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Down in the Dumps Depression is a serious medical illness Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness loss or passing mood states depression is persistent and can significantly interfere with an individuals thoughts behavior mood activity and physical health Among all medical illnesses depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States and many other developed countries Individuals who deals with depression can be placed into these categories depressed individuals SIB Self Injurious Behaviors patients and suicide committers First there are depressed individuals who have difficulty in thinking concentrating and remembering things Some of these individuals have mood swings Feelings of guilt worthlessness hopelessness and emptiness always follow them Some of them have persistently sad or irritable moods They get relentless physical symptoms such as headaches digestive disorders and chronic pains which do not respond to treatment In addition there are SIB patients who harm themselves without an intension to die The forms and severity of self-injury can vary although the most commonly seen behavior is cutting burning and head banging Individuals who engage in self-injurious behaviors are most likely feeling a lot of pain and may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression A person may injure him or herself as an attempt to stop or avoid some threatened real external or internal pain This process is also an attempt to manage traumatic stress It is a way of releasing or getting the pain out It is important to note that people inflict self-injury for physical or emotional reasons It is not per se a voluntary act It may be an unconscious way of dealing with a sense of self-loathing before one reaches a point of suicide Although there is a strong link between suicide and depression suicide should only be considered if the individual indicates intent to die A common myth is that asking individuals if they are contemplating suicide affects their likelihood to attempt or complete suicide Individuals who are more
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