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Guest Sincerely_Me

thoughts about depression & other stuff.

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Guest Sincerely_Me

It's amazing how depression can lead to so many other life threatening diseases, and because I honestly gave that a very long thought today, I decided to change. I absolutely have to. I'm a (or was a) psychology major, I have a degree, so I understand these sicknesses, but i don't feel like doctors in general really emphasize the fact that depression can not only hinder your life, but in the long run, it is just no good for your health - mental and physical.

Depression has been linked to obviously alcoholism, anorexia/bulimia, obsesity, self mutilators, and all the obvious, but I don't think the fact that depression has been linked to muscle weakness, and bone loss/osteoporosis has been emphasized as much.

First lets say a few words about depression and alcoholism, obviously alcoholism is a very serious disease, it most definitely kills your liver (not to mention has a ton of calories), depression can often lead to self mutilation, and in turn sucide. Very serious, but mentioned a lot. I am depressed. I have been depressed for many years, and I suffered because of it. My depression led to body dismorphia (amongst other issues), but then led to anorexia. I struggled with that for a long time, it got to the point where I was so skinny within a matter of time, and went a long time without eating food. Eventually I did start eating again...1 meal per day, maybe about 5 bites of food, and that was it. Very unhealthy because I lacked a lot of vitamins, and vitamins certainly contribute to being healthy mentally and physically. (Lack of Vitamin B has been linked to depression as well). So I got older, and when I got older I started to change. Instead of being anorexic, I began to over-eat and comfort myself with food. Food therapy - not a good idea. I have never been over weight, but I certainly felt the change in my body, and the way that it made me feel. It was like food gave me a high and I kept going and going back for me. I've still been doing that, which is why I'm making a change. My counselor was depressed, a combination of changing the way he ate, exercise and of course, antidepressants totally changed the way he was. I've heard this many times, but only until he said it, did I decide to do something about it myself. I might as well practice what I preach anyway!

But osteoporosis...I can't really explain it that well, or explain it in a way anyone would understand, so i decided to just copy and paste what has been said! It is an interesting read though:

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has launched a new study of women ages 21 to 45 who are suffering from major depression to find out whether low bone mass is related to depression or stress hormones, such as cortisol. During a 12-month period, researchers will monitor bone loss and the effects of depression and stress on physical health. The trial involves 6 visits to NIMH, where participants will receive a psychological evaluation, a bone mineral density test, and measurements of stress hormones.

In a review of published research, NIMH-funded scientists report a strong association between depression and osteoporosis. The literature suggests that depression may be a significant risk factor for osteoporosis, a progressive decrease in bone density that makes bones fragile and more likely to break. Low bone mineral density (BMD), a major risk factor for fracture, is more common in depressed people than in the general population.

"Using different data, all of the studies point to the same conclusion," said NIMH researcher and first author Giovanni Cizza, M.D., Ph.D. "Depression is not only a disease of the brain, but it also has long-term consequences for other medical conditions, such as osteoporosis." Dr. Cizza and Philip Gold, M.D., NIMH, George Chrousos, M.D., National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Pernille Ravn, M.D, Center for Clinical and Basic Research, Ballerup, Denmark, present a summary of the findings in the July issue of Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Both the clinical trial and research review underscore the seriousness of depression, a treatable illness that affects 5 to 9 percent of women and 1 to 2 percent of men. Depression symptoms include loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, including sex; fatigue, decreased energy; difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions; insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping; appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain; thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts; restlessness, irritability; and persistent symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.

Although its causes are unclear, major depression is associated with hormonal abnormalities that can lead to changes in tissue, such as bone. Research suggests that higher cortisol levels, often found in depressed patients, may contribute to bone loss and changes in body composition. Fragile bones and increased risk of fracture are signs of osteoporosis. When one or more risk factors occur, such as low BMD, family history, previous fracture, thinness, or smoking, a clinical evaluation for osteoporosis is recommended. Identifying depression as a risk factor would improve patient diagnosis and treatment.

In one study, evidence revealed that bone density at the lumbar spine was 15% lower in 80 men and women older than 40 with major depression compared to 57 men and women who were not depressed. Factors such as smoking, a history of excessive or inadequate exercise, or estrogen treatment did not affect the study, implying that depression per se had an effect on bone mass.

Another study measured bone mineral density at the spine, hip, and radius in 22 pre- and 2 postmenopausal women with previous or current major depression. The 24 controls were matched by age, menopausal status, race, and body mass index. BMD was 6% lower at the spine and 14% lower at the hip in the depressed women. No premenopausal women in the control group had such a deficit.

The association between depression, BMD, falls, and risk of fracture was examined in a study of 7,414 elderly women. Depression prevalence was 6%. Depressed women were more likely to fall (70% versus 59%) and had more vertebral (11% versus 5%) and non-vertebral (28% versus 21%) fractures compared with controls. This research underlines depression as a risk factor for osteoporotic fractures.

The relationship between osteoporosis and mental health was evaluated in a sample of 102 middle-aged Portuguese women. Osteoporosis had a 47% prevalence, and depression was significantly more common in women with osteoporosis than in women without it (77% versus 54%). Women with the disorder had depressive scores 25-35% higher than those with normal bone mass. This study did not find a link between depressive symptoms and low BMD, suggesting that only fully developed depression is a risk factor for osteoporosis.

In their summary, the researchers show a consistent association between depression and osteoporosis, suggesting that depression is a substantial risk factor. Some bone-loss studies combined actively depressed subjects with those who had a previous diagnosis, so it is unknown whether current depression and past diagnoses affect bone loss equally. With major depression as the threshold, most studies revealed a clear association between depression and osteoporosis.

Cizza and colleagues concluded that a clinical evaluation of subjects with unexplained bone loss, especially premenopausal women and young or middle-aged men, should include an assessment of depression. Conversely, non-traumatic fractures in a depressed patient should alert the physician to the possibility of osteoporosis.

The current NIMH study will determine whether women with major depression and normal BMD lose bone mass faster than women without depression and if the drug alendronate (Fosamax) can maintain or increase bone mass in premenopausal women with major depression and low bone mass. It is open to women 21 to 45 years old in treatment for major depression within the year and no history of schizophrenia, bipolar or eating disorders, or suicide risk and to healthy control women with no history of major depression or major organ disease.

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Interesting.

Depression can also lead to a poorer immune system and thus put the patient at greater risk to a number of diseases.

Osteoporosis- My first guess would be due to a lack of excercise leading to reduced bone density, but the research only sampled patients from 21-45 and I believe that bone density reaches its max around the 20s. So I guess the researchers hypothesize that it can be attributed to a chemical level.

Though it can be indirectly caused by depression. I imagine that people who regularly excercise and eat healthy would reduce the effects of osteoporosis and people suffering from depression would be less likely to do this.

But I think people should treat their depression early on because it can become severe and lead to a variety of other more extreme ailments-both mentally and physically.

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I had no idea you'd been through all that, Sincerely. I knew you'd had a troubled history, but never really knew the aspects of it.

Thank you you for posting this. Thank you for sharing your story. That means so much to me.

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Guest No Pride

It definitely isn't just mental. Its not just a feeling of sadness most of the time, its an aching and a crushing feeling in your body. Depression can physically HURT. And you don't really realize this too much until you get medication or find other routes to defeat it.

Great post.

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Thanks for posting. I've also been struggling with depression for a while too. And I'm not sure if depression has to do with this, but I've noticed a huge decline in my school grades. This year is the most important year of school, and I always find myself procrastinating..not sure if this has to do with depression so I was wondering if your school grades went down too? And when the seasons change, I noticed the depressed feeling gets worse. For me when it turns into fall/winter the depression feeling gets twice as bad. I've been on medication (prozac) for 2 years, 20mg, from my physician. Depression sucks.. these days I find myself drinking a lot more.

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Guest Sincerely_Me

Thanks for posting. I've also been struggling with depression for a while too. And I'm not sure if depression has to do with this, but I've noticed a huge decline in my school grades. This year is the most important year of school, and I always find myself procrastinating..not sure if this has to do with depression so I was wondering if your school grades went down too? And when the seasons change, I noticed the depressed feeling gets worse. For me when it turns into fall/winter the depression feeling gets twice as bad. I've been on medication (prozac) for 2 years, 20mg, from my physician. Depression sucks.. these days I find myself drinking a lot more.

Depression can most definitely bring down your school grades, but not everyone is the same. Procrastination can be a part of it because of lack of motivation. Me personally, never had an issue with my grades since I made sure they wouldn't go down. I'm an over-acheiver, so that's probably why. A lot of people get the winter blues, but it can definitely exacerbate someone's depression.

Just a word about Prozac. I'm not a psychologist, yet...but I do have a degree, and though I'm not an MD, and don't want to be, Prozac...please don't take it. There aren't many nice things to say about it. Seriously. I wouldn't steer you the wrong way, but ask for another medication. I don't know tons about prozac or how it works, but 20mgs...wow. That's low. So SWITCH meds, and maybe you need a higher dosage. You and your doc need to DISCUSS what's up and how you feel, don't let the convo be all him or her.

It definitely isn't just mental. Its not just a feeling of sadness most of the time, its an aching and a crushing feeling in your body. Depression can physically HURT. And you don't really realize this too much until you get medication or find other routes to defeat it.

Great post.

I concur. I think I always knew I was depressed but was in total denial because I wasn't crying. My depression consists of me not feeling anything, or just intense anger outbursts. It sucks. And depression does hurt, it's caused my joints to ache, and has caused migraines. Eek!

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Prozac and another anti-depressants. Once you start, you can't stop. Withdrawals are so severe in some people they have to take the medication for the rest of their life.

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Guest Sincerely_Me

Prozac and another anti-depressants. Once you start, you can't stop. Withdrawals are so severe in some people they have to take the medication for the rest of their life.

Well, that's why they usually give you anti depressants for 6 months and then suggest you go for counseling, or some kind of therapy, whether it be cognitive, behavior, or cognitive-behavior. But Prozac is the devil.

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its no secret that i've struggled with multiple disorders including depression for years since i was really little.

The hardest thing for me to deal with is when people say theres no such thing, that i should cheer up that theres nothing really wrong with me and i'm just maladjusted, need to be slapped around, that the whole system is wrong and its me thats the problem.

I've spent so much of my life being told i should act like a victim or shut the fuck up.

i've decided that i will never be silent again nor will i be a victim. I think that depression while it has and continues to haunt me for my life and hurt me in many ways is also a gift because i can see things in a way others can't. One person only can see a junkie, i can see a person. One person can only see an "emo" i can see a person who feels too much sometimes.

I think that although i have to be treated for it, i don't regret it anymore as to do so is to say that i regret being alive and while sometimes i feel that way, i refuse to accept that the only thing in this world for me is a lifetime of depression and obsession.

Now if only i could get people to stop giving me advice like "smile more and you'll be happy" or "theres no such thing as your disorder, its all made up and you're just lazy etc" i think i'd be happier.

i think the more people post about their experiences the more we can show that there is a REAL problem out there not just something thats fun to make fun of. People aren't "stupid emo sucide freaks" or "lame" becuase of depression or suicidal thoughts, they're people. And really...they could be the person beside you who is too scared to tell you because of all the "emo" jokes you just made.

critisizing someone with depression or an anxiety disorder is just as devestating as any other form of bigotry and should be dealt with the same way. NO TOLERANCE. being different is a gift for us all and it wouldn't hurt to give a person a hug whether you're "sick of their complaining about their life' or not, maybe if more people actually gave a shit about the person next to them we could show the problem is big. the problem is real and the problem can't be solved by shoving someone on an antidepressant and telling them to 'smile more'.

thanks for posting i hope everyone whose experienced a mental disorder feels like they can have a safe place to post their feelings or their need to vent. and if you don't i'm saying here and now feel free to pm me at any time. i know how it feels to be "silent" when you're aching inside because theres noone. So be a light in the dark for somebody....you'd be amazed how much it means.

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