Depression is a terrible mental disease to affect someone. Some diseases eat you from the inside, and some diseases make you eat yourself. Succumbing to your nihilistic desires is easy. You need to learn how to overcome depression and not let it be the guiding light in your life.
You are familiar with feeling down or feeling sleepy. At times you don’t find pleasure in doing activities. If these symptoms persist then you might be suffering from depression.
Before jumping to conclusions, let us first answer a few questions.
Q1. What is depression?
Depression is characterized by perpetual low moods and loss of interest. This isn’t a fleeting phase but lasts for up to six to eight months.
Q2. How is it diagnosed?
It is a diagnosable disease and is treated by a mental health specialist. This person rules out its cause and ensures you get accurate and differentiable treatments. Most doctoral visits require physical examinations.
Various incidents (significant or otherwise) can result in its onset.
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Q3. What cannot be classified as depression?
It is something that is part of a normal life. Temporary emotional responses to everyday dilemmas cannot be categorised under depression or other mental health issues.
Here are the signs and symptoms of depression:
- Depressed mood
- Loss of appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
- Insomnia (restrained sleeping) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
- fatigue or loss of energy
- The pleasure gained from completing tasks or activities has lessened
- Delayed reflex or slow speech
- Impaired ability to think or rationalise situations resulting in distorted decisions
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Q4. Is it influenced by certain events that happen in one’s lifetime? Or, does it also have other reasons?
The exact cause of depression isn’t yet known but it is a complex form including the following:
- changes in neurotransmitter levels
- environmental or psychological influences
- life events (work issues, divorce, death of a loved one, financial or medical concerns, etc.)
- personality (those who have low coping mechanisms can easily find himself entangled in the mesh of the mental health issue)
- childhood trauma (physical or emotional abuse)
- a past head injury
- abuse of recreational drugs like alcohol is strongly linked to it
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Q5. How do you treat depression?
Treatment differs from person to person, the kind of depression. There are three types of treatments:
- Support – It includes educating your family members regarding depression and fun activities. There are various kinds of support groups and each differs from another.
- Psychotherapy – It is also known as behavioural therapy, like CBT. This kind of therapy helps patients detect the emotional problems that affect their relationships and solve their problems consciously. Thus, it provides a holistic approach to moderate depression.
- Drugs – Antidepressant drugs helps in increasing the level of serotonin (the fall of which causes depression). There are different types of drugs available depending on it. But taking medications also involve side-effects. For example, it can increase suicidal thoughts in children and some adults. Therefore, they should always be taken after consulting a doctor.
- Exercising helps in increasing the ‘feel-good’ chemicals or serotonin in your brain.
Types of Depression and which one you might have:
- Unipolar and Bipolar depression – If the dominating mood is characterised by low mood then you have unipolar depression. But if you experience both manic and depressive moods, you have bipolar depression.
- Major depressive disorder – This condition involves depression and psychosis. What is psychosis? Psychosis can be described as feelings of detachment from reality and frequent hallucinations.
- Major depressive disorder with seasonal variations – A person suffering from this kind of depression can experience depression when daylight has been reduced. Vice-versa experiencing normal mood when sunlight is in abundance.
Don’t worry if you have realised that you suffer from one of the many types of depression that have been listed above. You should worry if you begin to give in to the pessimistic desires aroused by it. You can always get out of depression. For that, you need to be dedicated to your treatment and never for once listen to the menacing voices in your head. Life’s not easy but we can strive to make it better.