let alone exercising I hate when their work first exercise you're like, I don't want to put on underwear. But regular exercise can be as effective as an antidepressant medication, because it counters the symptoms of depression. So exercise could be something like taking a short walk, or putting on some music and dancing around. So just start with small activities guys. Eat a mood boosting diet, reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats. Sugar and refined carbs, and increase mood enhancing nutrients such as omega, omega three fatty acids. also spend time in nature guys care for a pet volunteer, pick up a new hobby you used to enjoy or, you know, find a new thing to do. You want to kind of feel like it at first. But I promise as you participate in the world again, you will start to feel better. Now, I do want to remind you guys that seeking professional help is great. Please do it. Okay. Don't be worried that they're going to start all while, while drawn, you're just not depressed enough to come to my office today, you are a complete waste of space. They're not going to do it, guys. There's different types of therapies. Like it's not just one therapy where they talk, you could do 1000 different types of therapies. There's also medication, which is imperative if you're feeling suicidal or violent or just completely hopeless. Okay, so just remember, it's not No, it isn't. It isn't always a cure, okay. But it can also come with side effects or other drawbacks, but just remember that it can help relieve the symptoms of depression. Okay, it's so important. And I want to remind you also that there are people out there that are going through the skies. If you're going through this, why don't you let me know on my nesting with the early birds Facebook group? I'd love to know, how do you deal with it? Do you have friends or family members that are going through depression currently? Do you have friends or family members that have you know, been, quote unquote, cured from it, or at least in some sort of remission, I would really love to know. And remember that there is hope for depression, it is not going to be permanent. Please do not look at your current circumstances and think that the hopelessness or despair or lethargy or whatever you feel is a permanent thing. And also remember, most importantly, God has created you in his image. He loves you all the time. And at the end of the day, he is there and he is the greatest listener that you will ever have. Put your cares on him guys, prayers, put them on the Lord. If you have any concerns or worries or fears or sadness, tell him let him know. He is the great counselor and he loves you very much