Monday, November 25, 2013

Conversations, What a Difference Some Words Make


 Barbara: Hi Jane, How are you? You look a little sad, Is everything alright?

Jane: Oh, it's my fibromyalgia, it's acting up.

Barbara:  I'm so sorry, my mother had fibromyalgia and I know it is painful. Is there anything I can do?
Jane: No, I don't think so. Sometimes it so painful, it's hard to function.

Jane: Barbara thank you for your concern, Sometimes just talking about it with someone who cares, makes it easier to bear.

This dialog could be repeated over and over again, with different people, with different personal physical complaints.

Jane could have had an accident and broke a bone, or just been to the doctor and found out she is diabetic or has a malignant tumor. This conversation is repeated over and over. It wouldn't matter if Barbara was the Principle of the school where Jane work.  If that were case Barbara would have said something like: Please remember Jane you have sick leave, please use them whenever it's necessary. And above all don't worry about your job.


Dave: John, how are you? you look a little down.

John:  Yes, I am having trouble with the deep crater in my mind.

Dave:  I am so sorry. Have you been to the doctor? I understand that medication can help.  Is it MMD? I think that means Major Depressive Disorder.

John: Yes it is,  And you know, it hasn't been too long ago, that if you had asked about how I felt, I would have said that I was Depressed, or maybe say nothing, because, I didn't know of a way to express what I was going through. The normal response to telling someone that you were depressed was, "Ok! you'll get over it. I always do." Or the boss might say: "Come on, show some backbone, Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. and then with a chuckle, Everyone has to pull their load."

Dave: Yea I know, I might not have said anything, but I would sure think it.

John: It seems a marvel to me that this change in understanding could ever happen. You asked about Medication, I am now going through the phase where different medication is tried. The Doctor said, There is a good number of medications that we know will help, But knowing which combination, is the problem, because MMD is a little different in each person.

So I try a pill to see if it makes any difference in how I feel. If it doesn't I stop taking that pill and try a different kind. It's kind of a guessing came. Trying different pill combinations until the right one is found combination is found.

Dave: That sounds like it might take some time.

John: Yes it does. I have a friend who has had MMD for 14 years. He said the finding of the right combination started in 1999 until just recently, here in 2013.

Dave: Gemanetly, how did he survive? You mean finding the right pills might take years until you are better?  Do the doctors know what causes MMD?

John: Yes, there can be several causes. He says that mine is  a chemical problem in the brain.

Dave: Chemical, I would have never thought, Can you explain it to me?

John: Yes I probably could but I think I'll let you read about it on this card that I carry.

At the most basic level, nobody really knows what causes depression. The dominant theory is that it is a result of low levels of certain neurotransmitters (messenger chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to the next) in the brain. This is called the 'monoamine theory' of depression — monoamines being the group of chemicals that these neurotransmitters belong to. The neurotransmitters thought to be involved are serotonin (which helps regulate emotion, sleep and appetite), noradrenaline (which is linked to arousal and alertness), and dopamine (which is associated with pleasure and reward). People with depression are known to have lower brain levels of these chemicals, and drugs that elevate them can help lift mood.
 So the theory makes sense. But it is not known for sure whether monoamines are the primary cause of depression, or whether other factors are causing both the lowered neurotransmitter levels and the depression.   William Styron

John: I had to read it twice and really concentrate before I understood it.  That is really interesting, I had no idea.  So it's something like the pancreas not working correctly and causing Diabetes. My Uncle is a diabetic, and they explained about the pancreas.

John: There are other problems caused by misunderstanding my problem. The world just used the word Depression. It causes a lot of problems because doesn't spell it out. To most depression means, a down day. You know like, coming home and finding a letter from the IRS.

Dave: Yea that would depress anyone.

John: Well, that kind of Depression is not MDD. It's the type that you get over.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Depression Second biggest cause of disability in world.

           as Reported in the journal PLOS Medicine. (POLS Public Library of Science).

Reported by Helen Briggs of BBC News.

     The study compared clinical depression with more than 200 other diseases and injuries as a cause of disability. Globally, only a small proportion of patients have access to treatment, the World Health Organization says.
     Depression is a big problem and we definitely need to pay more attention to it than we now are.
     There's lots of stigma we know associated with mental health.
     The data - for the year 2010 - follows similar studies in 1990 and 2000 looking at the global burden of depression.
     Commenting on the study, Dr Daniel Chisholm, a health economist at the department for mental health and substance abuse at the World Health Organization said depression was a very disabling condition.
     "Around the world only a tiny proportion of people get any sort of treatment or diagnosis."

CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports:

An Estimated 1 in 10 U.S. Adults Report Depression.

National Institute of Mental Health

Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44.
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.
Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men.

WebMD asks:  How Many in U.S. Are Depressed?

CDC Says 9% of Adults Are Depressed at Least Occasionally; 3.4% Suffer From Major Depression
Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).

Mental Health America

Depression is a chronic illness that exacts a significant toll on America's health and productivity.  It affects more than 21 million American children and adults annually and is the leading cause of disability in the United States for individuals ages 15 to 44. 
WND Exclusive; David Kupelian
Fully one-third of the nation’s employees suffer chronic debilitating stress, and more than half of all “millennials” (18 to 33 year olds) experience a level of stress that keeps them awake at night, including large numbers diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder.

As reported by CBS NEWS

CDC: One In 20 Americans Depressed

More than one in 20 Americans aged 12 and older are depressed, according to the latest statistics.

Of them, 80% report some level of functional impairment because of their illness, with 27% reporting that it is extremely difficult to work, get things done at home, or get along with others because of the symptoms of their depression.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The stigma of depression

Men & Depression: Facing Darkness

For nearly a decade, while serving as an elected official and working as an attorney, Massachusetts State Sen. Bob Antonioni struggled with depression, although he didn't know it. Most days, he attended Senate meetings and appeared on behalf of clients at the courthouse. But privately, he was irritable and short-tempered, ruminating endlessly over his cases and becoming easily frustrated by small things, like deciding which TV show to watch with his girlfriend. After a morning at the state house, he'd be so exhausted by noon that he'd drive home and collapse on the couch, unable to move for the rest of the day.

When his younger brother, who was similarly moody, killed himself in 1999, Antonioni, then 40, decided to seek help. For three years, he clandestinely saw a therapist, paying in cash so there would be no record. He took antidepressants, but had his prescriptions filled at a pharmacy 20 miles away. His depression was his burden, and his secret. He couldn't bear for his image to be any less than what he thought it should be. "I didn't want to sound like I couldn't take care of myself, that I wasn't a man," says Antonioni. Newsweek Magazine Feb. 26, 2007

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another Quote

There is another way that these terrible feelings can occur. And it is not brought on by choice, and cannot be turned off by choice. It is because of the chemistry within our bodies. There are many names given, and so common that it is compared to the common cold. Depression.

When chemical changes occur, all the will power and desire we might muster, will not change the emotions we feel. Ask any women, who has had hormonal changes occur, if she can shut them off at will. Or control them in any way.

Abraham Lincoln, who struggled with depression throughout much of his life, once wrote, "If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth.”

Monday, November 11, 2013

Elation and Legitimized

On October 5th 2013, Afternoon Session of General Conference, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Twelve, gave a talk entitled "Like a Broken Vessel".

"I wish to speak to those who suffer from some form of mental illness or emotional disorder, whether those afflictions be slight or severe, of brief duration or persistent over a lifetime. We sense the complexity of such matters when we hear professionals speak of neuroses and psychoses, of genetic predispositions and chromosome defects, of bipolarity, paranoia, and schizophrenia. However bewildering this all may be, these afflictions are some of the realities of mortal life, and there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor."

"Let me leave the extraordinary illnesses I have mentioned to concentrate on MDD—“major depressive disorder”—or, more commonly, “depression.” When I speak of this, I am not speaking of bad hair days, tax deadlines, or other discouraging moments we all have."

"I am speaking of something more serious, of an affliction so severe that it significantly restricts a person’s ability to function fully, a crater in the mind so deep that no one can responsibly suggest it would surely go away if those victims would just square their shoulders and think more positively….", "….this dark night of the mind and spirit is more than mere discouragement."

For those that suffer, or had suffered from this type of depression, I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief. At last, some one understands, I'm not a bad person, lazy, or irresponsible.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

'Cheat the Asylum of a Victim'

George Albert Smith's 1909 -12 Breakdown"

Mary Jane Woodger   The Journal of Mormon History

Though many LDS General Authorities have struggled with physical challenges, George Albert’s nervous collapse, as it was called, reached its nadir in February 1909, leaving him so impaired that he was unable to work or even to deliver a public address. A decade later, he recalled in a conference address,

 “I have been in the valley of the shadow of death in recent years, so near the other side that I am sure that for the special blessing of our Heavenly Father I could not have remained here. . . . The nearer I went to the other side, the greater was my assurance that the gospel is true."

George Albert wrestled with both physical and emotional health issues throughout his life, but this article focuses on conditions leading to an episode of nervous exhaustion that lasted from 1909 to 1912,
then describes an experience Georg e Albert had in the spring of 1911 that changed his approach to both physical and emotional limitations.

The story of his triumph over these maladies, is documented in surprising detail in his correspondence and journals, much of it quoted here for the first time, and in related papers of those close to him. His story deserves telling for the hope it conveys to individuals likewise suffering from physical illnesses that often bring in their wake emotional distress and the inability to serve in Church callings despite their desire to be healed, faith manifested in seeking priesthood blessings, and earnest prayer. Although it is possible from a modern perspective to offer appropriately tentative diagnoses of the organic cause of his ailment and also his mental depression, Smith felt that prayer was his main resource in dealing with his condition.

Complicating a physical diagnosis is the mental component. Apparently debilitating fatigue without an obvious cause and depression can be traced back as far as Asael Smith, Joseph Sr.’s father, and coming forward to John, Joseph Sr.’s brother.

Accompanied by Lucy’s uncle and aunt, John and Lucy Acomb, George Albert reached Ocean Park, California, on April 13, where they rented a beach cottage for twenty-five dollars a month.
Lucy Smith apparently stayed in Salt Lake City with the children. Even though George Albert had spent much of his time in bed in Salt Lake City, there had still been visitors, conversations, news, and
emotional engagement in his apostolic tasks. Here, there were no meetings, no visitors, and no speeches. Instead, he spent his time  sleeping and walking on the beach. He was examined by an un-
named doctor in Los Angeles who was unable to find a source for his nervousness and fatigue. The only thing the doctor found was that his “twelfth rib was out of place under the eleventh rib.” The doctor
instructed him to rest, relax, and receive some kind of “treatments” once a week.

This prescription left George Albert feeling depressed and inadequate, and also feeling that he was letting everyone down. If he wasn’t really sick, then he was doing wrong by resting. His strong
sense of duty burdened him with feelings that he was neglecting his responsibilities. With nothing to distract him but mild recreation and “rest,” he must have continued to brood intolerably.