Friday, October 7, 2011

October is Depression Awareness Month

In just the past three years, I've witnessed people become more and more aware of the serious nature of depression, the problems it can cause, and how to help those who suffer from it. It seems like it's starting to become less of a taboo topic, and that's a good thing.

One of the problems I face when dealing with depression is that others who haven't suffered have a hard time understanding. It's not just as easy as 'get over it!' or 'cheer up', it's not feeling sad for a day because something bad happened and saying, "Oh, I'm so depressed." Hopefully by raising awareness about the true nature depression, people will understand it better and become more supportive instead of viewing depressed people negatively.

You can view my previous posts on this topic for more facts, but here's some of the information from last year:

From the National Institute of Mental Health:

What Is Depression?

Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days. When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most who experience it need treatment to get better.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the vast majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Intensive research into the illness has resulted in the development of medications, psychotherapies, and other methods to treat people with this disabling disorder.

What are the different forms of depression?

There are several forms of depressive disorders. The most common are major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder.

Major depressive disorder, also called major depression, is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once–pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person's lifetime, but more often, it recurs throughout a person's life.

Dysthymic disorder, also called dysthymia, is characterized by long–term (two years or longer) but less severe symptoms that may not disable a person but can prevent one from functioning normally or feeling well. People with dysthymia may also experience one or more episodes of major depression during their lifetimes.

Some forms of depressive disorder exhibit slightly different characteristics than those described above, or they may develop under unique circumstances. However, not all scientists agree on how to characterize and define these forms of depression. They include:

Psychotic depression, which occurs when a severe depressive illness is accompanied by some form of psychosis, such as a break with reality, hallucinations, and delusions.

Postpartum depression, which is diagnosed if a new mother develops a major depressive episode within one month after delivery. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.1

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is characterized by the onset of a depressive illness during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer. SAD may be effectively treated with light therapy, but nearly half of those with SAD do not respond to light therapy alone. Antidepressant medication and psychotherapy can reduce SAD symptoms, either alone or in combination with light therapy.2

Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness, is not as common as major depression or dysthymia. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes-from extreme highs (e.g., mania) to extreme lows (e.g., depression). Visit the NIMH website for more information about bipolar disorder.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency and duration of symptoms will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
How can I help a friend or relative who is depressed?

If you know someone who is depressed, it affects you too. The first and most important thing you can do to help a friend or relative who has depression is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. You may need to make an appointment on behalf of your friend or relative and go with him or her to see the doctor. Encourage him or her to stay in treatment, or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs after six to eight weeks.

To help a friend or relative:
  • Offer emotional support, understanding, patience and encouragement.
  • Engage your friend or relative in conversation, and listen carefully.
  • Never disparage feelings your friend or relative expresses, but point out realities and offer hope.
  • Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your friend's or relative's therapist or doctor.
  • Invite your friend or relative out for walks, outings and other activities. Keep trying if he or she declines, but don't push him or her to take on too much too soon. Although diversions and company are needed, too many demands may increase feelings of failure.
  • Remind your friend or relative that with time and treatment, the depression will lift.

The color for Depression Awareness just happens to be one of my most favorite nail polish colors: Green. So how about a little green nail polish spam?

Nubar Grass Green Glitter

BYS Fern

Borghese Euro Green

Amour Central Park Green

Essence All Access

Orly Here Comes Trouble

Orly Meet Me Under The Mistletoe

Massini Lost In The Forrest (their spelling, not mine)

Ruby Kisses Icy Mint

Nicole by OPI Iceberg Lotus

Nicole by OPI Green Up Your Act

Color Club Not Just For Kelly Green

Color Club Glitter Envy

BYS Thunderstorm

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Shimmer

Nicole by OPI One Time Lime

Ulta Professional Green With Envy

Ozotic Pro 120

Essie Going Incognito

China Glaze Emerald Sparkle

Revlon Street Wear Envy


  1. You are so awesome for this post(but only one of many reasons!) <3

  2. One of my favourite webcomic artists actually started a new comic series that sheds light quite well on depression:

  3. I find it admirable when beauty bloggers go out of their way to shed light on these important causes to spread awareness and hopefully, understanding. Kudos, Scrangie! Great tie up with the green nail polish, too. :)

  4. i have also depression and it's in the familiy :(

  5. Thank you so much for the post, the stigma of depression lessens with each story shared. I would also like to highlight that children can suffer from depression, although symptoms can manifest differently than in adults. On average parents wait two years from the onset of symptoms before seeking treatment for their child. These years can be critical for educational and emotional development. If you even suspect that your child may be dealing with depression it's worth speaking to a physician or counselor. There is help and there is hope.

  6. Thank you for shedding light & helping people understand.

  7. Thanks for this great post! I love your nails covered in green.

  8. Thank you for this post and all the information. A someone who struggles with depression it's nice to see that some people out there do understand what it's like.

  9. You have no idea how your post from last year lifted a load from my shoulders: for the first time, I was reading white on black that all those feelings I had were actually a medical condition. It was actually enough to help me deal with it, just knowing that it wasn't all in my head. So a big thanks to you, you rock \m/

  10. Great post. More people ought to learn enough about this illness to be able to discern whether their "moody" friend might in fact have a more serious problem.

  11. Thank you so much for this post <3 . I am depressive, and (unintentionally!) wearing green nail polish right now (Zoya Yara). I know what color I will be wearing for the rest of this month.
    I really enjoy your blog, even though I don't comment as much as I should, and this is another reason why I'm going to keep reading!

  12. Thank you so much for this post <3 . I am also depressive, and I am (unintentionally!) wearing green nail polish today (Zoya Yara). I know what color family I will be wearing for the rest of this month!
    I really enjoy your blog (even though I don't comment as much as I should), and this is yet another reason why.

  13. Thank you for shedding light on this matter. My father is suffering of the illness since 10 years, it's really a horrible disease. I think I will not ever get my father back as he once was.

    And thank you for the green beauties...

  14. perfect, as always. Wearing green too xx

  15. I've noticed that a lot of bloggers, including myself, suffer from depression. Thank you for this post!

    Its kinda funny tho. My bday is in october and i suffer from depression.

  16. Thank you for your annual take on this serious matter, I've been recently diagnosed with Depression and I'm beginning treatment, It's awful to not be able to do anything.
    Your nails are lovely as always. Have a nice weekend :)

  17. Great post, it's important to spread awareness of this disease!!

  18. awesome post! and beautiful shades of greens!

  19. As someone who struggles with depression myself, I'm very moved to see a blogger with such a huge amount of readers post about's nice to raise awareness just because I'm sick of hearing that I need to 'get over it.' Thanks so much for this post, Scrangie. All the greens are gorgeous, too. :)

  20. I'm on eBay right now buying Glitter Envy, Under the mistletoe and Emerald Sparkle :)

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  22. Thank you for speaking out about this! I've had my troubles with anxiety and depression in the past, and it's something that needs to be talked about and more solutions need to be found for those of us who deal with it.

  23. I so appreciate that you're not "just" about the pretty, but also what is important. Thanks for sharing the info. and raising awareness. Depression IS a serious issue. Also, thank you for the pretties. :)

  24. What a beautiful post. I work in the public health industry--thank you for raising awareness. I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog months ago. You are such a bright spot for those of us that use beauty as a bit of an escape. I appreciate you.

  25. I still can't thank you enough for doing these, Scrangie. I've had depression for a long time (I'm 15)... And it's nice that you're using your 'power' to spread awareness. Sometimes people just don't understand... Thank you :)

  26. Love you doll. Thanks for posting this.

  27. As I like to say, it's always Depression Awareness Month around here. ;) Thank you for taking the time to provide such thorough information - that kind of education and advice can make a big difference.

  28. Thank you for bringing awareness to this topic. It's had struggling with depression and just not having people understand, or telling you to just be happy. For me, it's always been when I've been on birth control pills. Has anyone else ever noticed a correlation between the pill and depression?

  29. I will be joining you with Depression awareness post as well. Maybe I can help some of my followers cope with whatever they go thru! Thanks!

  30. The most valuable thing I've learned about depression is you don't have to hate your life to have it. Being depressed isn't the same as being sad - it's so different. You're right, you can't just "cheer up", and no amount of people explaining why you ought to be happy is going to help. Thanks for this post. :)

  31. thank you for this. i just got over a bad bout with it myself (triggered by my being jobless for a month, methinks, along with a billion other things).

    i just bought some greens (yara and dree - and holly on the way!) but have been afraid to wear them. i think i will now. :)

  32. Thanks for shedding some light on depression. It runs in my family, and I've been dealing with it for about 10 years (manifested in moderate OCD and obsessive worry). It's taken years for me to change my thought patterns, and years to be able to talk about it with anyone but my very patient husband. Hopefully awareness will increase, and people won't be so afraid to talk about it, because not putting depression into words made it much worse, at least for me.

  33. Thank you for this fantastic post. Depression is a hard thing to talk about, but you did so clearly.

  34. I love your blog,your nails and the polishes that you post are really amazing,but this post has touched me deeply,really bacause in the previous year I was really depressed and searched for many doctors to solve my problem,I started taking a lot of medicines and sometimes people around you don't realize that you are really sick.I guess that's really important to mention about this problem even in a beauty's blog,beacause you can help many others that have problems about it.

  35. I love that you addressed this. I just have to point out though that PostPartum Depression can set in any time in the first year after giving birth. Part of the problem is that so many people don't realize that and think that it has to set in soon. Mine was diagnosed with my first daughter at 3 months postpartum. With my second daughter I'm 6 months pospartum and don't have a diagnosis yet but am seeing a doctor soon because I've been having some symptoms.

    Something else that many people are unaware of is that thyroid problems can cause/worsen depression/symptoms and that pregnancy can cause thyroid problems. In my case that was what had happened and as soon as the thyroid was controlled, my PPD cleared up.

    Again, thanks for the depression awareness post, and I love the swatches.

  36. Depression awareness AND polish swatches #win

    Seriously, thank you. I have battled depression since I was in high school. I've had postpartum depression twice, and also have anxiety and panic disorder (plus OCD). The stigma is still awful. Fortunately my husband understands and is supportive.

    My silver lining to experiencing it is that I understand where others are coming from and can offer support. It's helped me help my daughter when she's has had mild episodic depression (after the loss of loved ones). It helps me understand my son's anxiety.

    The internet saved me, and continues to keep me going. Thank you for being one of those amazing individuals *hug*

  37. Wow, I am married to a Psychologist, have a sister who suffers from depression and has attempted suicide. This is a monster, not the same as say Cancer, but just as devastating for those who love the individual. I am writing this five years after you have written it and in a simple search of Bhorgese's Euro Green . Take care, kid. I know it is though.


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