Monday, June 14, 2010

Depression :O(

Along with lactose intolerance I have dealt with depression. And as I recognised it in two friends of mine recently I think it should be discussed and brought out in the open. It is never beneficial to try and go it alone. It is important to recognise that you need help and seek it out.
Firstly, to discuss it with a dear friend is helpful and get another perspective on how you are feeling and what you should do. Depression can be physically and mentally paralyzing, it's hard to think or care about what to do about how you are feeling.

I remember a long time ago a very beautiful friend of mine telling me that she was comfortable just wallowing in her own self pity, alone sad and crying. I helped her pack her bags to leave Kuwait for good. She's fine now living in Cyprus, still has episodes but it's not the diagnosis or Kuwait that's the problem but how YOU choose to deal with it. Every day is a battle when you are depressed and the battle will eventually wear you out.

I did do therapy - just the one session - where I moaned, whined and complained about my 'imagined' terrible life. And I, now, know why the therapists let you do all the talking in that first session because as I heard myself I had an epiphany and could not believe what I was complaining about.

No, I wasn't cured but didn't go back for therapy. I worked very hard on getting back my self-esteem, having happy positive people around me, getting out of the house, laughing and enjoying life. But if it hadn't worked I would have definately looked for other solutions. Depression is not anything to be ashamed of and there is help at hand.

Symptoms of Depression

Do you have symptoms of clinical depression? Sure, most of us feel sad, lonely, or depressed at times. And feeling depressed is a normal reaction to loss, life's struggles, or an injured self-esteem. But when these feelings become overwhelming and last for long periods of time, they can keep you from leading a normal, active life. That's when it's time to seek medical help.

If left untreated, symptoms of clinical or major depression may worsen and last for years. They can cause untold suffering and possibly lead to suicide. Recognizing the symptoms of depression is often the biggest hurdle to the diagnosis and treatment of clinical or major depression. Unfortunately, approximately half the people who experience symptoms never do get diagnosed or treated for their illness.

Not getting treatment can be life threatening. More than one out of every 10 people battling depression commit suicide.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include the following:

Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, making decisions, fatigue and decreased energy, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness, feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism, insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping, irritability, restlessness, loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
overeating or appetite loss. persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment, persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings, thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts.

Help is at hand in Kuwait at Soor Centre [link] and Al-Razi Counseling Center Al-Jawhara Towers, First Floor, Baghdad St. Salmiya, 22034 Kuwait. Tel. 2571-1411, 2573-7773. There's also Grace (American therapist) tel 97410789 or 25632387.

Here is a link to a site that shows the psychologists (only meds no therapy) and therapists (only therapy no meds) available in Kuwait, their contact numbers and office address [link].

Here's another sufferer's tips that might be helpful [link].

LWDLIK- It's the wasted months and years spent sad and alone (even in a room full of people)  that are the heartbreaking symptoms. The endless crying and pain of what should have, could have been and the 'why me' questions.

My depression was brought on partly due to my painful quest to have children, the miscarriages, the failed IVF attempts. I did finally have a child but the depression didn't lift and the fatigue of finally having a child with colic and not getting any sleep left me at the brink of losing the plot completely. I should have been ecstatic at having my beautiful baby but was so tired I could barely function. I tried B-12 jabs, St. John's wort, evening primrose, B-complex, yoga and exercise. Eventually just getting out of my pyjamas, taking a shower, putting some lipstick on and getting out to share some moans and laughs with the girls got me through. I do, still, take lots of supplements from vit B-complex, vit C, calcium with vit D, iron, etc., to phyto-estrogens (Evecare) and I do think they help. Try to learn to be happy and appreciate what you have.

Thanks to my husband, gorgeous daughter, great friends and family I'm really well now and watch out for those cloudy days knowing that they will pass. Just getting out to see my girlfriends for coffee, thinking positively or a meal out with family or friends and a good laugh will chase those clouds away.

Hope this helps :O)

10 comments:

  1. AnonymousJune 14, 2010

    hmmmm there is a herb that can help with all that...what's it called...hmmmm :)

    Counting ones blessings and being thankful usually helps me when am depressed.

    Best of luck

    EB

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  2. I was loosely diagnosed with depression by a GP after the love of my life was killed (still a mystery if it was murder or suicide), followed by a dear friend's suicide: within a 2-month timeframe. I live alone in Kuwait so it was more difficult without the support of my family. The grief was more than I could handle. I couldn't stop crying - all the time. I even cried when I went shopping! My family and friends didn't know how to talk to me (WHAT do you say to something so tragic?).

    The GP in the US put me on anti-depressants and I worked through the depression at my own pace (no therapy - which probably would have been beneficial, but difficult in Kuwait in those days and probably even now). I am glad I took the meds for as long as I did; they numbed me of all highs and lows and I could just rest my mind.

    My family got me to stop taking them after almost 18 months and I have been fine since. I am glad I took the medication. It helped me deal with/cope with issues that I couldn't have alone - even though I consider myself a very strong person.

    My sister (like many other people) doesn't believe in anti-depressants. I told her, "Okay fine - give up wine for 6 months and then we can talk." She never said another word! :)

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  3. dear ,i think you are out of it already. Realizing that you are depressed it is the "first step" to come out of it. You are doing a great job of posting your feeling on your blog ..then meeting your girlfriends ...spending quality time with your little one. You are doing just great .. Wayyyyyy to go LWDLIK.
    I identify myself when you say "I should have been ecstatic at having my beautiful baby but was so tired I could barely function"...... Yes i was being so ungrateful too....
    Thank GOD i found he right path later.

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  4. Dear EB
    Thank you again for your usual helpful input LOL :O)

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  5. Darling DG
    That's a lot to cope with. I'm really glad you have come through the other side. I think you were spot on to take the meds we all need help sometimes. I've had many friends take anti-depressants and they can really help. I think you're right they numb the pain til time heals things a little.
    Lord, it's strange the things that unite people. Thanks for your story you never know who it might help.
    Love and a big hug, Kim x

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  6. Dear Shazia
    I really hope it's all passed. At least I feel better to cope, strangely enough. Yes post-natal depression is scarily common.
    I think the whole taboo of discussing depression is part to blame. I mean if you had an ear ache you wouldn't think twice about going to a Dr and getting some meds.
    Thanks for the comment I'm glad you enjoy the blog. x

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  7. AnonymousJune 16, 2010

    I have heard of Grace. Does anyone know of her qualifications? What might be her fees? Where she is located? Thanks, NatureNurture

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  8. Hi NN
    I went to Grace and a few of my friends with good results. She is a Westerner and a therapist (so she can't prescribe meds but she will recommend a psychologist who will if she feels you need them). She used to be in Salwa and used to charge between KD 30-40, seems a lot but you're worth it. Her number's mentioned in the blog. If you can't get thro email me LWDLIK@gmail.com. There is also a link to a site showing the other Drs available and their qualifications. Good luck :O)

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  9. Where can you get St. John's wort in Kuwait?

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    Replies
    1. Have you tried Boots in The Avenues?

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Always great to hear from you :O)