In recent times Depression has become a hot topic of discussion among people. While many people acknowledge the fact that depression is quite possible to anyone, many people find it too hard to understand and accept its existence. So what is depression and why many people are just not ready to accept its existence as a whole? We will be covering this burning issue in this article and tell you everything you need to know about Depression.
If you are someone who is suffering from Depression or are living with a person who has depression then follow along as understanding depression a bit better may help you get over with it.
What is Clinical Depression
Clinical depression often known simply as Depression is more than just having a mood swing, feeling unhappy or being fed up with something for few days.
It is quite common for people to feel down for sometime at different times just because something didn’t happen as you expected, due to a shocking incident in life or something similar.
However, when a person is persistently feeling down for a longer period of time such as weeks or months rather than few days then they may have depression.
Read more – What is mental health and why is it important?
Many people don’t take depression quite seriously and think that it would just go away on its own as it would just be a usual mood swing and nothing more.
Well, they cannot be much more wrong by making that assumption.
Depression is a real health issue and has as much real symptoms as any other illness can have.
Many people regard depression as a sign of weakness and often are seen recommending a person facing depression to just put together and just pull themselves out of it.
Well, again this is not that simple but the silver lining is that Depression is very much treatable.
If you have Depression, do not lose hope as you can recover completely from it just like with most curable illnesses and again you are not weak.
Read more – 5 simple steps to mental health and wellbeing
Due to the nature of illness, depression can be have wide range of symptoms and may not be easy to catch.
A person may experience symptoms like losing interest in the things they used to enjoy a lot, or lasting feelings of unhappiness or may just feel hopeless with or without a reason.
People may also feel tearful or can show symptoms of anxiety.
Apart from these, depression can also show physical symptoms like a person feeling too tired, losing their appetite or sex drive, may report aches such as headches or pain.
Read more – Is your frequent headaches due to painkillers!
A person with depression may also not be able to get good sleep.
Since there are large number of depression symptoms that may appear in a person, here are a few listed under major categories –
Social Symptoms of Depression
We start with this category since this is something that a person may start exhibiting and should be an indicator to people around to take a cue about the person being under depression –
- Person may try to distance themselves from friends and avoiding social activities partially or completely
- Person may start facing difficulties at home and may start having issues in family life. Work life may as well start taking a hit due to this.
- Neglecting hobbies and distancing themselves from their interests
- Isolating themselves completely and not showing interest in most things
Psychological Symptoms of Depression
A person suffering from depression may start exhibiting these physiological symptoms –
- Constantly feeling hopeless and helpless
- Feeling tearful almost all the time or in most occasions
- Having low self-esteem
- Always being guilt-ridden
- Feeling irritated
- Having no motivation in doing things, even things of interest
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Self harm or suicidal thoughts
- Difficulty in making decisions
- Feeling no enjoyment in life
- Often having mood swings
- Feeling sad all the time
- Complaining or feeling emptiness in life
- Intolerant of others, often ending up in fights or giving up
Physical Symptoms of Depression
There are various physical cues which should be considered as depression symptoms –
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Lack of energy
- Disturbed sleep – Waking up very early or difficulty falling asleep
- Moving or speaking more slowly and softly then usual
- Lack of confidence especially in areas of expertise
- Change in appetite or weight
- Low sex drive
Severity of Depression
Depression can be classified into following categories based on how much it is impacting a person’s life.
- Mild Depression – In this case there is some impact on a person’s life
- Moderate Depression – In this case there is significant impact on person’s life
- Severe Depression – In this case it becomes practically impossible for the person suffering from depression to get through life and may also show psychotic symptoms like hallucinations or delusion.
What causes Depression
Depression can have variety of reasons and may have many triggers. For many people a life turning event such as divorce, illness, redundancy, job can be the cause while for others it could be bereavement.
Sometimes, the cause of depression could be family history as well. In case someone from your family may had depression in past then you may also develop it.
People having low esteem or being over-critical of themselves may run into depression. This could be due to early life experiences or may just be inherited from your parents.
You may run into depression because of a stressful event such as relationship breakup or bereavement. The chances of getting depression increases if you stop seeing family and friends and may just decide to manage it on your own.
Speaking to someone trustworthy in you family or friend may help you out get over the situation without going into depression.
While there could be multiple triggers that can cause depression but you may as well become depressed for no particular reason.
Treatment for Depression
Depression can be very hard and difficult to manage and treatment for depression would involve changes in lifestyle, talking therapies and may include medicines.
The treatment for depression is based on severity of depression.
In case you have depression you should consult with your doctor immediately who may want to understand and categorize it based on the symptoms and after talking to you.
In case of mild depression, doctors may choose to go with watchful waiting which is to wait and see if the condition improves on its own and monitoring progress.
They may also suggest lifestyle changes such as self help group and exercise.
Anti-depressants may be prescribed based on condition and need for it in your scenario.
For moderate and severe depression antidepressants and talking therapy are often recommended. If you have severe depression then you may be referred to specialist mental health team for intensive medication and specialist talking treatment.
Living with depression
Living with depression can be quite challenging. In many societies there may be stigma around the condition and people may not be very helpful in understanding the condition.
There can be some lifestyle changes that seem to work for most people, such as exercising more, cutting down on alcohol, giving up smoking and eating healthy.
Exercise and eating healthy tend to improve your appearance and may help improve your self-esteem.
Joining a support group is often recommended and a self-help book may be useful in many cases.
Sharing your experiences with others in similar situation may help you better understand your conditions and coping with the situation.
If you have someone suffering from depression then being their for them, listening and understanding them may be helpful for both you and the person going through depression.
Depression is as real as any other illness and understanding and acknowledging the condition could be the first step in getting out of it.
Depression should not be considered as a sign of weakness and should not be stigmatized. Remember anyone can run into depression.
Knowing that depression is treatable should be helpful in recovering from it and planning your way ahead.
Changes in lifestyle such as exercise, eating healthy and cutting down on alcohol or drugs seems to work for most people. Joining a support group proves very helpful and you get better understanding and methods of improving your condition.
In all cases, you should always consult your doctor to fully understand your particular case so you can plan a recovery from it.