In memory of
Jared High

What depression is not - Depression is not simply "the blues" or a "bad hair day".

What depression is - Depression is a mental cloud over the brain, a Chemical Imbalance, "messing up" the logic it (the brain) receives and disperses.  Depression can cause indecision and dysfunction within every balance of life, spiritual, mental, physical, financial, family relationships and in society.

Technical/Physical  - The Pituitary Gland, which controls all the other glands in your body, also controls the adrenals. The Adrenal Glands sit on the back of your kidneys and puts out a stimulant / adrenaline, which is the fight or flight mechanism.  It is the thing that gets you tensed up and excited, it makes all your muscles ready to respond quickly to you. It speeds up your heart rate so that it will supply blood (prepares quickly). The problem is that if you build up too much adrenaline it begins to attack your body.  It's a very powerful hormone and it uses up energy quickly.  If you are under stress and you get tense, you get tired.  You are using up blood sugar to keep your muscles tense and to keep the heart beating. (See Food Therapy for Depression  for some help with this problem)

Having a Balance of Healthy Spirit, Mind, Body, Family, Finances and Society is essential to every human being. Take one of these balances out of you life and you'll be traveling on a broken wheel. As an example: Healthy body - What happens when you are depressed for a long period of time, failing to exercise or eat properly?  You may begin to gain weight or, as your immune system gets low, you get sick.  Soon, your family will suffer, your work, play, and volunteer activities.  Before long the world seems to fall apart and "stinkin thinkin" begins to take over your mind, and possible thoughts of suicide.

Interesting Notes:

  • People with depression are 20 times more likely to have an accident on the road because of the characteristics of depression, i.e., can't concentrate, can't focus, the mind wanders, etc.
  • Road Rage is a Stress incident related to the Pituitary gland which kicks up the adrenals, then your body goes to "ready" and tensed up mode.
  • An Experimental treatment is being researched at B.Y.U., and in Europe, using a "transcranial magnetic stimulator" for treating serious clinical depression.
  • The difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist - A Psychologist is a "talk/listen" Therapist and a Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor.
  • The number one cause of suicide is UNTREATED DEPRESSION.
    Triggers cause depression! - Definition: Depression Triggers - "Anything that happens physically or emotionally, such as an injury or bad learning experience, that can cause an imbalance within the normal brain function."

    Watch for events in the child's or adults life that might trigger depression.  Depression triggers are more likely to be, 'sudden' triggers, or the unexpected events of life. When the event happens most people do not think of the long term effects of the trigger.  It may be as soon as a day to several months before depression can be diagnosed because of the trigger event.

    Here are a few examples:

  • Being bullied or hazed in school
  • A death of a family member or close friend.
  • An assault, car accident or painful physical event.
  • A painful mental, or emotional event.
  • Marriage breakup, or love lost suddenly.
  • Constant physical, mental, or emotional pain that goes on for a length of time (like bullying).
  • Developing a disease or illness that will not get better.
  • Major Financial setback.
  • Something "embarrassing" happens.
  • Failing an important exam a school.
  • A best friend moves out of town.
  • Consistently bad eating habits (carbonation, white flour & sugar)
  • Substance abuse.
  • A Rape, or sexual attack, by a known or unknown person.
  • Consistent lack of exercise which can cause weight gain.
  • Weight gain.

    It can be very hard to diagnose depression.  There are many different kinds of depression.  Within the Depression family there are many disorders, some unpronounceable, and some not, as yet, researched.  Some of the more well known related depression disorders are; Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),
    Not all people will have the same symptoms, or have them to the same degree.  Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Persistent sad or "empty" mood.
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless.
  • Pessimistic and or guilty attitude.
  • Fatigued or loss of interest in ordinary activities.
  • Disturbances in eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Irritability, increased crying, anxiety, PTSD, and panic attacks.
  • Nervous behavior, heavy breathing or stomach aches appear when stressed.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
  • Thoughts of suicide; suicide plans or attempts.
  • Persistent physical symptoms or pains that do not respond to treatment.
  • If any of these symptoms last more than a few weeks, especially after a known trigger event, a doctor or psychiatrist should be consulted.


    Definition: Suicidal Behavior - "Anything that happens to the thinking within the brain, such as injury or bad learning experiences that can interfere with serotonins ability to keep basic instincts in line."  Cardell Smith

    The statistics show that that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among those 15 to 25 years of age and the 6th leading cause of death among those 5 to 14 years of age.  Can you believe that 5 year olds are killing themselves!  Are these isolated incidents?  Not so.  Its estimated that 500,000 teenagers try to kill themselves every year, and about 5000 succeed.
       It is unknown how many senior citizens are killing themselves today but statistics are being gathered that show that the older senior, (65 yrs.+), rate of suicide is climbing.  The difference between this type of suicide and teen suicide seems to be mostly related to the "love lost" trigger.  Seniors who have lost a spouse are at a high risk for depression and suicide.

    When Depression has spiraled out of control, look for these... 

  • Talking about suicide, or killing oneself, even in a joking manner.
  • Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people one cares about when out of character.
  • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
  • Giving things away.
  •    If a person has four or more of the symptoms of depression get help FAST!

    T A L K  about

    Some people think that by talking about suicide, the attention might encourage others to die by suicide.  Actually, the opposite is true.  Studies have shown that as many as fifty percent of the general public have seriously considered suicide as a solution to their problems.  I would dare say that at some time in everyone's life, everyone has had, at least, a passing thought of the suicide option. Talking about suicide gives thought to the consequences and victims left behind.  And with a little help and time, almost anyone can be helped with depression and suicidal feelings.  But it has to be talked about first! Suicide is the forbidden word, the most uncomfortable subject in the modern world. The only time you hear about it on television is in a joking manner or some bad person kills someone then themselves.  This lack of communication needs to change so lives can be saved.

    A good book to read for someone dealing with thoughts of suicide is, SUICIDE, The Forever Decision, by Dr. Paul Quinnett.  This is also a good book for the victims left behind because of suicide.  It will answer many "Why?" questions and give understanding to what happens to the mind of a suicidal and depressed person.

    This article is the intellectual property of Brenda L. High, author of and mother of Jared High who died by suicide on Sept. 29th, 1998 at the age of 13 years and 6 days old.

    About Depression

    Dealing With Grief
    Been There, Done That (Email)
    Brenda - On the Radio with Joyce Bender, October 2010
    Bullycide in America: Moms Speak Out about the bullying/suicide connection
    The Wounded Child > Parents > Survivors
    Be Kind to One Another - A bracelet reminder
    2010 Interview
    Bully Police USA
    The Wounded Child
    Keep the BALANCE in your life!

    DISCLAIMER  -  The diagnosis and treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders requires trained medical professionals.  The information provided above is to be used for educational purposes only.  It should NOT be used as a substitute for seeking professional care for the diagnosis and treatment of any mental/psychiatric disorders.  The books are recommended as a reference, not as medical advice.

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