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Clinical depression is real

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This letter is in response to Steve Strode's letter, "No link to depression." I was puzzled by his remarks about there being no such thing as clinical depression and antidepressants being ineffective. Having been diagnosed with severe clinical depression and panic disorder, I, very skeptically and reluctantly, went on antidepressants at the strong advice of my doctors. After a few weeks on this medication, I was finally lifted from a deep, dark hole that I was sure I would never be freed from. My life is now "renewed" and enjoyable again. I have talked to many people who have had the same results.

I realize that this may not work for everyone, but it does work for many. Those who might have read Mr. Strode's letter who are suffering from depression may have become even more depressed and discouraged thinking there is no hope for them. And I am writing this letter to say that there is hope. Find a doctor who will help and work with you. Clinical depression is real and frightening. Serotonin levels in the brain can reduce drastically, and antidepressants help build serotonin back up. Therapy with a good counselor is also important to help us understand what's going on and how to cope and survive.

Getting help for mental health problems is just as vital and necessary as getting help for any serious illness. We need a healthy mind to function and get us through life.

It terrifies me to think that there would be no help or resources to rely on if there were no mental health programs. I count my blessings for the help and support and medication I received. It saved my life.

Vicki Hall