The Good Doctors Frank Minirth & Paul Meier
Teach Us How to Overcome Depression!
Praise The Lord! Hallelujah!
The Symptoms of Clinical Depression
1.A Sad Outward Appearance...The Depressive has a sad facial expression. He looks depressed. His eyes are cast down and lack life and sparkle. The forehead is often chronically wrinkled. He looks tired, discouraged, and down and out. Facial features are strained, worried, and dejected. The Depression Sufferer has lost interest in life, and consequently, has lost interest in personal appearance. He becomes sloppy, unkept. Because The Sufferer is aware that he has entered a socially unacceptable dimension, he usually tries to hide his depression and takes on the appearance of what clinicians call "a smiling depression." Others sense this smile is forced and that it lacks authenticity; and they may feel uncomfortable around The Depressed Person, thus adding to his problems.
2.Painful Thinking... The Sufferer of Depression is in severe emotional pain. If he has entered the realm of fibromyalgia, this emotional pain is multiplied by the physical pain, as well. This Symptom of Depression is called "Painful Thinking" because it has become painful to even think about anything! This position is totally incomprehensible to anyone who has never actually experienced it. Just think of all the things you enjoy thinking about and all the extra time you wish you had to do all those things you enjoy just thinking about! Well, The Depressed Person has entered a dimension where whatever he thinks about is painful! (I know, this is hard to imagine!) His solution is to stop thinking! He may sit and stare for hours at a time over a period of weeks, months, or years. The next best alternative is to stay asleep and/or in bed 12 - 16 hours a day or more. And when that doesn't work, plugging into the television set works for most. But this is not active watching. It is just being plugged in. The Depressed Person with Painful Thinking is actually not thinking about anything the mind is blank. He feels so blue, sad, helpless, worthless, and hopeless that any thinking is painful. These Sufferers may reach a point where they are unable to function. Most, however, just reach a very low level of functioning and are uninvolved with life except to carry on with their jobs and barely take care of themselves. The Depressive is pessimistic. He has given up on nurturing relationships and life itself. Taken to its extreme, the Painful Thinking leads to suicide.
3.Physical Symptoms... The clinicians call these "the physiological concomitants of depression." It is both important and fascinating to keep in mind that The Depressed Sufferer ex-periences biochemical changes, due to the dark nature of his thoughts and emotions. His brain manufactures chemicals that are recognized by the psychoneuroimmunologists as "the neurotransmitters associated with depression." This biochemical transformation from normal to depressed leads to physical changes. Following are some of those changes: sleep disorder, fibromyalgia symptoms that lead to pain and difficulty in simple
movement, appetite disorder, weight loss or weight gain, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory disorder, sexual decline, headaches, slow body movements, stooped posture as if in a stupor, depressed metabolism, irregular heartbeat, dry mouth. The clinicians have a name for the slow-motion movement: "retarded locomotion." They have a name for The Depressed Sufferer who belabors his breathing: "sighing respiration."
4.Anxiety or Agitation... Anxiety and depression go together. The Depressed Sufferer feels anxious and is quick to become irritable. Also, as depression increases, so does Agitation.
5.Delusion Thinking... This Symptom of Depression does not always occur in The Depressive. The Delusional Thinker is clearly out of touch with reality. The delusions can range from notions of persecution to grandiose assumptions. He may have auditory and/or visual hallucinations. If he is helped soon after his break with reality, he can be restored to health.
In Summary.... A true clinical depression is a complex, painful disorder, involving the total being:mind, body, and spirit. Repressed Anger underlies all depression. There can be a wide range of severity of symptoms that distract The Sufferer from the extreme pain of his depressed reality. Few clinical depressions reach The Delusional Thinking Stage. Virtually all Depressives have The Sad Outward Appearance, Painful Thinking, Physical Symptoms, and Anxiety.
A Self-Rating Depression Scale
Anyone who answers "TRUE" to a majority of the following statements is almost certainly depressed and should seek assistance before the depression worsens.
1.I feel like crying more often now that I did a year ago.
2.I feel blue and sad, helpless and hopeless most of the time.
3.I have lost a lot of motivation.
4.I have lost interest in things that once gave me pleasure.
5.I have thoughts recently that life is just not worth living.
6.My sleep pattern has changed. I sleep too little or too much.
7.I am losing my appetite.
8.When I look at myself in the mirror, I appear to be sad.
9.My self-concept is not very good.
10.I have less energy than usual. Or I am plagued with fatigue.
11.Morning is the worst part of my day.
12.I find myself introspecting a lot.
13I worry much about the past.
14.I have physical symptoms of disorder I did not have a year ago.
15.People have noticed that I am functioning at a lower level.
The Good News from The Good Doctors
The Good Doctors maintain that "Happiness Is a Choice." Their book is subtitled: "A Manual on Symptoms, Causes, and Cures of Depression." They report 100% recovery on the part of depressed patients who go through their program a program of spiritual renewal and commitment.
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