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Depression- The common cold of the mind
Human Resources » Heath, Safety & Well Being

Chrm Message From: madure Total Posts: 278 Join Date: 06/06/2006
Rank: Coach Post Date: 21/06/2006 08:52:37 Points: 1440 Location: Sri Lanka

DEPRESSION- The Monday morning blues !!

You find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. If you have responsibilities for other family members you let them shift for themselves. You are becoming indecisive and even forgetful. Your ability to concentrate seems to have fled. You don’t feel like laughing. Food has lost its taste and sex has lost its appeal. You seem to be withdrawing into a shell, not wanting to be bothered by family or friends.

Telltale signs

Depression has been called the common cold of the mind. Mental health experts conservatively estimate that one in every ten people in our country suffers from this affliction.
Depression affects our roles and relationships – work, play friendships, marriage and family, church and community.

The common symptoms

In any one year it is estimated that between 4 and 8 million people are depressed to the extent that they cannot effectively function at their jobs or must seek some kind of treatment.

A suicidal person lacks the courage to be depressed

Aretaeus, a physician living in the second century A. D., described the melancholic patient as “sad, dismayed, sleepless ……….. They become thin by their agitation and loss of refreshing sleep ……… At a more advanced state, they complain of a thousand futility’s and desire death”

Depression is an inner scream telling us that we have neglected some area of our lives.

“Often a man kills himself because he is unable to despair and endure depression.”

On the Plus side

I had learned a great deal about the human psyche and the strange ways in which it works. I felt better equipped to meet the stresses of living in an unsettled world, and better able to understand the motivations of others around me.
Unfortunately, within society in general depression is stigmatised as sinful and indicative of weakness and spiritual inadequacy

Who gets depressed ?

Various subgroups of the population are clearly at higher risk than others. The following is a summary of these risk factors.

1. Sex – overwhelming body of research shows a higher rate of
depression in women than in men. We will look closer at this
phenon in the next major section.

2. Age – Recent community surveys report a higher prevalence
of depression symptoms in young adults (18 – 44) than older
adults. This is a change from the early twentieth century
when reports indicated older adults were more depressed.
The elderly are also becoming more depressive prone as life
span is lengthened.

3. Marital status – Separated and divorced persons show a
higher incidence of depression than do those who have
never married or those who have currently married. Rates
are lower among married persons than among single

In the United States, women are two to six times more likely
to be diagnosed as depressed than men.

Women and depression

In the past, some women were taught to lower their personal aspirations and depend upon dominant males for their well being. This didn’t do much for a healthy self-esteem and often contributed to depression. Secondly, the marriages of some women also contribute to depression. Some men are quite insensitive to their wives moods. Pressure points in the lives of

women said that no women reaches maturity without having taken on a freight car load of unresolved issues.

It is interesting to note that male alcoholics outnumber female alcoholics significantly, and the rate for successful suicides is three times higher for men than for women. Men perhaps deal with their depression differently than women do.

It is no surprise that many people who struggle with depression are perfectionists.

Loss of perspective.

When a person is depressed he loses perspective. The way he views his life, his job and his family is coloured.

What do we distort ? We distort life itself. It loses its excitement and purpose.

Part of the journey for the depressed person is to change the distorted lens of his mind to a realistic one. Usually we need help from other people to do that. If we are depressed we need to ask for help.

Light depression

If you can recognise these symptoms as indications of depression (and if this is a reaction depression), you are still in a position to reverse the depression. Ask yourself these questions : What is my depression trying to tell me ? (Having a pre planned reading program in mind will be beneficial.)

Moderate depression

Sleeping and eating problems may emerge – either too much or too little.

Why do people get depressed ?

Past Deprivation

Resentment is a feeling of ill will or bitter indignation toward another person. And the greater the resentment, the greater the depression potential. Resentment has been called anger rethought.

Improper Food and Rest

Such a simple thing as not eating properly or not getting proper rest can cause depression. The person who does not eat regular meals or get sufficient sleep may find himself becoming depressed because he is cheating his body of the food and rest it needs to keep functioning properly. College students often suffer from this type of depression. The cure is simply and obvious; Eat right and get enough sleep.

Reaction to Medication

Reactions to certain medications can affect a person’s moods. Medications administered to correct a physical problem may cause a chemical change in the body bringing on the blues.

Chemical imbalance

When there is an imbalance of the hormone level, mood alterations can result. Imbalances of the steroid hormones, which are produced by the adrenal glands, can produce depression. Disorders to the hypothalamus can produce emotional highs and lows.

There are many other physical causes for depression. Infections of the brain or nervous system, generalised body infections, hepatitis and hypoglycemia can cause depression. Other glandular disorders, such as a low thyroid condition, hyperthyroidism, excessive ovarian hormonal irregularities and an imbalance of secretions from the adrenal or pituitary glands also cause a type of depression. Usually other symptoms and bodily changes are also in evidence.

The mineral metabolism in our bodies can also affect our moods. We need a balance of minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which are called electrolytes.

Repressed anger turned inward upon oneself will lead to depression.

Repressed Anger

Repressed anger turned inward upon oneself will lead to depression. In fact, repressed anger is commonly used as a synonym for depression. This type of anger has been turned from its original source to the inner person. As William Blake wrote in “A Poison Tree”

I was angry with my friend :
I told my wrath, my wrath did end,
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.


Reactive depression, usually called grief depression,

Depression and negative thinking

One of the primary causes of depression is negative thought patterns. Some people literally think their way into depression apart from any valid, external causes.

Negative worldview. The first part of the Depressive Trial identifies a person looking at his experiences in a negative manner, giving him a negative view of the world. He interprets (rightly or wrongly) his interactions with the world as representing defeat, disparagement or deprivation. All of life is filled with burdens and obstacles, and his negative thinking can lead him into depression.

Negative self-view. The person with a negative view of the world interprets his experiences as actually detracting from himself. Even neutral experiences are interpreted in a negative manner. A neutral attitude on the part of a friend is seen as rejection.

Negative future view. The third part of the Depressive Triad naturally follows the first two. Since a negative thinking individual interprets all his experiences and relationships negatively.

Negative self-talk is the culprit that fosters Negative thinking leading to depression

Spending 15 to 20 minutes a day evaluating and challenging our self-talk can help us create a new pattern of response to life.

Having a excessively high standards (being a perfectionist) os a sure way to invite depression into your life.

Behaviour – Another common cause of depression has to do with our behaviour. If the way you are acting is contrary to your moral standards or your value system, depression could be the result.

Success. Did you know that achieving success can bring on depression ? A person works hard, strives for a position, and finally attains his goal.

Depression and loss

The common thread that underlies much of depression is that of loss. Whenever a person experiences a real or an imagined loss, depression may result. That is why in counselling the depressed we search to discover if there has been some loss.

Characteristic Depressive Losses

There are certain types of losses or events which are common among men. A man’s depression is precipitated by financial reversals, failure to achieve a vocational promotion, or the loss of physical strength or whatever constitutes his identity.

The events or losses which frequently cause depression in women are different. Major factors are events which affect her identity as a woman, such as a mastectomy or hysterectomy. The lost of a significant man in her life, such as father, husband or boyfriend, is another cause. The loss of a child through death or the grown child’s departure from home can create depression.

Some studies identified depression-prone people as those who need to gain other people’s approval and have very strong lists of should and should not. They are over conscientious, continually striving to conform.

Convenient Depression

Is it possible that some people benefit from depression and don’t want to give it up ?

Yes, it is. A housewife might use her depression, even though it hurts, to gain attention and sympathy from her husband.

Depression and stress

Stress – it’s a common, catch-all word to describe the tension and pressure we feel in our lives. And stress is another contributor to depression in our lives. But do you know what stress is ?

Stress is the irritation you feel in any bothersome life situation. The word for stress in Latin is strictus. It means “to be drawn tight”. In Old French the word is estresse which means “narrowness” or “tightness”

Good stress is called eustress, which comes from the Latin word eu,

Unique to the Sexes

Are there stress factors which are unique to either men or women ? Yes. In addition to the common sources of stress, there are some elements which are unique to each sex. 

Prof. Lakshman Madurasinghe., MA.,MS(Psy)., PhD., Chartered Fellow CIPD-Lond., Consultant Psychologist/Attorney


Chrm Message From: CHRM Total Posts: 209 Join Date: 06/06/2006  
Rank: Coach Post Date: 22/06/2006 01:18:27 Points: 1045 Location: Sri Lanka

Dear Professor,

Considering your descriptive article on overall depression facets, let me limit my views just to 'depression at workplace'.

Depression is surely taking its toll amongst both the sexes with various factors causing the same. But moreso the industry, job market and the talent competitiveness have been major contributors to the 'depression' syndrome. For women, social & marital instabilities have had a major impact for the cause of depression while for men, job insecurity makes them twice more likely to become depressed.

According to the Dr Reiner Rugulies of the National Institute of Occupational Health in Copenhagen, he and his colleagues were surprised by the gender difference in the findings, which they report in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Its team surveyed 4,133 men and women on symptoms of depression and factors in the workplace in 1995, and then resurveyed them in 2000. Because the study was prospective, and the researchers were able to use statistical techniques to adjust for other factors that could influence depression risk, Rugulies said, he and his team are fairly certain that the findings show a cause-and-effect link.

Findings :

-They found that women who reported having low influence at work -- meaning they had little power to regulate their work pace, involvement in planning work, or information on decisions affecting their workplace -- were more than twice as likely to develop severe depressive symptoms over the five-year period.

-Those who reported low supervisor support, meaning they said that they ''usually not'' or ''never'' received support and encouragement from their supervisors, also were at two-fold increased risk of severe depression.

-Among men, job insecurity -- defined as being worried about becoming unemployed, transferred against their will, laid off because of new technology, or having a hard time finding another job if they lost their current one -- doubled depression risk, but none of the other factors had an effect.

Both workload and co-worker support appeared to play no role in the risk of depression for men or women.

Depression is believed to be due to an interaction between a person's individual vulnerabilities and environmental factors, Rugulies noted.

Excerpts from a Recent Study in Denmark by Dr Reiner Rugulies of the National Institute of Occupational Health in Copenhagen

The work environment ''might be one important part which interacts with other factors.''

Views from other members are anticipated..



"Think HR, think CHRM..

Chrm Message From: neetayuvraj Total Posts: 2 Join Date: 06/06/2006  
Rank: Beginner Post Date: 22/06/2006 06:56:38 Points: 10 Location: Sri Lanka

Dear Professor,

Thank you for this interesting article. I would like to add a little bit of my experience as clinical hypnotherapist and past life therapist.

I see depression as a survival mechanism. In olden days humans used to either fight or flight for our survival but with the passing age they started coming across situation where they couldnt fight or flight, hence they started pretending dead for their survival. Depression is "pretending dead" mechhanism for the modern day survival. Most people come out with the history of fighting with some thing (outer world, fellow beings, inner conflict, emotions etc.) and have felt tired of doing so They have also realize that they cant even escape(flight) they go into a state that we clinically know as depression.

Many of my depressed clients are infact spinitual

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