DEPRESSION…IT IS REAL, AND IT SUCKS! Clinical depression, whether by itself or as the other half of the Manic Depressive Syndrome, interferes with our ability to work, eat, sleep, and savor other previously enjoyable activities. Although the exact cause of depression is still up in the air, studies have demonstrated that anything which affects our serotonergic neurons in our central nervous system for a long time may cause alterations in our mood. The most commonly factors found are genetics, hormonal imbalances, chronic stress, grief, as well as a prolonged illness in ourselves or a loved one whose care falls on us. Some of the symptoms are a profound sadness which we feel most days and not just once in awhile; crying spells, irritability, anger, anxiety or panic attacks. We feel fatigued and even become lethargic. The sense of guilt or worthlessness which engulfs us may be almost incapacitating. We lose focus and concentration, ache all over, withdraw ourselves from those around us, and even may think that death and/or suicide is the only answer to our problems. Throughout my long life I have face challenges which punched me in the gut, took my breath away and drove me to the floor in a fetal position. I have mourned losses and suffered pain as most of us do, but I had never suffered of depression until recently. I am a person who in the midst of problems always focuses on the positive. I find the silver lining in every cloud, and the blessing in every trial. I am the one most people who know me think of when they face hardships and pain, to rescue, uplift, and comfort them. But because of that, I am perhaps one who very seldom asks for help from anyone. As a physician I have treated people for depression but never understood them. I must admit, I harshly judged them when faced with their apathy which always made me feel the urge to shake them. Fortunately, because of my knowledge in medicine, I was able to recognize the symptoms in myself right away. In spite of that sense of worthlessness which enveloped me and the horrible thought which invaded my mind repeating, “you are such a waste of space,” I sought help immediately. I spoke with two friends from school who are psychiatrists and although prescribed antidepressants, I decided to try my own way first. A sort of “doctor, heal thyself,” type of thing, even though I kept questioning my wisdom. I am happy to report that I am on the mend. I used everything I know and am to master myself. I prescribed my own protocol for acupuncture, nutrition, essential oils, herbal formulas, meditation, and most of all prayer to get up and not to give up. This latest challenge has taught me several valuable lessons. And I want to share them with you. 1. It can happen to all of us. 2. We must always be on the alert, and learn to recognize when our sadness is more than feeling blue. 3. Seek help immediately. 4. We must take care of ourselves, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It is easier to stop and smell the roses often, and to replenish the energy we spend taking care of others, than to start from zero. 5. We must never become so distracted by the world and its cares, that fail to listen to the cheers from Heaven. No one of us is “a waste of space.” 6. There is Recovery. This is just my opinion…

January 12, 2020



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