FEAR or DEPRESSION: Is this perceived or real? – WOMEN in RECOVERY

FEAR or DEPRESSION – Is this perceived or real?

We are all faced at times with the need to do things that may, literally, scare us to death. A new job, a new marriage, moving to a new city – all things that can bring about positive change and yet yield a lot of fear when faced with doing them.

Change is good and being afraid does not make you weak – it simply makes you human. I tend to have a minor fear of change which is really quite ironic considering my life and business seem to change daily!

Even the changes that were not so successful proved most beneficial to our future. You see, you have to understand that even moments you consider to be a failure can prove to be valuable learning tools in your future success.

I have achieved my greatest success from a perceived “failure” in my life. I tried something – it didn’t work – so I moved on to something else that did work all the while learning from that perceived failure.

I say “perceived failure” because I do not believe anything we try that doesn’t work should be considered a failure – it is simply a learning experience on the pathway to our true success.

We often fail to try something because we fear it will not work – we are afraid of failure or, even worse, afraid of what others might think.

You must believe in yourself and take that chance. If it doesn’t work, do not get discouraged – instead refocus and try again! Learn from what didn’t work the first time and adjust your efforts and try again!


Symptoms of Depression

19 Million Americans suffer from Depression yet many do not realize the symptoms.

Clinical depression is not something you can just “get over” and knowing the physical symptoms can help in an early diagnosis. Keep in mind that symptoms may occur gradually and may not be noticed right away.

Major depression is diagnosed when there is a significant change in the way you function in your normal life and routine.

Symptoms of depression can include: (as listed on the NAMI.org website)

*   persistent sad or irritable mood
*   difficulty thinking, concentrating or remembering
*   sleeping too often or difficulty falling asleep
*   physical slowing or agitation
*   lack of interest in hobbies or activities that you once enjoyed
*   feelings or guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness or emptiness
*   recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
*   persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain

When several of these symptoms occur at the same time, last longer than two weeks, and interfere with ordinary functioning, professional treatment is needed.

So – What Were My Symptoms?

For me, when the depression hit at its worse, it was an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Nothing would be wrong in my life yet I felt I had no hope – nothing to look forward to in my future. My brain seemed “cloudy” and I wasn’t able to think clearly.      

I lost my focus and became very irritable and moody. Because insecurity and depression go hand in hand, I became what I deemed a very “mean” person – willing to put anyone down to make myself feel better. I was not a happy person because I didn’t like myself and I couldn’t understand why. I spent many days cowering in my clothes closet because I just didn’t have the energy to face the world.

You must learn and recognize the symptoms of depression but more importantly, you must seek help if you feel you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above for an amount of time usually longer than two weeks.

It is estimated that one-half of people with depression do not seek treatment because they don’t understand their symptoms or have fear of the stigma of mental illness.  Yet when those people finally seek treatment, 80% are treated effectively.

I suffered in silence for a long time because I chose to ignore the symptoms and thought I could “fix it” myself. Please understand that mental illness is not something you can “fix” without the proper treatment.  Learn the symptoms and don’t be afraid to seek the help you need.

1 in 4 Women suffer from depression – that is twice as many women as men. Some scientists believe it is because of the hormone differences and I tend to agree. But that is also why many women do not seek treatment – they think it is hormones and it will just go away. It may be hormones but if it lasts longer than a two week period – seek help.


What face do you picture when you think of depression?
Do you picture someone huddled up on a couch not able to function?
Or do you picture Abraham Lincoln?
Yes, that’s right – our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln suffered from a mental illness. He had depression.

I don’t know why but sometimes knowing other people are experiencing our pain or “sharing in our misery” somehow makes us feel better.

So I wanted to share this list compiled by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of famous people you may know who also have depression or a form of it:

Halle Berry (depression)
Tim Burton (bipolar)
Drew Carey (depression)
Jim Carrey (depression)
Cher (anxiety disorder)
Sheryl Crow (eating disorder/depression)
Johnny Depp (anxiety disorder)
Leonardo DiCaprio (ocd)
Colin Farrell (self-injury)
Carrie Fisher (bipolar)
Mel Gibson (bipolar)
Anthony Hopkins (depression)
Angelina Jolie (self-injury)
Hugh Laurie (depression)
Howie Mandell (ocd)
Marilyn Monroe (depression)
John Nash (schizophrenia)
Rosie O’Donnell (depression)
Ty Pennington (attention deficient hyperactivity disorder)
Winona Ryder (depression/eating disorder)
JK Rowling (depression)
Brooke Shields (post-partum depression)
Ashlee Simpson (eating disorder)
Ben Stiller (bipolar)
Justin Timberlake (ocd & attention deficient disorder)
Pete Wentz (bipolar)

Most recently, Marie Osmond announced she also suffered from depression after the suicide of her son who had been diagnosed with depression as well.

‘I only share these with you to further point that you are not alone in this fight and there is help’.


Take Action, You can be Successful!!

GET Healthy, it is all about your Attitude!




Author, Terri Karch

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