First of all, this article isn’t meant to be a substitute for professional medical care and advice. If you struggle with depression and/or suicidal thoughts please seek help immediately.
No one need be ashamed of struggling with depression not should one be proud of it. Everyone struggles with something. The only good reason to write depression is to help other people; encourage those who live with it and perhaps give a little understanding to those who don’t.
Nearly everyone experiences situational depression at some point in life. That’s depression that comes with the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or experiencing some other tragedy. Situational depression goes away, clinical depression doesn’t or at least rarely does but it can be controlled. Clinical (chronic) depression is a very real physiological (organic) disorder that has been linked to improper neurotransmitter functions in the brain (though that’s not the entire “cause” of depression).
Anti-depressants help control neurotransmitter function and allow the patient to think more clearly, to be more normal. At this point there is still some trial and error involved in finding the right medication for any particular patient. Each type of anti-depressant works on a different neurotransmitter. Some depressives, such as the author, require two different anti-depressant medications.
Do they work? For me the answer is yes; medications help. To what extent my personality is a function of depression and other “nature and nurture” factors is anyone’s guess. The fact remains my emotional and cognitive functioning has been better since I began medication many years ago than it was before.
Are there side effects? Again the answer is yes but for me they seem to be minimal. The sex drive is dampened somewhat but a little taming of that is a good thing. I’ve never had very good sleep patterns so it’s hard to say how medication has affected it. Overall I’ve not noticed any severe side effects.
Depression is a debilitating disease. Many college counselors across the nation are now aware of the debilitating nature and are trained to recognize it in students. It’s true that many of history’s bright people were depressives; Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, and perhaps St. Paul. Winston Churchill called his depression the “black dog.”
However, there’s no concrete correlation between depression and high intelligence. Celebrities with depression are of course better known than average people with depression. For that reason it’s natural that depression would be equated with intelligence.
Many celebrities today also struggle with depression; Terry Bradshaw, Marie Osmond, and Drew Barrymore to name a few.
If you struggle with depression and/or suicidal thoughts please seek professional medical help immediately. There’s no shame in it. The good thing is that it is now easier to inform the public through the presence of online platforms where there will be support for top healthcare practices to grow online leads and at the same time help those people who are in need.