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We all feel sad from time to time, but clinical depression is an illness that greatly impacts one’s quality of life. The persistent feeling of sadness that characterizes major depression can lead to a variety of behavioral and physical symptoms, including changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior and self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide, which can lead to suicidal attempts.
Grief is a natural response to loss. Grief can also be a normal response to change because change in life brings loss in some form, whether big or small. Grief usually throws us off balance and into chaos. Unfortunately, the world does not stop to allow us adequate time to grieve. We have to continue on life’s path while simultaneously grieving. The good news is that you are not alone. Everyone suffers loss. Grief counseling can help.
Classic characteristics of over-functioning include being overly focused on another person’s problems, offering frequent advice or help to another person, doing things that are part of the other person’s life responsibilities, feeling angry when help is not appreciated, and frequently feeling overwhelmed and stressed, as well as neglecting self-care.
Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s a term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory. To classify as dementia, symptoms must be severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread, but incorrect, belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. While symptoms of dementia can vary, at least two of the following core brain functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia: memory loss and judgement.
Drug or alcohol abuse is defined by having two or three symptoms of addiction. Many people experience alcohol or drug abuse problems but are able to stop using or change their patterns without progressing to addiction. The most severe form of substance abuse is addiction: a physical, chronic disease that typically requires long-term treatment. Types of addiction include: Nicotine, alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription drugs.
I often think that a proper perspective on life is one of the most difficult states for people to attain. Such a perspective would allow one the ability to see clearly the contours of his life, learning from his past mistakes and embracing a Carpe Diem attitude daily as a necessary follow on of his former condition. Of course, I too, have no inherent mastery of this life skill. Up until a dreary Saturday in late October 2011 I didn’t believe a proper perspective on life could ever be attained. To call me a skeptic or naysayer would be putting it charitably.