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- Dry Mouth - Xerostomia
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An introductory article from our Library Chair
Surprisingly to most, there are many types of depression. The most common is Chronic Depression (Dysthymia). This is believed to affect millions of people and is the mildest form. Some people with depression do not have the typical signs and they are considered to have Atypical Depression. Some experience Seasonal Depression (SAD) especially those that live in areas with short daylight.
Symptoms of depression may include the following:
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
• Fatigue and decreased energy
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
• Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
• Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
• Irritability, restlessness
• Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
• Overeating or appetite loss
• Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
• Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
• Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
The National Institute of Mental Health has more detail:
The most common cause of depression for laryngectomies is Hypothyroid (low thyroid levels). The thyroid is often partially removed as part of the laryngectomy surgery or damaged by radiation treatments. All laryngectomy patients should have your thyroid level checked by your doctor. Refer to Hypothyroidism in this section of the library.
Depression may be caused by mental stress or it may be physical. People experiencing illness can have problems adjusting to the new demands of the illness. This can bring on depression and can hamper their ability to cope and heal.
Depression may affect your sleep, cause fatigue, slow healing and increase pain levels. Depression can increase with time, causing a person to withdraw, seriously hindering their recovery.
Plenty of rest, a good diet and finding a support group, where talking to others is recommended, may be helpful. Others have gone through the same things you have and can be the best support.
Talk to your doctor for help that might include medications or counseling. Keeping a positive attitude is important to your well being. Sometimes it helps just to change your routine. Do something new or different that gives you a break from what you normally do.
If you demonstrate any of the warning signs of suicide with depression, call a local suicide hot line, contact your doctor right away, or go to the emergency room for immediate treatment.
Sites with good reading or research material
The magazine, Psychology Today has many articles on different aspects of these problems:
One of many articles at Mayo Clininc in their secton on Depression:
For suggestions, contributions, corrections or questions about this section, please contact: