The Patient's Voice

The Voice for Patients and Families About Health Care

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March 2021

Frequently Asked Questions About Being Sad And Healthy

I got diagnosed with lung cancer at the young age of 9. It was caused most likely by second-hand smoke, considering both my parents were chain smokers. I was not allergic to it from the beginning, so they did not feel the need to stay away from me whenever they had cigarettes on. They stopped as soon as we got my cancer diagnosis, but the damage had been done – my cancer cells had already been activated. All I could do was go through radiation and chemotherapy to deal with my illness.

If you have seen adults having a hard time with chemo, you could imagine how much harder it was for a kid like me. It was not about the physical appearance; I could not care less if I lost my hair during the treatment. The most challenging part was swallowing those big spills and having needles stuck in my veins regularly. It was not the type of experience that you could get used to anytime.

The treatment was always painful, especially when your body’s same areas get bruised after being somewhat abused too often. From the third session, when I realized that I still had five months to deal with everything, I would always tell my parents to let me die because I did not want to be in pain all the time. Once I reached the hospital, I would also beg my nurses and doctors to stop treating me and just let me be.

No one listens to me. I am thankful for that now, for sure, but I did not feel that way back then. In reality, there was one thing that everyone said to me that I hated the most. It went along these lines: “Don’t cry, little girl. Everything will be okay soon.”

It was a lie, and even my younger self knew it. I did not believe the adults around me whenever they said that; it made me cry harder because they felt like they did not want me to go through my emotions. If I listened to them, I might have developed depression because I had zero outlets for my emotions.

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Is sadness bad for your health?

Keeping your feelings to yourself – sadness, frustration, grief, or anger – may cause your body to be physically stressed. The impact is the same, though the core emotions vary. It is a known fact that this affects one’s self-esteem, memory, and blood pressure.

What does sadness do to your body?

Being miserable or sad can change the amount of stress-related opioids in your brain and produces a rise of inflammatory proteins in your bloodstream that are connected to a heightened risk of comorbid illnesses, such as stroke, metabolic syndrome, and heart problems.

Is sadness a disease?

Being sad is a natural response to circumstances that may lead to emotional pain or distress. On the other hand, there are differing degrees of sadness.

Do we need sadness to be happy?

Devoid of sadness, happiness is meaningless. Paradoxically, if you are scared of being emotionally sad, you are often unable to feel the heights of happiness. A lot of people live their lives in the middle area. They often don’t experience intense happiness, nor do they feel intense sadness.

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Is it okay to cry?

Yes, it is. It is a human reaction to misery and disappointment. It is also a healthy reaction. It is a natural means of reducing the stress that, if ignored for long periods, could have detrimental effects on your body physically and mentally, including a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular illnesses and other stress-linked diseases.

Is it okay to cry for no reason?

First of all, nothing is wrong with crying for no reason. Some people cry more often than others, and it is certainly okay. In fact, experts say that crying is a great natural stress reliever. A person who cries might actually become better than the one who doesn’t.

Is crying too much bad for you?

Crying has several health advantages. However, too much of it might be an indication of depression. Crying as a reaction to one’s feelings like joy, frustration, or sadness is quite normal.

Does crying damage your brain?

Experts say that although animals exposed to extremely high stress levels for long durations could present with changes in their brain configuration, stress due to crying has never been proven to cause brain damage in humans.

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Why do I cry so easily now?

All of us cry sometimes. But if you think you’ve been crying too much and too easily, it might mean that you are too overwhelmed by the stresses in your life or that you have other issues going on in your mind, like depression.

Why do I cry when others cry?

The concept of ‘grasping’ others’ feelings is something that experts have been delving into. Known as ‘emotional contagion,’ it happens when you interact with a person who feels extreme emotions. This, in turn, leads you to grasp that same emotion.

Is crying a sign of weakness?

No, it’s not. Crying is not a sign that you are weak. Conversely, it has been said that if you can cry to get over your problems, you are indeed strong.

Is massage good for depression?

If you have anxiety or depression or are just too stressed about life, getting a massage can be part of the whole treatment plan. It can aid you in achieving relaxation, peace of mind, body-mind connection, and empowerment.

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What type of massage is best for anxiety?

Shiatsu is probably the best massage for individuals who want to achieve relaxation, tension, and stress relief. It is a form of massage that originated from Japan that was developed to promote physical and emotional relaxation.

Final Thoughts

It has been 20 years since my battle with lung cancer ended. I had bittersweet memories during my chemotherapy and radiation therapy sessions. Looking back now, I could hardly recall the pain unless I saw pictures of myself in the past.

Despite others’ opinions, I would say that feeling sad made me healthy at the time. If I did not express my feelings, it would never have a way out.



Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Statistics

Understanding everything about depression is not simple. Often, you will need to consider what is specifically happening to someone with a mental health condition because many things vary. That is because the signs and symptoms of someone experiencing depression are different from everyone else. Not everybody is weak and vulnerable that they often choose isolation. Some depressed individuals are outgoing and often have strong personalities. Honestly, you can never genuinely tell if someone is dealing with an emotional and mental health problem. Not unless they openly expressed and talked about it.

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The thing is, depression is often silent but can still be too loud. You might easily identify it with lonely people, stressed, anxious, and always out of disposition. You can quickly distinguish their mental health condition through their actions. That explains why you can say that depressed people are often agitated, confused, and sensitive. When they get a chance to talk and express themselves, they start with how empty they are.

But the situation is not limited to that since there are depressed individuals who are very happy and confident about what they want. These are individuals that usually discuss things in riddles. Sometimes, they tend to go bold and let people know about their plans and how much they want to leave the people and the world behind them. They openly talk about self-harm and suicide in a joking manner. It is as if they want people to save them, but they do not want everybody to know that they need help.

Signs and symptoms of depression, although some of them are obvious ones, can still be tricky. That is because some people extremely want everything complicated. It is not because they want to lie to others or anything, but because they have this different mentality on how depression should be dealt with.

What age has the highest rate of clinical depression? 

The prevalence of major depressive episodes was higher among 7.1% of all U.S. adults. Usually, those are 8.7% females and 5.3% males. Major severe cases of depression are most likely to affect individuals between the ages of 45 and 65.

 How many individuals in the world suffer from depression? 

Depression is a widespread mental illness, and globally, more than 264 million people suffer from depression. These include adults, middle-aged, teenagers, and even kids. Depression is a leading cause of emotional, mental, and physical disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of health complications and diseases.

 What percentage of students have symptoms of depression? 

Almost 20 percent of all teens experience depression. Usually, some of them suffer from mild to severe symptoms before they reach adulthood. And in an unfortunate situation, only 30 percent of these depressed teens get proper treatment. That is because some of them often ignore their symptoms, and others do not care at all.

 What is the most common mental disorder? 

Anxiety disorders are a well-known mental illness in the U.S. It affects approximately 40 million individuals from age 18 and older. This population also grows every year as many teens and young adults struggle with life pressure and general problems. Fortunately, anxiety disorders are highly manageable. With the right treatment and medication, symptoms can easily go away. However, the problem is that only 36.9% of those suffering receive and seek treatment.

 Which race has the most leading rate of depression? 

The race with the highest rate of major depressive disorders is usually the Hispanics at 10.8%. It then gets followed by African Americans with an 8.9% total population count and whites with 7.8%. In addition to the information, the global depression rates from the WHO’s most recent findings indicate that the following countries, such as Brazil, Bangladesh, India, China, and the U.S, have the highest rates of depression.

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 Who is at greatest risk for depression? 

Usually, individuals in middle age are at the top of the bell curve for depression. That is because of the life stressors that are often unmanageable such as financial strain, work-related disappointments, death of a loved one, and many relationship problems. But that does not mean that the very young and very old do not experience depressive conditions. Some teenagers and adults often struggle with depression for a long time because they usually tend to ignore it, leaving them more susceptible to severe symptoms as the mental problem progresses.

 What are the types of depression? 

The types of depressions are Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Psychotic Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Persistent Depressive Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression, and ‘Situational’ Depression.

 What is the mortality rate of depression? 

People with severe anxiety or depression usually die 7.9 years earlier than those with minimal mental health issues. At a population level, anxiety or depression was associated with an elevated risk of mortality. Severe conditions of mental health make people suffer greatly with emotional, physical, and mental aspects. They also function poorly at work, at school, and in the family.

 What country has the worst mental health? 

The recent findings on the highest rates of global depression are countries such as Colombia, the United States, the Netherlands, and Ukraine. On the other hand, countries like Shanghai, Nigeria, and Italy were consistently low. Also, the prevalence was lower in Asian countries in general as well.

 Why is school a waste of time? 

Many people believe that the school system is inconsistent because it doesn’t teach children the necessary skills for continued development. Besides the fact that school days are too long, it becomes entirely hard for children to focus for hours straight. At a very young age, children are obliged to spend long hours in an isolated room with individuals their age and only handled by a single adult that tends to teach them lessons. Many people think that life would be too uninteresting without school and that they cannot learn without the premises’ teachings.

 Is school the main cause of depression? 

For some individuals, yes, it is. Not only does school often add to anxiety or depression, but mental health can also interfere with school at the same time. Moreover, research shows that all mental health conditions usually begin by age 24. Hence, the college years are a critical stage for individuals to experience many stressors that can damage their mental and emotional state.

 Can school stress cause mental illness? 

Long-term stress that school problems bring increases the risk of mental health issues. These include anxiety, substance use problems, sleep problems, pain, bodily muscle tension, and depression. Long-term stress from school can contribute to physical, emotional, and mental illness. It can also affect the immune and metabolic functions, heart, and chemicals acting on the brain.

 What is the rarest mental illness? 

The rarest mental illness is called Apotemnophilia. It is an identity disorder characterized by the overwhelming desire to amputate healthy parts of the body. This disorder is said to be neurological since there is not much known specific information about it.

 At what age does anxiety peak? 

Anxiety usually affects adults ages 30 to 44. These individuals often experience the highest anxiety rate and often can’t handle extreme mental health conditions. Some of the symptoms of severe cases often include disrupted daily functioning, restlessness, irritability, fatigue, agitation, tense muscles, difficulty concentrating, and trouble sleeping.

 What is poor mental health?

There is poor mental health involved when you find it difficult to manage how you think, feel, act concerning daily stresses in your life. Other factors may affect as well, including gambling, smoking, alcohol, and misuse of drug use, which can contribute to poor mental health.

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Insight

You might assume that because you already got answers to some of your questions, you understand depression better. No, it is not like that. You will never entirely understand what depression is not unless you live through it. You will never know the sacrifices that people with depression need to deal with, not unless you recover from the mental illness. But it does not mean that knowing something is not helpful. With a little bit of understanding and compassion, you can become an instrument to help and encourage people to fight their mental health battles.

 




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