Frequently Asked Questions About Possibly Having Depression

I loved everything about being a gymnast. I had always loved dressing up, dancing, and putting on some makeup. More importantly, I was exemplary at it, and my coaches admired my competitive spirit. “How can someone look so sweet and fierce on the mat?” they used to say. I had been competing ever since I reached the minimum age limit for tournaments and racking up wins, much to everyone’s delight.

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A Glitch In My Plans

Despite the glitz and glam that came with gymnastics, it was no different from other sports in training difficulty. Every morning, I had to stretch all my limbs to stay as flexible as possible even when there was no competition. If I had to compete, I would have to wake up earlier than everybody, head to the gym for an hour, go to school, do my homework, and train for two to four hours after that. I managed to juggle my activities easily when I was still in elementary school, although things became challenging as years passed by.

It came to the point where I had to be homeschooled for half a year as I started competing out of state in middle school. What little I got to rest, I had to spend half of it studying. More than once, I cried to my parents out of exhaustion and wanted to quit school to focus on gymnastics, but they said that I needed a fallback plan. “Sports is not a lifetime job. While it’s great to compete as much as you can now, there will come a time when you’ll need to retire,” Dad said.

When I heard that, I laughed. Though I knew that my father only spoke the truth, I was only 16 years old then – I thought I still had a decade to become a legendary gymnast. That’s what I had been aiming for all this time; that’s why I had been pushing my body to the limit whenever I trained and competed.

Unfortunately, during an executive checkup, the doctor saw a slight curvature in my spine. It was not too prominent at the time, but the doctor advised me to avoid training too much. I did not speak back then, though I was screaming in my head. How could I tell my coaches to lessen my activities when we were on a roll at the time? I had many competitions lined up, and everyone counted on me to bring home medals and trophies.

As stubborn as I was, I did not listen to the doctor. After several months, I woke up with a painful back. I also felt that something’s wrong whenever I stood up straight, so I asked my parents to take me to the clinic again. That’s when the doctor told me that I had scoliosis. While the news shook me, I was not prepared for my parents’ mutual decision to make me retire at 16 years old.

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When The Lights Went Out

Of course, I could not disagree with Mom and Dad. They were right – my health was more important than anything. Despite that, I could not help but feel sad about it. My entire career had already been mapped out years ago. I was always a strong competitor, so my coaches believed that I could hold world records in no time. But then, scoliosis came into the picture and derailed everything.

I felt lost and unmotivated to do anything for a while after that. My parents did not know about it until much later, but I often came home past 8 p.m. and told them that I already ate with my friends. In reality, I merely stayed at the park and stared into nothing until the sky went dark. I had always been slim, so they did not notice that I lost a little weight from my appetite loss. Some days, I would lie to my parents about feeling ill to avoid going to school.

I did not think much about my symptoms until I read an article about depression. I ticked off most – if not all – the symptoms, making me believe that I had the mental disorder.

Is it possible to diagnose yourself with depression?

It is impossible to diagnose yourself with depression, considering you are not trained to do so. The best thing you can do is download a screening self-test and check which symptoms you possibly have. But then again, that is nothing compared to booking an appointment with a psychiatrist or psychologist and letting the expert assess your condition.

What are the chances of having depression?

In reality, everyone can have depression. This mental disorder does not even choose how to age it manifests, considering kids diagnosed with depression. However, your chances of getting depressed increases if:

  • You have a direct relative with depression.
  • You have a pre-existing mental disorder that makes you feel sad and lonely all the time.
  • You have dealt with some form of abuse, and nothing seems to help you get over it.
  • You have acquired a new physical illness, but you cannot accept it.

What is the highest cause of depression?

Genetics is perhaps the highest cause of depression. Studies reveal that it covers 40% of the problem – a percentage that becomes more probable if depression has been detected in your parents, siblings, and other direct relatives. The remaining 60% can then be divided into abuse, stress, peer pressure, and various environmental factors.

How does depression affect synapse?

Depression affects neural synapses by technically cutting them off and giving them no chance to regrow. The longer you leave your depression untreated, the more synapses will most likely get destroyed. The only way to reverse this problem is by taking antidepressants.

Is school the cause of depression?

Yes, the school can be the cause of depression for some people – particularly students. This issue is not prevalent among bullied individuals alone. In reality, even high-achieving students tend to get depressed because of academic pressure. Their depression may become more severe as their neural connections start to die and cause short-term memory and forgetfulness.

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How do I know if I’m bipolar?

Bipolar disorder is one of the trickiest mood disorders to diagnose, considering you may keep on experiencing symptoms of mania and depression. Still, if you are looking for the early signs of bipolar disorder, here they are:

  • You do not merely feel down. Instead, you cannot sleep, or you oversleep, lose interest in everything you used to enjoy, feel sluggish, and are unable to concentrate.
  • Some days, you feel like you will never run out of energy. You want to do everything at once or be everywhere at once. Even if you experience failure, you shake it off and move on to the next adventure.
  • Dealing with manic symptoms may make you happy at first, but you will eventually feel out of control. While you may know that you should not do something, you still do it.

Is it okay to self-diagnose anxiety?

No, it is not okay to self-diagnose anxiety. Self-tests exist so that individuals can assess their likelihood of having a specific mental disorder. However, considering you are neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist, you can’t determine your condition or how severe it may be.

Can you self-diagnose a mental illness?

Technically, there are many screening self-tests that you can consult if you want to guarantee that you have a mental illness before contacting a psychiatrist or psychologist. These typically come in the form of questionnaires or checklists, and the more items you tick off, the higher your chances are of having a psychological condition.

Despite self-tests, many mental health professionals discourage people from trying them, considering it can trivialize the disorder. Others tend to avoid getting an official diagnosis as they believe they already know what’s happening to them.

Who is at the most significant risk for depression?

A young female adult has the highest chance of getting depression than anyone. In truth, studies reveal that females are twice more likely than males to get depressed. Though more research must be conducted regarding the matter, it may have something to do with the fact that men can compartmentalize their thoughts while women cannot.

Which age group has the highest rate of depression?

The young adult group has the highest depression rate. This ranges from 18 to 25 years old.

Assuming you wonder why young adults are more prone to getting depressed than others, there are many possible reasons for that, such as:

  • Young adults have a twisted standard of beauty in their minds, no thanks to the physical enhancements that they may have seen on TV personalities.
  • Young adults are dealing with more stress than they admit. Stress is one of the commonly known trigger factors for various mental disorders, including depression.
  • Young adults have experienced irreversible life changes. For instance, their parents may have divorced, have failed to enter their dream college, etc.
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What is the primary cause of depression?

There is no primary cause of depression because that will imply that one cause is more prevalent than the other. In reality, depression results from various causes acting together, such as genetics, stressful events, pre-existing psychological disorders, etc. Despite that, studies suggest that if you have a family member with depression, there is a high likelihood that you or another close relative will get diagnosed with it too.

Which country has the highest rate of depression?

China has been reported to have the highest depression rate globally, considering more than 100 million individuals were affected by the mental disorder in 2016. However, the problem is that not all of them have received a diagnosis, so their depression is left untreated. That’s one reason China has seen an increase in the number of suicide cases in the country.

Does depression count as a disability?

Yes, depression counts as a disability. The more severe it gets, the more it prevents you from living naturally and doing your daily tasks. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not recognize a mild form of depression.

What part of the brain causes depression?

The changes in the brain’s three vital parts – the amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus –cause depression. After all, the mental disorder begins with a decrease in a person’s serotonin levels. When that happens, the hippocampus fills the void with cortisol, the stress hormone. Instead of helping, though, it makes matters worse.

As if that is not enough, the oxygen supply in the brain decreases, causing inflammation. The longer there is no oxygen in the brain, the more neural connections will die. Because of that, the person develops short-term memory loss and mood swings.

Final Thoughts

I came clean to my parents about my possible mental health condition and told them everything I had been doing in the past months. It was the first time I saw them cry out of helplessness, but I assured them that I wanted to be okay. After my revelation, they helped me contact a psychologist and went on to do psychotherapy.

I’m not sure if depression will ever go away completely, but I feel better now, and I can’t wait to get into college.

Keeping Your Mental Health Intact Despite The Scoliosis Diagnosis

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Source: pikist.com

I got diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) at 14 years old. It meant that my spinal column had a slight yet defined curve that simple stretching or walking with books on top of my head could not fix.

Yes, I understood how unbelievable it sounded to many. When I mentioned the diagnosis to my friends, they even said, “Get out of here! You’re just pulling our legs, and we’re not falling for it, sister.” They only believed me when I turned my back and asked them to trace my spinal curvature. Most of them didn’t know what to say immediately after that, except for one who exclaimed, “Dang, it was like a snake in there!”

Despite that comment, my friends cared for me throughout middle school up to high school. Whenever my back hurt from carrying a bag full of books for too long, they took turns holding it for me. They often asked how I was, too, especially when we’re doing exhausting things for P.E. classes. E.g., running, volleyball, basketball, etc.

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The Real Problem

Some people thought that my life was still relatively easy, even though I was dealing with scoliosis. After all, I had never been bullied because of it, and everyone wanted to give me moral support. However, because of my scoliosis, I needed to quit cheerleading, which had been a massive part of my life for as long as I could remember.

Being a teenager, it made me question my status at school. I used to be among the cool kids at school because I was poised to become a head cheerleader, you see. People knew my name or the girl who could more flip in the air than you could count. Then, when I left cheerleading, I realized that that’s all I was. I did not join any other club; my grades were only a little above average, too.

It was an identity crisis that I did not have time to prepare for. In truth, I made up a few excuses for months to avoid going to school because of that. I felt like drowning in my mental health worries, and I could hardly come up for air.

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Source: pikist.com

The Solution

My mother eventually caught up in my alibis. I thought that she would ground me for life due to how much she scolded me that day, but she ended up hugging and crying with me. She said, “I disagree with your methods, but I understand why you’ve done what you did. I just wish you have told me about it early.”

This revelation did me more good than I could ever imagine. It allowed me to see how I could keep my mental health intact despite having scoliosis.

Stop Thinking Negatively

The first thing I did was recalibrate my brain. The diagnosis caused me to think about everything negatively. For instance, when I was no longer a cheerleader, I assumed that no one would know me or want to get to know me. Whenever my friends offered their help, I thought that they were doing it out of pity.

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Source: pikist.com

Instead of thinking like that, I tried to tell myself that I could still be known for other things, such as academics and other sports. I also pushed away the feeling of helplessness that always lurked inside me and welcomed my loved ones’ help. I figured that if it happened to them, I would have done the same because we all loved each other.

Work Around The Illness

When I got diagnosed with scoliosis, I honestly thought that I could never do any physical activity again. As my friend mentioned above, my spine curved like a snake, and they were correct. In my mind, it meant that I could not be a part of a human pyramid anymore and that I would have to watch my diet now because exercising was out of the picture.

However, during one of my checkups, the doctor noticed my weight gain due to stress eating, and he wasn’t happy about it. The reason was that my spinal curvature might worsen if I had more fats than muscles in my body. He suggested doing core exercises that would not require me to be on my feet.

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Source: pikist.com

I must say it was a tough challenge at first, considering I was too scared to hurt my back further. Over time, though, I learned how to work around the illness and strengthen my body.

Try Not To Disobey The Doctor’s Orders

It also helped that I talked to the doctor before I tried anything. Aside from medication, they gave me an idea of how to live to the max, even if I might need to deal with scoliosis for a long while. They even had previous scoliosis patients willing to talk to new patients like me and practically inform us that the diagnosis won’t alter our lives if we didn’t allow it.

Final Thoughts

I was in emotional limbo for six whole months. I regretted letting that happen to me, but I could only move forward and try to make the most of everything.

Hopefully, you find enlightenment during your darkest moments, too. Good luck!

 

Relationship Goal: Overcoming Scoliosis As A Couple 

Scoliosis most often appears to be just a bone condition because it is most evident through a curve in the spine, but it is also a neuromuscular one. Motor-sensory nerves in the upper and lower trunk fail to give and receive the right messages from the brain and vice-versa about the proper position and strength required by movements of the back. 

 

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

  Continue reading Relationship Goal: Overcoming Scoliosis As A Couple 

Can Scoliosis Affect My Future Relationships And Marriage 

Living with scoliosis has several implications for a teen’s future. These teens may need to get used to frequent treatment sessions and avoiding specific activities. However, one question that most teens with scoliosis ask is: can their condition affect their future relationships and marriages? Let us see what other people with the same condition think.  

 

Source: flickr.com

  Continue reading Can Scoliosis Affect My Future Relationships And Marriage 

What To Do When Your Partner Has Scoliosis 

When it comes to love, it knows no boundaries, nor illness. It is not discriminatory, and at times it is even unexplainable. Despite the existence of an illness, it is still essential to be able to understand and support our partners. 

 

For people with partners dealing with scoliosis, it may be hard to support them if you don’t understand their condition. People diagnosed with scoliosis require proper care, and it is essential to understand these needs to take care of your loved one better. 

Continue reading What To Do When Your Partner Has Scoliosis 

Physical Health 101: Finding The Best Seats For Canoeing After Getting Diagnosed With Scoliosis

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When you are on your way to becoming a young canoeing expert, but you find yourself with a health condition like scoliosis, it may feel like it’s over for you. The sport, after all, requires you to sit in a small boat and paddle on the water for as long as necessary to reach your destination. If it used to be effortless for you, the same might be difficult to say now, especially when you want to prevent your spine from curving further.

Nonetheless, in case your physical therapist deems that it is okay for you to continue canoeing even after getting diagnosed with scoliosis, you should find the best seat that will make the ride more stress-free for your body. Here are some things to consider before purchasing one.

Weight

Canoe seats have different weight limits. One size does not fit all. This is the first thing you have to put into consideration when you wish to purchase new boat chairs. If you are a bit hefty, you should take a chair that is durable and can hold your mass well. Flimsy materials may not last even after a single usage, so that is already one aspect to remember. It is also practical to go for canoe seats with the metal foundation since that is sturdier than average.

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Source: adventurejay.com

Practicality

You have to be realistic with what is convenient for you in terms of pricing and product bulk. It is not impossible to find longer-lasting canoe seats. However, you should be diligent in searching for them. On the other hand, not owning a canoe is not a reason for you to not acquire your seats. If you like to rent one with friends and family, you only need to get seats that can be fastened to the regular chairs.

Padding

Padded chairs are not a must, yet this is what most people look for in canoe seats. When you are out on the water, after all, and the weather is nice, the cushioned chair can make you momentarily forget that you have to row, row, and row to move the narrow boat. You can stop far from the shore and get your daily dose of news without worrying about toppling over since your weight is well-distributed. Canoeing for more than five hours is not going to give you pain on your bum either because you won’t have to stay seated on a flat surface.

Breathability

Sitting in the car cannot be that comfortable if you do not lean away from the backrest from time to time. Regardless if the air conditioner is in full swing or not, heat can build up on your back since the upholstery material may not be very breathable.

Now, this idea is analogous to canoe seats, although you merely need to rely on natural air when you are on the boat. Hence, the chairs you are looking for should be capable of letting wind pass through little vents in the backrest. Meanwhile, the full ones either have a small horizontal gap where the lower back is supposed to be situated or a mesh back support.

 

Functionality

Unless you are a professional paddler, there will only be certain times in a year when you can ride the canoes. For this reason, it may be more convenient if the seats you are considering to purchase can be utilized on your other trips too. If ever you are to sit in a concrete stadium, go on camping or watch an outdoor concert, for instance, you should be able to bring it.

Comfortability

Your welfare is of utmost importance. In case you cannot let a year pass without taking a canoe on the river behind the house or fishing for a short while, there are small boats with back support that can provide less strain on your muscles and spine. You may benefit greatly from getting the canoe seats that Coleman makes, to be specific, since they typically come with webbed backrest. Besides, mesh and padded seatbacks are available in the market now as well.

Extras

When you are training for a competition or aiming to travel from one side of the lake to the other, you can get canoe seats with a cup holder or drink container. It can ensure that you will stay hydrated and energized throughout your journey. Thus, you have higher chances of winning against other competitors.

Final Thoughts

Who said that you need to let go of your dreams of being a canoeing expert because a doctor diagnosed you with scoliosis?

You may need to be more conscious of your paddling technique than your peers, but it is not essential to avoid it altogether. Aside from finding the best seat for this sport, you can always rest when you feel exhausted because of it. Try not to let others hinder you from doing what you love.

Good luck!

Winning Over Scoliosis

How A Teenager And Her Family Deal With The Condition

Source: Flickr.com

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis [AIS] is the most common form of spine curvature that affects tweens [preteens] and teens. The cause is still unknown, and there is no known cure for this condition. For teenagers who undergo these most change-riddled years, having scoliosis on top of the puberty-driven physical development may be overwhelming causing a slew of over-anxiety and depression.

Well, one thing you can do for your teenager diagnosed with scoliosis is to encourage him to have a positive outlook about his future even when he has to live with the condition and, of course, support him as he deals with it. Like this teen whose life was changed by scoliosis. With the help and support of her family, she’s able to weather through all the difficulties associated with her condition. Want to know her story? Read on!

Continue reading Winning Over Scoliosis

Help, My Teenager Has Scoliosis!

Parents, What To Do When Your Kid’s Diagnosed With Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis [AIS]

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Described as “too tall for her age”, 14-year-old Anna’s significantly jutting shoulder blade and dipping waist on one side made her more self-conscious and critical about her physical appearance. After a few visits to two doctors – the family’s physician and an orthopedist – the prognosis came out: Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis [AIS]. And though Anna looked devastated after hearing the diagnosis, Anna’s mother, Malene, was the picture of calm.

“We’ll get through this,” she comfortingly said to her daughter who clung to her.

Afterwards, however, Malene voiced out her inner panic. “My teenager has scoliosis. I don’t even know what that is beyond what the doctors told me about her spine curving. I just don’t know what to do!”

Continue reading Help, My Teenager Has Scoliosis!

Physical Exercises for People with Scoliosis

People living with scoliosis can find it hard and painful to do what ordinary people can. It is difficult for people to perform some physical activities due to the pain it can give. Scoliosis is distinguished by an S or C-shaped curve in the spinal cord. Some curves are broader compared to the others. It can be corrected through surgery in moderate or severe cases. However, there is a non-surgical way to cure this abnormality.

Continue reading Physical Exercises for People with Scoliosis

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