A Woman’s Depression [Honesty]

Depression Fits the Hearts of Women

Women experience twice the rate of depression as men.

Women have twice the chances as men

Everyone experiences disappointment or sadness in life. When the “down” times last a long time or interfere with your ability to function, you may be suffering from a common medical illness called depression.

Major depression affects your mood, mind, body and behavior. Nearly 15 million Americans — one in 10 adults — experience depression each year, and about two-thirds don’t get the help they need.

Women experience twice the rate of depression as men, regardless of race or ethnic background. An estimated one in eight women will contend with a major depression in their lifetimes.

Researchers suspect that, rather than a single cause, many factors unique to women’s lives play a role in developing depression. These factors include: genetic and biological, reproductive, hormonal, abuse and oppression, interpersonal and certain psychological and personality characteristics.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Little interest or pleasure in doing things
  • Feeling down, depressed or hopeless
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much
  • Feeling tired or having little energy
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Feeling bad about yourself, that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down
  • Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television
  • Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed or the opposite in that you are so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual
  • Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way

Women may be more likely to report certain symptoms, such as…

  • anxiety
  • somatization (the physical expression of mental distress)
  • increases in weight and appetite
  • oversleeping
  • outwardly expressed anger and hostility
 
Stay close to your friend

Helping a Woman with Depression

People with depression aren’t the only ones who suffer. Their friends and loved ones may experience worry, fear, uncertainty, guilt, confusion or even be more likely to go through depression themselves.

The situation may be especially trying if your loved one doesn’t realize that she is depressed. You can help by recognizing the symptoms of depression and pointing out that she has changed.

Recognize even atypical signs of depression. Women may be more likely to report certain symptoms, such as anxiety, physical pain, increases in weight and appetite, oversleeping and outwardly expressed anger and hostility. Women are also more likely to have another mental illness-such as eating disorders or anxiety disorders-present with depression, so be alert for depression if you know a woman with a history of mental illness.

To point out these changes without seeming accusatory or judgmental, it helps to use “I” statements, or sentences that start with “I.” Saying “I’ve noticed you seem to be feeling down and sleeping more” sounds less accusatory than “you’ve changed.”

Talking to a Woman with Depression

If a friend or loved one has depression, you may be trying to figure out how you can talk to her in a comforting and helpful way. This may be difficult for many reasons. She is probably feeling isolated, emotionally withdrawn, angry or hostile and sees the world in a negative light.

Although you may feel your efforts are rebuffed or unwelcome, she needs your support. You can simply be someone she can talk to and let her share her feelings.

It’s important to remember that depression is a medical illness. Her symptoms are not a sign of laziness or of feeling sorry for herself. She can’t just “snap out of it” by taking a more positive outlook on life.

Helpful responses include, “I am sorry you’re in so much pain” or “I can’t imagine what it’s like for you. It must be very difficult and lonely.” Instead of simply disagreeing with feelings she conveys, it is more helpful to point out realities and hope.

A woman with depression often expects to be rejected. You can reassure her that you will be there for her and ask if there’s anything you can do to make her life easier.

If your loved one is not diagnosed or not in treatment, the most important thing you can do is encourage her to see a health care professional.

*Never ignore statements about suicide.* Even if you don’t believe your loved one is serious, these thoughts should be reported to your friend’s doctor. If this is an emergency, call 9-1-1.


http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Mental_Illnesses/

Depression/Women_and_Depression/Women_and_Depression_Facts.htm


Epileptic Christians Rule

Epilepsy understood
Epilepsy understood

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.”

Psalm 73:26, NLT

I think it’s time for me to talk openly about this.

For several months I have been experiencing absent seizures. These are moments when I just ‘check out’ and stare at something–actually at anything, but bright and flashy will almost always draws me in. These are not the ‘grand mal seizures’ with the jerking and shaking and rolling around (but I’ve been told that these can happen to me.) I have the ‘petit mal’ variety. Many times they go undetected and unnoticed by others. They seem like a long pause of thoughtfulness. But it isn’t. I’m having a seizure.

It seems just what I needed, “another kick-in-the-head.” The thought has been brewing lately that I’ve been mistreated by God again. Why? (Why do I always get the hammer? I wonder if heaven has a Complaint Department?)

My medical history would rival the classic, “Moby Dick” in terms of sheer mass and requiring “heavy lifting.” Hepatitis C, Manic depression, Brain tumor surgery and all the after effects–and now this. Perhaps, I need to spend some quality time with my Father?  I like this verse a lot.

“O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed;
    if you save me, I will be truly saved.
    My praises are for you alone!”

Jeremiah 17:14, NLT

I have worked hard to eradicate self-pity over the years (or I think I have). I’ve had so many medical issues and I don’t ever want to add “hypochondriac” to this list.  I heard this joke about a young boy who was so caught up with his illness that he started to take his M&Ms one by one with a glass of water, like a pill.

The jolt is becoming real now. They want to take my driver’s license away. (What next–will I be mandated to hear a protective helmet?) All of this is so wrong, it seems to me. (“Can I get an ‘amen’ here?”) The last few days I’ve taken a new med, a proven anti-convulsive. I have never ever wanted a drug to work more then this one. Unfortunately, I am experiencing some side effects. I covet your prayers now, more than ever, especially for my wife, Lynn and my kids.

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“I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain.”

    John Henry Newman

Some links I have discovered to be interesting, and maybe even helpful.

http://epilepsyfoundation.ning.com/group/christianswithepilepsy

http://www.squidoo.com/ahealthyresponsetoseizuresversusdemons

http://morethanstone.blogsome.com/2007/02/27/epilepsy-and-spiritual-warfare/

&

ybic, Bryan

 

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Charred Cinders

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Aftermath of a forest fire in California

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.”

Isaiah 43:2, NASB

This will not be a typical commentary on this verse. (But it will be brief.)

The word I emphasize is “through.” I feel it is the salient point of the whole thought. Through implies a temporary state of being. We “pass through.” In a sense it is the state of being ‘between,’ and it is rarely, or ever comfortable.

Life is all about transitions– a job, children, marriage, health. We’re fine when things are steady and sure. However we feel the strain when things suddenly change. We are compelled to go through some things. Plain and simple. There are three simple things to think about.

  1. God is very present in those moments.
  2. Seldom do they vanish.
  3. They are never welcome.

The One who made the intricacies of our hearts stands by. Floods rage, trees float by. Fires get hot, and all becomes a blackened and charred cinder. Still God holds you. You will pass through this, and come out to the other side. Wiser and more compassionate.

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