It's flu season, and if you neglected to get your flu shot this year (or maybe it didn't work), you may be coughing or sneezing. Sickness can be depressing, but you can also THINK you're depressed when what you REALLY are is sick. How can you tell the difference?
More than 100 medical conditions have symptoms that either resemble depression or contribute to it.. Researchers have discovered that medical conditions may cause mental health issues in 25% of psychiatric patients and contribute to them in more than 75%.
Some examples: An elderly woman's sudden depression turns out to be a side effect of her high blood-pressure medication. Or a new mother's exhaustion and disinterest in her baby seem like postpartum depression, but are actually due to a postpartum thyroid imbalance that can be corrected with medication.
Deficiencies in certain vitamins can also lead to depression. About one-third of people who have their first episode of depression after age 55 have changes in brain circuits that are associated with hypertension, diabetes and heart attacks.
In the August 9th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Melinda Beck quotes psychiatrist Gary Kennedy as saying, "Depression predicts heart disease and heart disease predicts depression."
If you're depressed, DO something: Pick up a good book (these books are all ON SALE!) or fun video (and have a nice mug of coffee or tea with it). Even better become a subscriber (and we guarantee you'll cheer up because you'll never be bored again!)