thought you had defeated this beast. Life was looking pretty
good. Both your daughters left for college, where they've
been doing very well. Your wife seemed happy. And you hadn't
missed a day at work for two years. So why are you now dreading
waking up each morning, each day being more painful than
the last, with no end in sight? It seems now that you were
never really happy, you were just fooling yourself.
night you couldn't sleep at all. You lay awake in bed worrying
about everything. When the sun came up, you pulled the curtains
shut and got back into bed. You spent the whole day in your
pajamas. The apartment is a mess, the dishes overflowing
in the sink. When your wife got home, she just sighed and
loaded the dishwasher. You're too lazy to help her, even
though she's worked hard all day and should rest. You don't
know why she puts up with you. If she left you, that would
be the end.
dinner she tries to cheer you up. She tells you stories
about her friends at work. She suggests that you both go
out to a movie, but you just stare at your plate, and she
knows that you don't have the energy. You hardly touch your
dinner, even though you have barely eaten all day. The food
seems to have no taste. You think that maybe you have cancer,
but there's no point in checking. If you do have cancer,
you'll die soon anyway.
a while you tried to keep working. Your family needs the
money, and at least your job got you out of the house. But
your mind kept wandering off. Sometimes you had to close
the door so no one would see you sitting, your face in your
hands, crying for no reason. Your supervisor finally told
you to go home instead of wasting everyone's time. You cried
all the way home and didn't tell your wife for days.
life really supposed to be so miserable? Doesn't everyone
realize how pointless life is? Maybe it's just you; maybe
you think about things too much. But how can you ignore
the fact that you've accomplished so little, that life holds
nothing for you?
chapter covers the following topics:
Affects Sleep, Appetite, and Sex
Slows Down During Depression
Is the Course of Major Depression?
Mood Can Occur in Several Other Illnesses
to Cope with Depression
Antidepressant Medications Have Fewer Side Effects
Medical Treatments for Depression
excerpt may not be reproduced without written permission
from the publishers.
Fifty Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding
Yale University Press / New Haven and London
Copyright © 2005 by James Whitney Hicks
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