all in your head: living with a mood disorder
a   m e d i c a l   c o n d i t i o n Note: I am not a professional. I am a depressive. This information is not intended for medical treatment.

Mood disorders come in several different 'flavors:'
Major Depressive Disorder - is severe depression, the kind where people commit suicide. It is intense, debilitating, and episodes tend to be more short lived than dsythymic depression. People with major depressive disorder experience these episodes repeatedly.

Dsythemia - this is the 'mild' form of depressive disorder. It tends to be more chronic, and less severe than major depressive disorder. A person with this disorder can often get through their life, but without the enjoyment that a normal person experiences.

Bi-Polar Disorder - often referred to as manic depression, this involves episodes of depression and episodes of mania. I don't really discuss bi-polar disorder because I do not suffer from it, and therefore can't relate my own experinces as i can with major depression and dsythemia.

There are other subtypes, but I don't really know much about them and can't really comment. I just wanted to provide a basis for reading the rest of this page.

Depressive episodes can be either reactive (caused by an event) or endogenous (biologically based), and a depression that begins as reactive can become endogenous. An endogenous depression can eventually be alleviated with talk therapy, but this takes much longer and is not as effective as medical therapy. (And major depressive episodes tend to go away eventually, but with talk therapy are more likely to recur) The most common, and first treatment, is with medication. This has a lot of negativity associated with it, people often not wanting to be 'dependant' on pills to be happy, or not wanting to tell anyone that they are taking psycho-active medication. I have personally suffered from these problems, causing me to go on and off medication and be embarrassed about taking it.

Going on and off medication without medical supervision is very very bad. If you or someone you know is considering doing this, don't. It sends you on an emotional rollercoaster. It can give you nasty side-effects that would be lessened or eradicated under the supervision of a professional.

As to being 'dependant' on mendication for happiness, these are not 'happy pills.' They should not give you a euphoric feeling (that's hypomania). These are medical conditions, and should be allowed to be treated medically. If you were diabetic, wouldn't you take your insulin? If you were suffering from cancer, wouldn't you recieve treatment?

It can take a long time to become comfortable with the idea of taking anti-depressants. But for some of us, it is the only way to live a full life. And everyone deserves the chance to live up to their full potential. (2.20.98)

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