I decided to experiment with a conversation with myself. I asked a simple and basic question and worked my way to complex and confusing:
What is depression?
The DSM-5, psychiatry’s diagnostic bible, refers to various conditions that involve feeling sad, inability to experience pleasure, lack of self-worth, inability to concentrate, and suicidal thinking, not to mention dysregulated sleep and appetite and movement, though you don’t have to experience all these at once.
But everyone gets depressed, right?
True. We all have our bad days. Also, all of us experience grief and loss and major challenges in coping with life. But all this is considered within the “normal” realm of human behavior.
Things change when we lose the ability to function, whether at work or in our relationships or in our own sense of well-being. We are more than just “depressed.” We are not ourselves. Our brains are not cooperating with us. L...
Millions of children are heading back to school now, and nearly one quarter of these young people have low back pain. How can someone so young already be experiencing pain? Children are at risk for back pain if there is a family history of back pain. Girls are at higher risk than boys. Although family history and gender are not risks that can be modified, there are other risks that can be changed. By reducing the overall risk of developing back pain, a child may be able to go back to school without back pain.
General health can be improved. In particular, tobacco use is a major contributor to premature spine degeneration because of the lack of blood and nutrients to the spinal discs. Smoking causes the discs to age rapidly. Furthermore, sugar consumption causes weight gain and inflammation. Avoiding sugary drinks and foods can tremendously improve the way the spine feels. Transforming poor health into good health is a powerful way to protect a young life from chron...
Spinal pain, or back pain, is very common in the Western world. In fact, it affects up to 80 percent of people at least one time in their life. Usually, the pain is nonspecific , not caused by any particular trauma or injury, or there isn't any body part or tissue that has been noticeably injured. Most often, nonspecific back pain goes away after three to 12 months, although most people do end up having more back pain later. And, among those people, an average of 16 percent experience back pain that's bad enough to affect their every day life. This means the majority of people with nonspecific back pain don't usually have any long-term problems and don't even seek medical help. Many studies have been done that have helped doctors understand things like catastrophizing (feeling that things worse than they really are), depression and feeling badly about oneself as a result of chronic pain. It's been found that the amount of psychological distress felt by a patient affects how the patient...
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