New York, NY (PRWEB) October 31, 2012
Dr. Gary McClain today released a new article, “Facing Depression,” offering insight and advice about depression for individuals facing chronic medical conditions. A specialist in the emotional and spiritual impact of chronic and catastrophic illnesses, Gary McClain, PhD, developed JustGotDiagnosed.com to address a serious need he saw going unfulfilled; namely, a way for newly-diagnosed patients to receive help in coping with their emotional reactions to their diagnosis. Dr. McClain also blogs on the patient social networking site,http://www.AllianceHealth.com.
McClain described his experiences in working with clients facing chronic conditions who are also experiencing depression. “I have always encouraged clients to cope with uncertainty by maintaining a sense of optimism when the world seems to be kicking you around. But let’s face it, life is what it is. And sometimes, at least temporarily, we don’t feel like we have the resources to face it. Individuals living with a chronic condition can have a lot of days like that.”
McClain described feelings of sadness as part of being human. However, he cautioned that sadness can be one of many symptoms of depression. “People who are depressed have trouble maintaining their normal lives – getting up in the morning, getting ready for the day, doing work around the house, getting together with friends or family. Depression causes pain for the person who is depressed, and it also causes pain for the people around them who want to reach out but don’t know what to do.”
McClain identified key causes of depression among individuals facing chronic illness. “Your life, your meds, your mood. The challenge of medication regimens can affect your mood. Coping with your diagnosis, adjusting to medications, and making lifestyle changes, for example, can all have an emotional impact. On some days the challenges may feel overwhelming. Medications can also have an effect on emotions, and depression can be a side effect.”
In his article, McClain emphasizes the importance of talk to a mental health professional about the possibility of depression. While depression may be accompanied by a wide range of symptoms, he identified key depression symptoms as overwhelming sadness, fatigue, loss of interest in things normally enjoyed, isolation, getting irritable or angry easily, losing or gaining weight, or having difficulty sleeping.
McClain cautioned against self-diagnosis. “Keep in mind that the presence of symptoms does not necessarily mean that you are depressed. Only a professional can make this determination for you. But if you think there is a possibility that you may be depressed, you can take the first step to find out for sure. Why live this way if you can do something about it?”
He offers guidelines on preventing depression. “I encourage clients not to isolate themselves. To get out and do things they enjoy, if only to take a walk. To get together with family and friends. To eat a balanced diet. To get some exercise and kick-start those good mood hormones. Getting a pet can also help.”
McClain concluded: “Depression is treatable. Dial… double click… reach out! Don’t go through this alone.”
About Dr. Gary McClain and http://www.JustGotDiagnosed.com
Dr. Gary McClain is a therapist, educator, and author who specializes in working with individuals who have been diagnosed with chronic and catastrophic medical conditions, focusing on issues that include coping emotionally, gathering information, making lifestyle and treatment decisions, managing relationships, and communicating with healthcare professionals. As "Dr. Gary," he blogs on patient social networking boards on http://www.AllianceHealth.com. Founded and developed by Dr. McClain, JustGotDiagnosed.com offers information, guidance and inspiration for newly diagnosed patients, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals. His program for newly-diagnosed patients, Prepared for the Road Ahead™, is focused on the emotional, lifestyle management, communications, and vision for the future. Visit http://www.JustGotDiagnosed.com.