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Depression

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Depressed woman sitting on couch, hugging a couch cushion for comfort
Most people associate depression with a feeling of gloom or sadness, but there are greater symptoms to keep in mind.

What most people associate with depression is a feeling of gloom or sadness, but there is a much more important set of symptoms to keep in mind: depression is usually accompanied by a “slowing down” of the body. A profound lethargy or fatigue is probably a more important signal that you have succumbed to depression than whether or not you feel profoundly sad. The more pronounced the fatigue, the more serious is your depression.

What are the more common symptoms of a major depression? Usually, it is diagnosed when at least five of the following symptoms are present during the same time period, with at least one of the first two symptoms present. In addition, the symptoms must be present most of the day, nearly daily, for at least two weeks:

  • Depressed mood
  • A marked diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities
  • Significant weight loss/gain
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (over-sleeping)
  • Agitation or retardation of thinking, memory, etc.
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Impaired concentration and indecisiveness, or
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Reactive depressions can have some or all of the above, but they are usually not as debilitating. Most people with reactive depression can continue their normal work and home duties. With the more serious endogenous depressions, people can become totally incapable of fulfilling normal life responsibilities.

Primary care physicians need to be alert for the signs of depression. Studies have shown that 6 to 8 percent of all outpatients in primary care settings have major depressive disorder. Often, their physical complaints are a mask for the depression.

Physical complaints that mask depression

If you find yourself experiencing any of the following, you may want to ask whether you are depressed:

  • Pain — including headaches, body aches and abdominal pain
  • Low energy and excessive tiredness (including claims of being “chronically fatigued”)
  • Reduced capacity for pleasure or enjoyment
  • Moods such as apathy, irritability, anxiety or sadness
  • Sexual complaints or problems with sexual functioning or desire

Lesser forms of depression may produce some or many of these symptoms or the symptoms may not be as persistent. Discuss this with your doctor to see if you are possibly suffering from a “low grade” form of depression.

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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