Dace edace at
Mon Aug 28 20:42:38 PDT 2000


> i have a question, how do "they" know the difference between depression
> and Depression?

Clinical depression is most easily distinguished by the physiological symptoms, such as insomnia or hypersomnia, sexual dysfunction, a decline or increase in appetite, and most tellingly of all, inversion of energy levels. Instead of losing energy as the day wears on, you're more liable to gain energy. All day you feel terrible, and then suddenly you start getting energized as bedtime approaches (and this has nothing to do with whether you're a morning or night person).

Then there's the crying. I had an episode this spring which lasted up to the beginning of July. In the final days of it, I watched the Wizard of Oz. I cried over and over again. Practically every time Judy Garland started singing, I felt tears welling up. It's times like that you realize there's a mental illness at work.

Clinical depression involves much more than feeling down, and it occurs without any obvious cause, when things are going fine. First there's the anxiety, which can deepen into the most overwhelming dread. Then there's rage, which totally sweeps away the dread. After that comes terrible sadness and feelings of worthlessness, despair, etc. The rage oscillates between outwardly and inwardly directed. In my case, these symptoms all declined enormously after I gave up sugar (though perhaps my earlier estimate of 90% reduction was a little bit of an exaggeration). Clinical depression can be exacerbated by food allergies or sugar if you're hypoglycemic. Being a little hypoglycemic, I don't eat sugar in any concentrated form, such as honey or syrups. I still have clear-cut episodes, but they're not nearly as menacing.


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