I am a big fan of the hit NBC television show, “This Is Us.”  This season Toby’s character has stopped taking his antidepressants causing him to withdraw back into depression. Toby’s situation illustrates just how important taking medication is. Sadly, his experience is one that many of us can relate to.

Like Toby, the mere thought of pulling the covers off and getting out of your comfortable bed can make you feel lousy. You feel sluggish and even just thinking about taking a shower is overwhelming. Instead, you snuggle back into bed and you stay there for the rest of the day. Sometimes, the day turns into days or even weeks. You exchange any social connection to the outside world for a world of isolation. Feeling happy and energetic has disappeared from your life altogether.

You do want help, but you’re too embarrassed to seek it.  The stigma attached to mental illness, has left you going without treatment.  But without proper help, you are facing a great deal of danger, physically and emotionally.

When you are experiencing depression, you’re most likely to crave unhealthy foods high in carbs and sugar, and you may even forgo physical exercise. This places you at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. On the other extreme, depression can also cause you to lose your appetite, which can lead to malnutrition and anorexia.

Your body’s exposure to sunlight decreases by staying indoors. Without sunlight, you lack Vitamin D which can wreak havoc on your immune system. Stomach issues such as diarrhea and constipation can lead to more severe conditions.

Without movement, your muscles become weak and you can develop muscle atrophy. You may become unstable while walking and falling can become an issue for obvious reasons.

Your emotions are also compromised when you become depressed, and in severe case you may even contemplate suicide.  Depression can be overwhelming, but your story doesn’t have to end there.

Tell a parent or a friend how you feel. Seek help from your physician, and they can recommend a psychiatrist or a therapist. There are many medications that you can take to improve your depression and talking to a professional can help too.

If you or someone you know are suffering from depression, please get help. Don’t let depression rule your life.

 

~ Sharon

©2018 Do No Harm Foundation

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