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Montel Williams' Life with Multiple Sclerosis
Overcoming Pain and Depression
Montel Williams opens up about his battle with MS.
Every hour, someone in the world is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a life-threatening neurological disease. Ten years ago, Emmy-winning talk show host Montel Williams was one of these people.

At first, this former Naval intelligence officer chose to hide his pain, but when a tabloid newspaper threatened to print his story, he decided to go public with his health crisis. Montel spoke about his diagnosis on his talk show, but few people knew how much he was suffering.

On set, Montel conducted interviews with poise. Then, during commercial breaks, he says he'd go backstage, sit down and cry because of the pain. "[I would] let it go, refocus, come back out and sit down, and do another interview with a person," he says. "I was doing that every day."

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FROM: Dr. Oz: After the Diagnosis with Montel Williams
Published on March 17, 2009
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.

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5 Signs of Depression
Have you experienced any of these symptoms for an extended period of time—not for a day or two, but more like two weeks?

If so, Dr. Oz says you may want to consider seeking professional help.
Dr. Oz talks about the signs of depression with Montel Williams.
  • Lack of Energy
    Are you more sluggish than normal?
  • Weight Gain or Loss
    "Have you been eating more or less than you're supposed to?" Dr. Oz asks.
  • Trouble Sleeping
    Do you have trouble falling asleep? Or trouble getting out of bed?
  • Lack of Concentration
    Do you have trouble keeping your mind focused?
  • Apathy
    "Have you lost the love, the zest, for the hobbies you have in your life?" Dr. Oz asks.
Dr. Oz on the different types of depression

Montel Williams shares his struggle
FROM: Dr. Oz: After the Diagnosis with Montel Williams
Published on March 17, 2009

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How to Identify Depression
An Excerpt from YOU: Being Beautiful
YOU: Being Beautiful by Dr. Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen
Major Depression
This is a major depressive episode longer than two weeks with at least five of the seven following symptoms:
- sleep alteration
- decreased interest in activities
- feelings of guilt
- decreased energy
- difficulty concentrating
- alteration in appetite
- thoughts of suicide

Situational Depression
Greater than two months with the above symptoms after suffering a significant life change, such as bereavement or retirement. Significantly, your symptoms improve with time after the major event, so most therapists feel that your long-term functioning is better if you can manage to get though this without drugs.

Vascular Depression
Depression that commonly occurs after a brain or blood-vessel disorder, such as a stroke, or after a heart attack or heart surgery. Patients with lesions in the left hemisphere of the brain, especially of the left prefrontal cortex, tend to have increased frequency and severity of depression. The greatest risk period of depression following a stroke appears to be the first two years afterward, peaking within the first three to six months.

More warning signs of depression

Montel Williams speaks out about his suicide attempts
FROM: Dr. Oz: After the Diagnosis with Montel Williams
Published on March 17, 2009

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