CLINICAL DEPRESSION 70 percent of MVPS patients suffer from clinical depression. This is a staggering figure!
"A common problem in patients with Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome is the presence of mood swings. These mood swings are particularly noticeable in the months from November through March. During this period of time many patients experience a marked change in mood, particularly the onset of depression. In the past this has been termed the "holiday blues," but is also known as "seasonal affective disorder," or SAD. It is very puzzling to understand why this occurs, especially in patients with MVP Syndrome." Phillip Watkins, M.D., director and co-founder of the MVP Center, Birmingham, Alabama
In recent years research has been done on SAD. Studies have shown that patients experiencing SAD show an abnormal rise in a brain chemical called melatonin. Increased levels of melatonin lead to depression. These patients also begin craving carbohydrates and sweets. This is thought to be due to abnormal levels of serotonin, which is a normal neurotransmitter present in the brain.
Research has now shown that by changing levels of serotonin and melatonin, the mood swings, particularly the depression and the craving of carbohydrates, can be corrected.
Major clinical depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat, and enjoy activities that were once pleasurable. These disabling episodes of depression can occur once, twice, or several times in a lifetime.
A less severe type of depression, dysthymia, involves long-term, chronic, symptoms that do not disable you, but keep you from functioning at "full speed" or from feeling good. Sometimes people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes.
Tragically, the majority of patients that suffer from depression never seek help.
If you suffer from anxiety, panic disorder, or clinical depression, you are not lazy, senile, or crazy. You are not a hypochondriac, and, above all, you cannot just "snap out of it." Too many people suffer needlessly, not recognizing that their aches and pains, their exhaustion and irritability may be symptoms of an underlying depression. Some people don't seek treatment because they attribute their symptoms to a "personal weakness." Others wait and hope their "blues" will go away by themselves.
Treatment If you suffer from any of the above disorders, please seek the appropriate medical treatment.
There are many types of treatment, depending on the individual. Most medical professionals believe that therapy, along with medication, is the most effective.
The symptoms of depression are very real. They have nothing to do with being weak, either of character or mind. It is biochemical and genetic.