High Depression


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST

By DR. JOSE PUJALTE JR.

"...too much sadness hath congealed your blood, and melancholy is the nurse of frenzy."

-- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet,

"The Taming of the Shrew"(1596)Act 2, Scene 2.

It's been more than a year since celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain hanged himself. This spectacular act of self-extinction still shocks us because practically no one saw it coming. As a rule, successful people who kill themselves bother us no end. Having reached the pinnacle, we'd think suicide would be the last thing on an alpha male (or female) mind. And yet there is such a thing as chronic depression, or its vicious variant, PDD (Persistent Depressive Disorder).

Dysthymia. This is another term for PDD and FamilyDoctor.org defines it as a type of depression that lasts for at least two years - so long that the person no longer remembers when it started.

PDD Symptoms are:

Prolonged low, dark mood.

Poor appetite or overeating.

Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping.

Low self-esteem.

Low energy.

Chronic fatigue.

Feelings of hopelessness.

What's in a Label? For some reason, most people can deal better facing this form of depression by calling it by what it is popularly known now as -- HFD or High Functioning Depression. There's a danger of trivializing the illness, but it does create an image of some high achiever who works hard, delivers the goods, and is then praised by society.Yet behind the façade is a depressed man (or woman) in a wretched life. In the 19th Chicago Orthopedic Symposium last year, Dr. Pamela Wible presented her study on 33 orthopedic surgeons who committed suicide for various reasons (#1 reason: professional ["medical errors, retirement, sexual harassment -and repercussions like loss of hospital privileges -- fraud, the system, bullying, stress & isolation, wrong career, and grief after sudden death of orthopedic partner]). …

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