2
Oct

Just the Blues? Or is it Depression?

Depression and Deaf People: We recently had several requests to do a post specifically on depression and Deaf people. Depression is something that many of us may experience at one point or another during our lives. It’s important to know that being Deaf itself is not a cause of depression. Being Deaf people in a hearing-centered society, however, can put Deaf people slightly more at risk for depression than hearing people. This is true for almost any minority group. The more oppressed, powerless, or unequal people feel, the greater the chance they will experience depression or any other mental health issue (See ASC’s post on mental health and social injustices).

How Do You Know if It’s Depression?: Depression is more than just a bad mood, sadness, or an upset reaction to bad grade or a break-up. Clinical depression is different in the sense that the depressed mood lasts longer than two weeks and the symptoms are much more intense, interfering with school, work, relationships, and responsibilities. Symptoms of depression can include some or all of the following: constant feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness; significant weight loss or gain; sleeping more or less than usual; difficulty concentrating; loss of interest in life’s pleasures; agitation or restlessness; thinking about suicide or making plans for suicide. Sometimes people may attempt to mask these symptoms of depression by over-using alcohol or other drugs, in an effort to “self-medicate”. For an in-depth signed presentation on depression, see this link.

Causes: There are many possible causes of depression. Some of these are: major life events such as moving, divorce, empty-nest, or the death of someone important to you; chemical imbalances; post-partum depression; peri- or post-menopausal depression; traumatic experiences; and certain medical conditions. Deaf people may experience job-related depression, especially when isolation, communication difficulties, discrimination, or lack of opportunity for employment or promotion exist. Other potential triggers for depression in Deaf people can include disappointment in a child’s hearing or Deaf status, difficulties with communication in Deaf-hearing families, issues related to cochlear implants, and identity issues. In addition, Deaf people with Usher Syndrome may experience depression when dealing with deteriorating vision.

What Can You Do About Depression?: The good news about depression is that it does go away when you make an effort to do something about it and there are many things you can do about depression. If the trigger is not obvious, the first thing to do is get a physical check-up, to rule out any possible medical causes. Next, making sure you eat, sleep, and exercise properly is very important. Sharing your feelings with people close to you can be worthwhile. Psychotherapy can help you sort out feelings and identify your options for making changes. As a last resort, anti-depressant medication can be helpful in getting through the worst of the depression. Take control of your depression, instead of letting it control you.

7 Comments
  1. katie October 3, 2006

    Look at Jane K. Fernandes and Gallaudet University. No wonder we are depressed.

    Reply
  2. Betty Colonomos October 3, 2006

    I have also learned that many people are depressed due to a chemical imbalance that prevents seratonin and other “happy/good” chemicals from being transmitted to the right parts of the brain.

    There is also some evidence that the tendency to become clinically despressed may also be carried genetically.

    The social situations you point out are often triggers for these physical or genetic causes.

    Is this information still accurate?

    Reply
  3. Katherine October 3, 2006

    Katie:

    I couldn’t resist it but your comment gave me a laugh. How true and you just gave me the best medicine anyone could give me! 🙂 *sarcasm dripping out of mouth* I’m depressed with the flawed process more than anything else.

    Back to the post, I agree there is a strong correlation between minority groups and depression in our society that promotes a climate of inferiority against them.

    Reply
  4. karen mills February 6, 2008

    HI MY NAME IS KAREN SANDRA MILLS I AM 37 YEARS OLD I LIVES IN CRAWLEY WEST SUSSEX I HAS GOT MY OWN FLAT WITH SMALL GARDEN FOR YEARS LAST FEW YEARS I HAS STARTED MY DEPERSSED AND GO BACK TO HOSPITAL TO SEE SPECIAL DOCTOR THEN I HAS STILL LOSE INTERENT MY SOCIAL LIFE BECAUSE I HAS NO DEAF FRIENDS FOR YEARS

    WHEN I WAS ANGRY OR EASLIY UPSET QUCKLIY LIKE BANG I HAS SUFFERING ANIXETY OR PANICK ATTACK WELL

    I HAS GOT MEDICINES FOR MY DEPRESSION FOR YEARS I HAS GOT THRIODS GLANDS

    I HAS LOTS PROBLEMS WITH MY PARENTS FOR LONG TIMES BECAUSE MY DAD HAS VILOET TEMPER AND LOST CONTROL HISELF

    Reply
  5. ASCDEAF February 11, 2008

    Karen – Thank you for sharing about your experience. Many people struggle with depression and anxiety and you are not alone. We hope you can work closely with your doctors so you feel better. We wish you the best.

    Reply
  6. Rosie September 22, 2011

    This is Rosie, I have been very long times to ” major anti-depression, shock the nervous, panic attack” from my husband walked out on me without information or what s the reason. Marriage was together for 18 years and 4 year separation. The kids was emotion when we spilted the marriage. My kids was choose their father to living. my second son was living with his grand parents. Iater on I was found out to learned that my husband s parents under control to let my husband to leaving me and the kids after his father was forced him to file divorce later on, i dont sign for the file divorce and my husband was change his mind to change to accept separation legally. the house was sold and I live with my friend on the roof and peaceful but it come back again, I received the lawyer letter and it getting a worse. I went to second time just recently and spend more money to pay the lawyer and very expense. I m very upsetting with my daughter, she is 20 years this october 8th. she is still involved with her father doing the brainwasher and blame on me all the time.

    I still have counselling for 5 half years at York Region CHS. and I m very depressing, every times when I do something at home and went out or visiting to my friends or so… it flash back and fear, I start crying lots. I couldn’t good sleep, stress, panic, depression etc. I cant work because it sound like risk. I went to family doctor and precription for depress and little help to relax and sleep. sighing, i m very tired of my husband against me and second open the case lawyer.

    Reply
  7. Don November 28, 2016

    I’m Deaf and live alone, I have friends none. I try but hearing people not associated why, to hard communicate. They won’t except my Deaf. I think suicide allot one time tried. I don’t know how to change this. Rick of sight now no. But being depressed me very tired of it. Dr just talk and solutions none. I don’t know meet people it very hard. Try me, but hearing people don’t like communication write. And can’t or won’t learn sign. What, alone always. Meet people, how

    Reply

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