I recently started on antidepressants (which I've found to be wonderful). My 8yo daughter had just been diagnosed with Aspergers and had recently developed daytime urinary incontinence. Add to that having 4 major surgeries in the past year, a recent estrangement from my mentally ill (& very destructive) mother and the death of my grandfather: It was more the physical aspects, such as losing weight and not sleeping that alerted me to the fact that something was wrong, and having to deal with 6 kids under 10 didn't give me much time to relax or try typical coping mechanisms (although I started seeing a psychologist).
But what annoyed me when I saw my doctor's notes was that he wrote down that I had depression. To me, depression occurs when you have ups and down without any real catalyst. But for me I found I was having trouble coping due to a series of factors that even the hardiest of people would have trouble coping with.
What are others thoughts on being labelled with 'depression', as opposed to anxiety or stress? I hate being labelled with this, as my mother suffered depression and my ups and downs are very mild, unlike her extreme mood changes. I do not believe I have depression.
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23-09-2012 07:00 #1
Anxiety or stressed, not depression
23-09-2012 07:37 #2
Ok, I'm gonna have a crack at answering this-I am in no way an expert though.I suffer from anxiety myself and I don't necessarily find I have ups and downs just days where I don't focus on it but anytging can set me off and days where everything is overwhelming.Depression is about being down, finding it hard to cope and being anxious/ stressed is part o that.The extreme ups and downs you mention sound more like a mood disorder like bipolar than depression.As for being labelled with that-I think it's ok. As long as you are getting the help you need.There is nothing at all to be ashamed of by ring labelled as that!
23-09-2012 08:05 #3
I guess for me, I have been labelled with depression and anxiety. For me, they come hand in hand. I have no issue being labelled with depression...
I filled out some questionaire at the doctors which is what they used to classify me as depressed and I was then medicated...
I guess OP the question is why you are so upset by it? What the doc wrote in their notes doesn't matter so much. If you don't think you are suffering depression thats fine and the doc writing it won't change that iykwim...
23-09-2012 08:07 #4
sounds like you've had a terrible time recently and I'm glad anti-depressants are helping - that's great.
Stressful situations can trigger depression and depression is a sadness/low mood that is unrelated to the situation at hand in theory - eg. even if something bad hasn't happened that day you feel sad. I think for you, you've been through so much, that it's hard to work out if it is just stress or 'true' underlying depression. I think from the Doctor's point of view it's easier to just call it depression and really it's just a name. Lots of people get depression and most of them will only have it once. Having a 'label' doesn't change the fact that stress has triggered this low time for you (but it may not be stress that is making it continue if that makes sense) and it definitely doesn't mean you are more prone to long term issues like your mum.
I would also guess (but I don't know - your GP or psychologist might) that you will find it easier to recover at the end of it all. Once your major stressors are dealt with (which it sounds like is on it's way) you will be able to cope a lot better.
My MIL got severely depressed after losing her job of 15 years through retrenchment. Within 2 months she was so bad she had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. There was no doubt that the trigger was losing her job, but she was still 'depressed'. The good thing was that she recovered quickly and within another 2 months her medications were being weaned and she was off them 6 months later and she hasn't had a recurrence and it's been 6+ years.
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23-09-2012 09:00 #5
This is my basic understanding of it. There are two key types of depression, clinical and environmental. Clinical is due to chemical imbalances and typically has no specific trigger (though triggers can worsen it). Environmental depression is your body's reaction/way of coping with an event or series of events. In my case I do not become depressed, I get panic attacks etc, but the two conditions (depression/anxiety) are closely related and treatments can be similar.
Most importantly, it's great that the ADs are working and it sounds like you will be able to come off them once you've had time to process some of what's been going on.
I do agree with PP's suggestion that your mother suffers something further than clinical depression - it sounds like what used to be called "manic depression" (now called bipolar disorder? please correct if wrong).
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24-09-2012 05:49 #6
Thanks for all your answers.
Yes, my mother was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (although she prefers to call it 'depression'). I'm grateful that it's not a disorder that's hereditary, because it's horrible to have someone with that in your life.
I've decided to wean myself off the anti-depressants mid next year, when my husband finishes his MBA. Until then, he's studying when he's not working which puts a lot of added pressure on me, & it's nice to have the happy pills to cope.
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