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Mental Health 2014-05-19T15:03:16+00:00

Ask The Doctor

6-23-93

 Depression-THE GREAT IMPERSONATOR 

 

Disguised under many hats lies a disease that threatens the life of the individual and all those around him or her. Deceptively, this disease can present itself as an eating disorder such as gluttony, bulemia or anorexia. The victim may be hyper or total­ly immobile. He or she could be monk-like in religious fervor, or a derelict abandoned to hedonism.

“I never touch liquor,” one person might say, while another with the same disorder could be lost in a drunken stupor. The per­son might be always in pain, or may never feel a thing.

The many faces of depression come without labels. If you think this is easy to recognize, think again. The patient who is stricken with this ailment has worked every­thing out so well, you would never suspect. He or she could be the life of the party.

“Anhedonia,” the Greek word for the ab­sence of pleasure, is the common thread that weaves the painful thoughts of the depressed patient. There is never any light at the end of the tunnel. Decisions are difficult; concentration is difficult. There is a dark cloud above. The fear of being found out is always present.

 

“I don’t want anyone to think I’m crazy,” some say. They hesitate to tell people how they feel so no one will think less of them. A physician, attorney or senator doesn’t want others to think he or she could be incompetent..

 

It is time to recognize depression as an illness. Just like diabetes or high blood pressure, this may be an inherited illness over which the patient has little control.

Learn about it. Don’t be afraid of it. Forget shame.

Caught early, it may be entirely curable.

We didn’t catch my friend early enough. He was only 40 when he died. Actually, the death started the first day he was introduced to the effects of alcohol, which took 20 years to kill him.

Of the five sons his parents proudly raised, he was the most caring and sensitive. Immediately, people would fall in love with him. Was he missing anything in his life? Most people wouldn’t think so. Were any of the ingredients that make a healthy child missing? Not one. I have known his parents all my life. His mother is dedicated, and his father is hard working and successful. What happened? How does a young person lose his existence to a bottle?

Alcoholics don’t necessarily start out as derelicts. They drink because they feel bet­ter when they drink. Their personalities are liberated and they become the people they want to be. For awhile, the pain seems to go away.

 

It does not take long to recognize the early “benefits” of alcohol for some of us.. Just a drink or two makes some feel “normal.” How could something that seems to improve life be bad?

 

Insidiously, it becomes difficult to func­tion. It’s not that you’re a bum; you just need it to fall asleep, work, calm your ner­ves, help you relax, face your boss, give a speech… Eventually, it’s not even you doing it. Your wife/husband nags, your parents won’t stop, or the kids upset you.

 

Now the disease spreads to the “enablers” around him or her. “Don’t get your father upset,” is a statement that carves the disease directly into the minds of the children. They become “responsible” for their parent’s abusive behavior. They must be bad kids to cause such problems. Their repressed anger blossoms into their own depression later in life.

There are no more highs, just lows that get deeper and deeper.

The depression which made the alcoholic takes the victim and all those who love him or her. Could we have saved my friend?

Depression is treatable. Increase your awareness, get rid of shame.

 

Love them and direct them to help.

 

If you think about it Depression might be the worst of all the diseases.

  Recalling my medical school days, our Psychiatry professor told us this very interesting story.

One of his patients came to see him and gave him almost all the symptoms listed above and added “Doctor, I’ve come to the place where I don’t even want to get out of bed!”

“Listen, my dear patient, I want you to grab a friend and go visit this geat comedian and he will get you to start laughting again. His name is Strompelli.”

Holding his head in his hands his patient muttered, “Doctor, I AM STROMPELLI!!!”

 

As we learn more and more about Nutrition, the very first step might be to remove all inflammatory toxins by scientific laboratory testing-no guessing, and supplement with the individual nutritional deficiencies.

 

 

 

There are studies showing that alcoholism, or any addictions, can be caused or facilitated by a lack of SEROTONIN.  We can boost serotonin levels with nutritional supplements.  A Dr. Jaffe in NJ and a Dr. Bucci of Texas have had 60 

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