Living with Lyme’s: You May Not Actually Be Depressed

I don’t believe anyone is actually depressed.

Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of a blanket statement. If you do everything you possibly can: exercise regularly, eat a well balanced diet with no processed foods, get 8-hours of sleep every night and you are still depressed, then I believe you. I just have such a hard time with people who say they are depressed and they don’t take care of themselves, like, no duh! I would be too!

The number of depressed people in America has been rapidly increasing in recent years. You can see it on social media and in the news, depression and suicide have become so common that people are even fantasizing it now. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention in 2012, 1 out of every 20 people ages 12 and up had been diagnosed as depressed.  Also, in the last 20 years, the U.S. has had a 400% rise in the amount of people that are on anti-depressants. That’s a lot of people, but that was six years ago. Imagine how much that number has grown!

What I found interesting, however, was how many people were misdiagnosed with depression alone. Depression is often times a single symptom to one giant underlying problem. Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Lyme’s, ADHD, and hypothyroidism are all diseases that have depression as one of their symptoms. Rami Mojtabai, of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, conducted a study that found out of the 5,639 people who had been previously diagnosed with depression, only 38.4% of them were actually clinically depressed. However 75% of them were given anti-depressants.

My point is, with any disease, treat depression as a symptom rather than an actual diagnosis. In most cases, your depression is a result of a much bigger problem. For example, a person who has Lyme’s disease may be misdiagnosed with depression. Over time, while taking the wrong medication and clearly showing no signs of improvement, that persons “clinical depression” gets worse while their Lyme’s disease continues to spread, causing the condition to become chronic. The hard thing is, you can’t trust your own doctors alone anymore. You need to do your own research, because you are the only one who genuinely cares about your personal well-being. Your motivation isn’t being paid commission for how many drugs you prescribe, your motivation is having the ability to live a prosperous and joyful life.

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