Depression can be related to an obvious life event such as the death of a loved one or a divorce. This can include difficulty facing the day, uncontrolled weeping, a sense of futility and lack of meaning in life, and even suicidal thoughts or attempts. With proper therapy, this kind of depression can be remedied in fairly short order and requires a safe place to grieve with support.
Another kind of depression that is prevalent is called “dysthymic disorder”. This kind of depression does not seem to be connected to any obvious life event in the present. And this kind of depression has been ongoing for many years, often all the way back into childhood. A person with dysthymic disorder often can’t remember what it is to feel normal or happy. They simply feel down the vast majority of the time.This kind of depression demands significant life changing actions, such as modifying food and exercise habits to stabilize brain chemistry on a daily basis; eliminating alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, sugar, processed foods; monitoring and changing self deprecating thought patterns, and learning how to feel honest emotions. Anti-depressants may be required. Psychotherapy is a must.
The Mood Cure: the 4-Step Program to Rebalance Your Emotional Chemistry and Rediscover Your Natural Sense of Well-Being by Julia Ross, ©2002, is a great read for those wishing to conquer or manage depression without anti-depressants.