Archive for April, 2007

Apr 09 2007

Tom dealing with the legacy of domestic violence

Bill’s note: This is a fictionalized case-study. Any similarity to any person or life situation is completely coincidental.

During the staff development process for a psychodrama weekend, Tom, a 47-year-old staff person volunteered to participate in a trust circle activity. He had done this activity before, so he was familiar with the activity. Tom’s father was a chronic alcoholic and his parents were divorced when he was 14 years old. His family experience was characterized by chaos and frequent domestic violence.

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Apr 04 2007

Who gets depressed?

As many as 16% of all americans will experience depression during their lifetime.

Children and Adolescents experience the same symptoms of depression as adults. It is estimated that about 2 million adolescents are depressed. Depressed adolescents are more prone to commit suicide, which as become epidemic over the last 50 years. Depression may be more difficult to diagnose with children and often requires interviews with parents and other family members. Neglect, abuse and inconsistent parenting are associated with childhood and adolescent depression.

Women are 2x more likely than men to become depressed. This may be related to hormonal changes brought on by puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. Psychological factors related to abuse, neglect, trauma may also be related to the high rate of depression.
Men experience a lower risk of depression, but are more likely to go undiagnosed and untreated. Men’s depression is often acted out as anger and rage and masked by alcohol and drug abuse. Suicide is an especially serious risk for men as they are 4x more likey to kill themselves than women.

Elderly are also at a serious risk of depression. They may lose a loved one, become sick, be unable to care for themselves, and their symptoms of depression may be misunderstood as the natural progression of aging. As a result, they may not receive any treatment for depression.

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Apr 04 2007

How do you know if you are depressed?

The symptoms of depression include:

  • feelings of fatigue
  • loss of pleasure in everyday activities
  • trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or waking early
  • sleeping too much
  • loss or gaining weight in short periods of time
  • difficulty concentrating and/or making decisions
  • thoughts of suicide or death
  • low self-esteem
  • self-blaming or criticism
  • feeling low energy
  • experienced abuse or neglect

It is easy to minimize or deny being depressed,even when many or all these symptoms are present. Becoming more conscious of how we feel physically, mentally and spiritually is the first step towards finding more happiness and joy in our lives.

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