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Natural Awakenings San Diego

The Funny Thing about Depression

Feb 01, 2012 03:08PM

Depression affects nearly 20 million Americans, yet is one of the most misunderstood afflictions plaguing our society today. Why is this? According to Jayne Haines, author of the book Cry for the Moon, “There may be an element of denial associated with depression, perhaps because its effects can sometimes come and go. There also seems to be a dose of embarrassment associated with admitting the condition exists.” Haines states that in many circumstances, unless a traumatic event occurs as a result of depression, the details of its existence remain a well-protected family secret.

What steps can be taken to help a family member who is depressed? “First of all,” says Haines, “encouraging that person to get a diagnosis is advised. They may be merely acting depressed due to a job crisis or the loss of a loved one. Or they could actually be clinically depressed.” Medication is oftentimes beneficial, and taking it as prescribed is crucial. There are also natural remedies, nutritional supplements and meditation to help fend off depression. Counseling for the entire family can work wonders to help maintain family balance and open lines of communication. “And if you fear that there is an emergency on the horizon that could be a result of depression for you or someone else,” says Haines, “there are crisis hotlines available in most areas.”

“Depression is not a disease to take lightly,” she adds. “It will not disappear if ignored, and should be recognized and dealt with for the benefit of all who it affects, directly or indirectly.”

Author Jayne Haines taps into her experience living with a depressed parent as a child in her new children’s novel, Cry for the Moon. Haines addresses this family dynamic in an uplifting and encouraging way to give hope to young readers who share similar family dynamics.

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