1. Is Peer Pressure Causing Teens to Become Depressed?

    May 8, 2014

    Is Peer Pressure Causing Teens to Become Depressed?

    Teen depression is becoming more and more common all around the world. Teens are known to have a hard time becoming their own person. Their pasts’ and the present affect how well-adjusted they become. If signs of depression are presenting themselves, they should be treated right away.  However, most teenagers who come down with depression aren’t sure how to handle it or where to turn for help. If signs of depression are presenting themselves, they should be treated right away.

    There are many causes of depression in teens, way too many to list but here are some of them:

    Stress Academically: School can cause a lot of stress for teens including the pressure to get good grades, make friends, be popular, get in with the “cool” crowd, what classes to choose, what sports to be a part of, and all of the homework that they are required to do. Other stresses include the pressure of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Each factor listed above is a major cause for depression in teenagers.

    Peer Pressure: Everyone, especially teens, want to be liked by their peers. When children become teenagers, they are still trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Most teenagers are looking to be popular in their group of peers. Some of the ways they attempt to reach their popularity is often through trying drugs and risky behaviors. They may also change who they are to become who the popular crowd would like them to be. This can lower the teenager’s self-esteem quite a lot. This type of peer pressure often claims many teens mental state which causes depression.

    Relationship Break-Ups: Teenagers aren’t usually ready for serious relationships. However, there are many teens that are dating and falling in love prematurely. This is not saying that teenage relationships can’t last forever but the honest truth is that most of them don’t last past high school. However, this fact doesn’t make a break-up any easier. When a break-up occurs, it will often leave the teen feeling helpless and depressed. This is one of the most common causes of teenage depression.

    Divorced Parents: In another regard to relationships, when a teenager has to deal with their parents getting divorced, they can become very confused. They may also feel guilty as well. It is important to note that parental divorces are never the child’s fault. However, the guilt that the teenager feels often manifests itself as depression. If this is the case, the teen should see a therapist or a counselor right away.

    Genes: There are many illnesses that are linked to heredity. Many studies have linked depression to genetic traits. If a teen has a family member who has had or is suffering from depression, they are more likely to have depression themselves.

    Having Low Self-Esteem: Unfortunately, there are many teenagers who suffer from low self-esteem. There are many reasons for this including acne, not having what they consider enough friends, and sometimes even the parents aren’t supportive enough.

    If a teenager is dealing with any of the above mentioned factors and they are feeling depressed they should talk to a therapist or a counselor as soon as possible. If they are dealing with any of the above issues and they aren’t depressed, it still may also be a good idea for them to see a therapist or a counselor to talk their feelings through before depression takes over.

    The first step in battling depression for teens is coming to an understanding of what is happening to their lives and their own bodies. Once they can grasp these understandings, they will be more likely to get out of and stay out of depression. While therapy or counseling is the first recommended treatment for depression in teens, some cases of depression do require anti-depressant medications. It is not a bad thing if a teenager has to be put on these medications; it just means they are getting their depression under control. If you are a teenager and you are feeling signs of depression please contact someone right away. Also, if you are a friend or a parent of someone who has signs of depression ask for help as well.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/merfam/71578640/

  2. When will Spring come? Overcoming Seasonal Depression

    March 12, 2014

    When will Spring come? Overcoming Seasonal Depression

    by Daniela Aneis

    I had a depressed patient in psychotherapy that used to ask me frequently “When will Spring come?” meaning when would she overcome depression and see the light at the end of the tunnel (We started treatment in the Fall so her question made sense at the time). A few months into treatment and feeling quite better, she said to me: “I don’t know why I thought it would all be better in the Spring. It’s still raining and cold and I feel better. It’s all me [referring to several changes she made in herself, her habits and the way she saw herself and depression].”

    To set the record straight: clinical depression is a life threatening condition if not properly treated and needs professional treatment. Both pharmacological and psychological treatment. But I’m not going to talk to you about clinical depression but about what might be called seasonal depression – a mood fluctuation due to seasons passing and usually is felt during the Fall or Spring. People go through it without realizing but it can make small damages into your life. You may feel inexplicably sad, without the motivation and energy to pursue your goals, isolated. And if you’re having other problems in your life, you might just be opening the door to let the clinical depression settle into your life.

    So watch out for the signs before you open the door to let depression in. Instead try to make it feel like Spring is here earlier.

    Seasonal Depression: What are the signs?

    • Do you feel drained? Without energy?
    • Do you feel like sleeping too much or not enough?
    • Are not motivated to do things or start new projects?
    • Having been feeling sad lately for no good reason? Or experiencing mood swings?
    • Have you cried more than usual?
    • Do the things you used to love doing not give the same pleasure as they used to?
    • Do you feel like staying at home all the time and don’t feel like going out or being with friends as often as you did?

    If you’re experiencing some or must of these signs, you may be experiencing a seasonal depression. Watch out for these signs and try some of the strategies presented below.

    A few to tips on how to let the Spring in earlier:

    • Open your windows, let the sun in. Winter is a season where there’s less natural light, the weather is gray and rainy most of the days and lack of natural sunlight often aggravates depression.
    • Clean the house. Literally! Organizing your home space and getting rid of the junk will make you feel lighter.
    • Make the best out of the sunshine. Are you feeling tempted into spending a lazy Sunday indoors? Go outside and get some sun!  Even if just for an hour it will have enduring effects on your mood.
    • Practice exercise. Exercise creates a relaxation state and helps you take off the steam.
    • Be with friends. Isolation is not only a sign of depression but it works as fuel to the depression cycle. Break the cycle and set a date with your friends.
    • Sleep well. Not much! And wake up early. A good night sleep is usually everything. So try to keep health sleeping habits (like going to bed at the same time every night, doing relaxing stuff before going to bed)
    • Make the best out of your day. Try to do different things and step away from your routine.
    • Watch out for the signs. And make necessary adjustments to counteract its effects. What do you need to change in your life that will ease some of the seasonal depression’s signs and effects?

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35924887@N02/5448338240

  3. Natural Ways to Treat Depression

    February 6, 2014

    The post has been removed after editorial review.

  4. Depression – When the Initial Treatment Doesn’t Work

    January 31, 2014

    Depression - When the Initial Treatment Doesn’t Work

    Depression is a condition that stems from a variety of different factors, and this makes it difficult to treat effectively.  Upon diagnosis and development of a treatment plan, there is no guarantee it will be effective. While this can be quite discouraging, it is important to consider why things didn’t work. If you are someone who suffers from depression, consider the following points of view as an explanation for why, and see if it applies to you in any given way.

    Wrong Diagnosis

    It can be uncommon, but sometimes the diagnosis of depression can be wrong all together. There are various mental illnesses that have the patterns that depression follows, and if this is the case, then the treatment of depression isn’t going to be the answer. An example would be something like hypothyroidism, which is a condition that produces consistent fatigue, a lack of overall motivation, and problems with concentration. While these all sound like depression, and the similarity is significant without question, a treatment for depression will not cure hypothyroidism.

    Substance Abuse

    When there is a plan put together to help resolve depression symptoms, the use of alcohol or other drugs can hinder the effect of the medication. Something as simple as a beer or a glass of wine can interfere with the medicine being absorbed properly, and the intended effect will not take place.

    Living Situation

    Sometimes the individual diagnosed with depression is in a living situation with many different stressors that need to be addressed. Without successfully dealing with the stressors, the depression will be very hard to treat. If there is a lot of tension at home, work, or other areas of the person’s life, then the effective treatment of depression will be very hard to achieve.

    Unhealthy Sleep Patterns

    While depression medication is geared to help the mind deal with any chemical imbalances, it isn’t necessarily designed to cure insomnia. If an individual is not sleeping properly, the lack of rest can prevent the mood from improving.  Lack of sleep can prevent someone from getting better all together. The likelihood for heightened anxiety is more likely from someone who doesn’t get the proper amount of rest, as well.

    Stopping a medication too soon

    When a person is prescribed anti-depressants, the concern for dependence might cause fear, and in some cases, this will stop the person from using the medication. This will prevent the medication from developing its optimal effects. Medication has to be taken as prescribed for a period of at least 2 weeks to see any improvement, and for several months to gain the desired effect.  Coming off of the medication too quickly can cause side effects or even withdrawal symptoms, and the positive developments will have to be started all over again.  This can take longer each time the person starts and stops his/her medication.

    Depression is something that can be very difficult to understand, and it’s even more of a challenge when you are the individual with the condition. While discouragement is something that may occur during your first attempts at treatment, it’s essential to consider the reasons as to why it didn’t work, and to continue pushing forward for other solutions. Depression is a very intense feeling to manage, but as long as there is a will there, then a way will be available in due time.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmican/260122970/


  5. Depression Treatment and Relapse

    January 17, 2014

    Depression Treatment and Relapse

    Depression, much like any other mental illness, responds well to certain treatments and not so well to others.  This is true for both: therapy and medications, an anti-depression or anti-anxiety medication may work for one person but fail for another. There is also the possibility of a relapse to the negative feelings, especially if the treatment plan is not followed.   There has been a recent study that discusses adolescents and the likelihood for a relapse with “depressive” feelings, and it discusses various approaches as a means of intervention. Among the examples are:

    1. Switching to another medication, such as anti-depressants Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, or Prozac
    2. A cognitive behavior therapy approach, which places emphasis on problem solving and behavioral change management.
    3. A switch to Venlafaxine as well as engaging in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)

    The variations of treatment approaches for depression fall under the criteria of therapy and medicine essentially. More importantly, the common symptoms that are addressed happen to be the management of stress and strengthening of problem-solving skills.  The challenge of depression isn’t so much treating it, but how long it has to be treated, and that is something that is vastly misunderstood by many.

    To consider depression a temporary problem is to lack a true understanding to the condition. To claim that the feelings diminish and gradually become easier to control is a realistic observation, but depression never fully goes away, at least for some.  Individuals learn to have a better grasp of control over it, and this control allows them to manage the symptoms of their condition.  When an individual learns exactly what depression is for them, and learns how to manage it, the effect it can have on their life is a sense of control and renewed happiness.

    Relapses with Depression are not Relapses


    As mentioned above, a relapse with depression isn’t necessarily a relapse. It is usually inefficient management of stress, and the need to realign with proper coping techniques. When you think of the word relapse, you think of an addiction or a habit that is put to rest, and then resurfaces during a difficult time. Depression is a feeling, not a habit, and the due to this classification it has to be handled as such.

    The approach of chemical balance through various medicine techniques is one way of trying to balance the feeling from a scientific point of view, and there is nothing wrong with that.  But from the perspective of thought and problem solving, depression is learning the most effective way to manage stress and deal with the stressors that drive the feeling of despair.

    Depression is something that needs to be constantly monitored in regard to situations or circumstances that create the feeling of depression. It is a life-long challenge that is never essentially “perfected”, but it is managed in a strategic way that keeps the discomfort at a minimum. To fall back into a feeling of depression is simply a situation that needs to be revised in regard to coping skills.  An effective approach toward managing depression understands that it is a lifelong condition, not something that falls under the confines of resurfacing as what science labels a “relapse”.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dskley/9484448937/

  6. Prescribing Brain Surgery for Depression

    January 14, 2014

    Brain Surgery for Depression

    Depression is a condition that is sometimes impossible to fully cure, and it can be quite difficult to manage. Some individuals are very treatment-resistant; among patients with depression, it has been reported that 10-20% of them will not get better with standard therapy/medications treatments.

    With a rate of failure reaching into the 20th percentile, the scientists are looking for ways to help improve the quality of life for those individuals who are treatment-resistant. This has led to a procedure that involves surgery on the brain. Medical researchers from the University of Toronto reported the surgery on the brain as having a 60% rate of success, and it is considered the equivalent of a process that is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. The procedure is known as DBS, or deep brain stimulation, and it targets the area of the brain that stimulates neural activity. The surgery involves drilling into the brain and placing the equivalent of a pacemaker within (this allows electrodes to be activated in the given area of the brain). The stimulation is meant to cause relief and tame negative feelings. The surgery is done while the patient is conscious to make sure that no brain damage is being inflicted during the procedure.

    While in theory the success rate is fair, the surgery is something that will likely have quite a bit of controversy towards it. People who have suffered with severe depression for all of their lives may be at a point where they are willing to try anything, but people who are still confident in being able to handle the condition on their own may feel the idea of surgery as extreme and unnecessary. For the individual that has given up hope on their condition, this may very well be a viable option, but otherwise the idea of surgery is something the typical individual wants to avoid. The idea of someone drilling into the skull and stimulating areas with electric current isn’t something that should be viewed with a sense of calm; it usually generates an awkward and fearful emotion.

    While the process itself has been proven to help up to 60% of the individuals, it is likely going to be something that takes time to be accepted.  This is on account of the sensitivity held toward surgery and processes of such severe nature in general. An individual being treated for depression is going to be in a position of wanting to feel control; they want to believe they are doing all they can to beat this mental ailment. When an individual is led to take the approach of surgery, the moment can be defined as a moment when all internal hope has been abandoned, and they simply want to see if a possible resolution exists for them.

    Surgery may have complications and side effects, and for that reason, it is a solution that unfortunately has a lot of discomfort surrounding it. Surgery and the concept of uncomfortable doubt tend to be two ideas that go together. While improving the feelings that coordinate with depression are showing positive strides from the perspective of numbers, it’s hard to sell many people to the idea of complex surgery.  The important thing to consider is that if the surgical approach continues to deliver positive outcomes, the feeling of it becoming a more acceptable solution will develop on its own time. The important thing to consider is that if the surgical process is delivering results that an individual was otherwise unable to acquire, then the amount of good that is coming out of it will lead it to being viewed in a more positive light over time.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/faceleg/2538479224/

  7. How To Detect If You Are Headed For A Mental Breakdown?

    January 10, 2014

    Are Headed For A Mental Breakdown?

    Do you feel so stressed and full of anxiety that you think you are headed for a mental breakdown? Have you gone through a horrific situation lately and due to this you are extremely fatigued, emotional, worn down, and ready to break down?


    If so, you are probably on your way to a breakdown.  Those that experience a mental breakdown don’t normally get there quickly. It is usually a process of stress induced situations and negative emotions that tend to take over one’s life.


    The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that among 26.2 percent of American adults, who are diagnosed with mental health disorders, almost 70% suffer from an anxiety disorder. They actually wonder if perhaps a vast majority of Americans are on the verge of a nation-wide breakdown.


    People respond to stressors differently, so while one person may have a lot of stress and tend to manage it, others may not be able to handle it as well and it can put them on a path to a breakdown. For example, sales is a demanding career field and can throw a lot of stress one’s way.  One person may be well able to let go of that stress on a daily basis. Maybe this person is doing daily meditation and yoga or other exercises to relieve the stress buildup.  Another person may not be able to handle it as well and as that stress load builds up, he may begin to feel extreme anxiety, agitation, fear, and have mood changes.  The stress build up can lead him to become confused, angry, withdrawn, act out, or a host of other symptoms can occur.  In the worst case scenario, the latter may tend to display psychotic behaviors, thus detaching somewhat from reality and having a complete breakdown.


    Mental breakdown symptoms


    If you are experiencing more than three out the following symptoms, you may be headed for a mental breakdown and ought to consider seeing a counselor for professional help.


    Mood changes.  If you are experiencing mood changes frequently, you could be headed for a breakdown. If you are normally happy go lucky, but are not miserable many days, there is something underneath the surface causing the mood changes, which very well could be stress or emotional distress.


    Many tears. If you find yourself crying a lot and that is not like you, you may be struggling with some heavy emotions and stress. Crying is actually a good way to relieve stress and negative emotions, but if you are crying a lot more than normal, you could be on your way to a mental breakdown.


    Using alcohol/drugs. If you have been feeling a lot of pain, stress, frustration, etc. and opt to use alcohol and/or drugs to cope, you could be on the road to a mental breakdown. All such substances do is stuff all of that negativity deeper down into your consciousness, which will not heal or cure it.  Not only could you be headed for a breakdown, but also a life of addiction and negative consequences.


    Apathetic. If you were once full of life and vitality and lately you just don’t care about anything or anyone, your mental state is suffering.  If you don’t enjoy the things you used to or simply can’t focus on anything, you could be headed for a mental breakdown.


    Dietary changes.  Those that are headed for a mental breakdown could either be eating way too much or not eating enough.  Stress and racing thoughts can cause a person to not feel hungry and cause digestive problems even when he or she eats.


    Shaking.  When the nerves are on high alert, the body reacts physically.  If your hands are shaking or your body feels shaky in general, your thoughts and mind could be anxiously controlling your life.


    Sick all the time.  Hypochondriacs always feel like something is attacking their bodies or they imagine they have come down with every sort of illness.  Chronic stress can certainly wear the body down and illness can become a result. If you feel sick all the time, see someone in regards to whether or not you are headed for a breakdown.


    Depression. Chances are if you are majorly depressed most of the time, you are headed for a mental breakdown. You could be ridden with guilt, shame, or chronic grief that continues to bring you down and down. If you feel as such, please seek professional help.


    If you can resonate with some of these symptoms, it may be time to seek a healthcare provider that can help you, as you may need to navigate through this time with someone who has experience helping others with the same issue.  Understand that mental breakdowns are not necessarily a bad thing; they are simply stepping stones to dealing with some unresolved issues in your life and making some necessary changes in order for you to live a happy and healthy life.

     Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbg_photos/2768320831/

  8. Astrocytes and Depression

    December 28, 2013

    Astrocytes and Depression


    by Sean M.


    Yes, astrocytes, a term that very few of us are familiar with, but in due time many of us will be more aware of. Millions of people who experience consistent depression are in a constant venture to understand the why’s and the how’s in regard to its occurrence, and how to put an end to these terrible sluggish feelings that impact being productive, let alone happy. Well, astrocytes are apparently a very important thing to put into consideration according to some recent neuropsychology studies.

    So, what are astrocytes? Astrocytes are star-shaped brain cells that cause a rapid improvement in mood in depressed ‘patients’ after acute sleep deprivation. Currently the majority of anti-depressant medications take weeks of time to kick in and begin to have a lasting-effect, whereas the sleep-deprivation technique kicks in almost immediately, but currently is not long lasting solution. With all the talk that is placed around depression and unhealthy sleep patterns it sure ties your brain in knots to question which path leads to results, and which path is downright ‘nutty’.


    Sleep Deprivation Versus Normal Sleep


    If you look up the term ‘sleep deprivation’ it’s actually defined as a form of ‘mental torture’, so it makes you wonder just how effective this technique can be when placed toward people who are already experiencing some tough mental conditions. According to scientists that placed medication that delivered the ‘sleep deprivation’ reaction, mice seemed to still sleep ‘normal’, but had decreased depressive-like symptoms, and increased levels of adenosine in the brain. These results were sustained for a period of 48 hours. So, what is adenosine? Adenosine is the chemical that controls the urge and need to sleep according to what the brain tells us.

    Sleep has a lot to do with how we feel during the day, whether it is the impact it has on our motor functions, our mental clarity, or our overall productivity, it has an impact on each example. A healthy amount of sleep is associated with being able to be at our very best in all conditions of life. There is a large amount of thought that is based around the condition of sleep to and how changes in sleep patterns can help aid in curing depressive feelings. When it comes to something as sensitive as ‘sleep deprivation’ it makes you wonder how an idea viewed as ‘torture’ has ended up as an idea for depression release.

    The discussion behind the idea of curing ‘insomnia’ as a means for defeating feelings associated with depression holds fair angles and relevance, but ‘sleep deprivation’ is the opposite side of things and I fail to see how a loss of sleep could actually help this condition.  The idea behind it I supposed is having just enough rest to allow the mind to be in a position of having full awareness and the ability to have maximum potential for productivity. I still can’t find a way of taking something that is defined as ‘torture’ and using it as a technique for a potential solution for a condition that is already delivering feelings of mental challenge.

    When you consider depression you think about the impact it has on motor functions and thought processes and it all contributes toward a collection of ideas that lead to ‘sluggish’ behavior, decreased response time, lack of motivation, and other mentally challenging characteristics. The further deprivation of sleep, regardless of what scientific efforts are able to report, I can only view as a stab at something that could lead to worsening the problem in the long run. The emphasis put toward the fact that it is only a short-term cure only further confirms that the potential for it to do more harm than good. For the long-term view of things sleep deprivation can take a condition that is already on a very unstable level of mental psyche and turn it into an even worse situation.  When you tamper with sleep patterns it has a very sensitive effect on the most basic of bodily functions, in regard to mental stability. To take a body that is already suffering from a lack of motivation and energy and to deprive it further of something that helps replenish that, sleep, I fail to see the positive outcomes that are considered a ‘possibility’.

    Image Credit: Jessia Hime @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessia-hime/3038466793/

  9. A Condition Often Misunderstood

    December 26, 2013

    A Condition Often Misunderstood

    by Sean M.

    When we think about depression the initial thing that comes to mind is ‘sadness’, but there is a lot more to being depressed than the simple feeling of despair. Sadness is certainly a part of the condition, but there are several more elements that make it much more complex and, therefore, more difficult to understand and treat. The only way to grasp an understanding toward depression is by evaluating the impact it can have on various angles of life, and from those angles developing a point of view with proper explanation. Yet, any definition of depression is always going to fall under the category of opinion, on account of there being so many different ways to describe it.


    Person’s Goals and Mental Perception


    When someone is depressed the ability to think clearly becomes heavily compromised. The ability to set  clear goals in life becomes incredibly complex to someone who is depressed and, typically, these goals are very ‘generalized’. An example of an effective goal would be something like “I want to feel better about myself, and I’m going to do so by losing 15 pounds, and learning a new language”, whereas an example of someone dealing with depression would set a goal such as “I want to be happier”. The idea being that there is an ideal there that the depressed individual wants to achieve, however there is no effective plan to achieve it, therefore it is a ‘generalized’ goal.

    Another idea that can be taken from that example is the overall ability known as ‘perception’. The way that a depressed individual views life can be explained as having a general acceptance for things, as opposed to trying to be proactive and find solutions for problems and challenges on their own. The whole entire mental condition of someone dealing with depression becomes very submissive,  which tends to prevent the individual from achieving goals as well as any other positive self-development over time. When someone is depressed the feeling to achieve and try to better oneself is almost non-existent, and the feelings of negative emotions are so powerful that desire for self-improvement is very uncommon.

    Depression acts as a powerful hindrance toward mental capabilities such as:

    • A difficultly to remember positive times in life, which leads to a more permanent stasis on the condition of feeling lost and depressed.
    • A habit of over-generalizing which impacts the ability to remember memories all together, and the memories that are remembered are often blur and unclear.
    • Loss of time in general. When someone is severely depressed the attention towards the day of the week, the time of the year, and so forth are inaccurate. Depression defeats the desire to pay attention to what is going on around you.


    Depression and a Sense of Reality


    While many studies have claimed that people who are suffering from depression have a more realistic grasp on life and perception, the question is what researchers call “realistic”. If you take an individual that has experienced a number of difficult times through their life, than from ‘life experience’ it can be claimed they have developed a “realistic” mind-frame based on what they have been through. When you have a depressed individual, their mind frame is going to be based on a flow of negative factors, and the expectation for a minimized potential for a positive outcome. This kind of feeling would be on account of having a generalized negative bias towards everything, and a lack of belief that good things are to come. This is a point of view in regard to what depression can be defined as. When a similarity is made between realism and depression it is a very fine example in regard to how depression is often misunderstood, realism and depression are two totally different mind frames.

    Realism is something that is developed from life experience that leads to an ability of generating an opinion toward ‘situational’ outcome based on probability. Depression is essentially a chemical imbalance that occurs for a number of different reasons. It prevents the mind from having hopeful expectations in a number of ways, and between depression and realism they are two mental frames that couldn’t be more different. Depression is something that is learned about further each and every day, but it is ineffective to try to claim depression and ‘realistic’ thinking go hand in hand, they simply don’t.

    Depression is a condition that has existed for a very long time, and on account of having such a spread of different definitions it can be easy to misunderstand. It’s misunderstood because of how many elements compose its condition, and with that being put into consideration, depression needs to be evaluated with an open-mind because there are so many different factors that can define it. The more open-minded one can be toward the feeling of depression, the closer the opportunity is to fully understand it.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/metabolico/536081022/



  10. A Life Time With Depression

    December 24, 2013

    A Life Time With Depression

    By Laura Copeland

    When I think about how hard my life has been it still cuts me up sometimes. I wonder what a depression free life would have been like, if my childhood was happy and fun, if I hadn’t had this dark cloud overshadowing my whole life, if I hadn’t spent most of my life being my own worst enemy.

    I can’t even remember when it all began, when I first started feeling like this. I’ve always been this way for as long as I can remember. Even when I think back as far as I can, I remember how hard my life felt and how I just didn’t want to exists.

    I didn’t even know I was depressed until after I was diagnosed when I had my daughter at the age of 23, I just always thought, this is how life is. I look at how happy and confident my daughter is now and it makes me realise it was not normal at all.

    It makes me think how did no one notice, how could I go through my whole childhood being that depressed. I mean I couldn’t tell anyone because I didn’t realise there was anything to tell, but how didn’t anyone else see?

    Even the social workers didn’t see what was going on and tried to pin it on abuse, which there was none. I always felt like I was a trouble maker and a lot of the time I was made to feel like I chose to be like this, like it was my fault. All I wanted was the love and understanding I needed and the help to get better.

    When you’re a child with depression and you don’t know what’s going on, it’s like you have no control because you can’t just go to the doctors for help. I remember wishing so many times for someone to help me, for someone to see that I didn’t want to be like this and I wasn’t just trying to cause trouble.

    This has been the case for most of my adult life as well and I have only recently been able to get my depression under control, although I have had a recent lapse. It seems to me that I can achieve a period of time where I feel like I live my life without depression but the challenge is the maintenance. And I have only had two of these depression free periods, which isn’t many in a total of 30 years.

    Does all this make me want to give up though?

    No way, I’ve tasted freedom and it makes me more determined to find this permanently. There are so many things I’ve tried and some of them work very well for me and it’s about commitment.

    I know exercise and mediation work wonders for me but it doesn’t mean I always have the motivation to fit them into my life. Even though I know they will make me feel so much better I still have some resistance.

    I mean I’ve been this way for nearly the whole of my life and it’s so scary making that change for good. It’s a learning process and I the older I get the easier it is. There are now so many things I just don’t see the point in getting upset about, like I used to.

    There is one thing I know for sure and it’s that a lot of how I am is down to not thinking I’m good enough and at my worst times I would literally bully myself in my head. I had no chance, constantly telling myself how no one cared and how I was no good and when I say constantly I mean every minute of every day!

    Talk about living in hell but that is the one thing that I have managed to control. I can’t even imagine doing that to myself on a daily basis, to that extent anymore. Of course I still put myself down now and again but it’s mostly specific to something I’ve done, instead of a running commentary in my head.

    Being able to stop this habit has transformed my life and it has given me hope of full recovery. It has shown me that I can change, even something that I’ve done for the whole of my life, something that is so embedded in me it felt like it was a part of me.

    My life may have been hard up until this point, well it still is but I am so close to coming out on the other side. And when I do it will be my soul goal to help others break free too.

    I mean, I just have to, otherwise what was it all for? Knowing that I can use all the heartache I’ve been through to help so many others, makes it all worth it. It has also made me who I am and I slowly love that person more and more every day.

    We all have a purpose and we all can make a difference in the world and I hope to make beating depression mine.

    Not only for myself but for everyone I have the privilege to inspire.

    Author Bio: Laura Copeland is the founder of Female Worth, empowering women to accept the best, attract the best because they deserve the best. Female Worth is a site dedicated to helping women live the lives of their dreams by enabling them to believe in themselves and grow strong self-worth.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sophiadphotography/10597799035/