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Sinequan (Doxepin)

You feel sad, almost like crying. Sometimes you do cry. Mostly, you feel hopeless, overwhelmed and unable to move or work. Your problems weigh on you like so many stones on your chest. And you see no way of lifting those weights. Those feelings may persist without letting up for weeks or even years. A psychiatrist would say that you are depressed.
Up until a few years ago, doctors could do little to lighten the burden of depression. But now they have a variety of treatments to raise even the most depressed from the pits of despair. And that’s good news for the 10 million Americans who each year slide into the blackness of depression. Unfortunately, most remain untreated and continue to suffer. Many die by their own hand.
To help you understand this disorder better, Dr. Lewis L. Judd, formerly of the National Institute of Mental Health, has answered the following questions.
Many people believe a depressed person puts on an act. With just a little willpower, they say, he or she could be cheerful again. Is this true?
Depression is neither an act nor a failure of willpower. It’s a real disease, just as a heart attack is real. Depression produces physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms. Without treatment, depression can last for years and even end in suicide. With treatment, as many as nine of 10 people recover.
How can you tell whether a person is really generally depressed or saddened by some specific event, like a death in the family?
Everyone gets the blues or feels sad from time to time. If the symptoms grow too strong and last too long, the line is crossed from sadness to depression. The dividing line may seem fuzzy, but if four or more symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, you should seek professional help.
We know that depression takes several disguises or forms. How can you tell which is which?
Some people suffer only one episode of depression in a lifetime; others may fall victim to depression many times. In still others, depression weighs so heavily that they can’t function at all. In many, the symptoms appear constantly and for a long time, but in milder form. Many patients go through cycles of deep, depressive “lows” and soaring manic “highs.” Their moods sweep from one pole to the other, so doctors call it “bipolar disorder” or “manic-depressive” illness.
Are more people depressed these days than they were in the past?
We do not know for sure, but it is not likely. With increased awareness and much better diagnostic methods, we are more accurately identifying and treating more depressed people. As a result, it may seem as if there are more depressed people, when actually we are much more alert to the disease now.
Depression often leads to suicide. How common is suicide among the depressed?
If not properly treated, one of seven severe depressives eventually will commit suicide. That’s a higher death rate than from most other serious diseases. More men-particularly older white men – than women commit suicide. We don’t understand the gender differences. We can, the statistics indicate, prevent suicide with quick diagnosis and treatment.

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