The very common problem in India these days is “DEPRESSION”. In this fast running era, we hardly get time to relax and too much of strain leads to depression. It has been observed that India is the country more prone to depression than any other country in the world. Even more shocking is to know that women are more prone to depression than men. The major cause of this is that people don’t have enough knowledge about what depression actually is. Some people consider it as an ailment while others consider it to be a mental disorder. Some even consider it to be a stunt to seek attention from other people.
But it is not exactly so. Some people don’t even get to realize that they are suffering from depression. Depression is actually a major depressive order which directly affects in a negative way how you feel, the way you think, and how you actually act. If you possess certain feelings like sadness, fatigue, lack of concentration and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed then you are prone to depression. Initially, it was interpreted that depression is caused by the changes in the brain chemistry but now it’s no more restricted to it.
Research have pointed out that there are various other factors too that may contribute to depression which includes genetics, changes in hormones, certain medical conditions, an ongoing stress, anxiety, and grief, or any other difficulty in life. The World Health Organization(WHO) have declared DEPRESSION as one of the most disabling disorder in the world, affecting roughly one in five women and one in ten men at some point in their lifetime.
Symptoms of Depression
There are various symptoms which alone or in combination can cause depression to any human body. Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe depending on person to person. According to DSM-V, a person may be called to suffer from depression if she/he has 5 out of 9 symptoms nearly every day. The symptoms could be any of these:
- Depressed mood or irritable most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report(e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others(e.g., appears tearful). This is a most common symptom which is found in almost all the person prone to depression or suffering from depression. There are times when the person is not willing to step out of the bed and face the world. He/she always feels incomplete and empty.
- Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities, most of each day: The person prone to depression loses in all the activities that he/she uses to enjoy once. The person always uses to feel low, down and worthless. The confidence level and morale of the person always remains low.
- Significant weight change(5%) or change in appetite: There is a significant weight loss or gain in the body of the person prone to depression. Either the person tends to eat much or eats nothing at all. There is a complete change in the appetite of the person prone to depression.
- Change in Sleep: Insomnia or hypersomnia. Many at times the person is unable to sleep the whole day and night while other times the person is almost all the time busy sleeping.
- Change in Activity: Psychomotor agitation or retardation. The person either shows no interest in performing any task or just get irritated and start doing tantrums.
- Fatigue or Loss of Energy: Body feels to be extremely dull and without any energy to even walk a single step out there.
- Guilt/Worthlessness: Feeling of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt. A person starts thinking and lamenting upon the things that have not been actually happened ever. A person starts to hallucinate that he/she has done something wrong and keep on blaming himself/herself for the same.
- Concentration: Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or more indecisiveness. Person ‘s mind stop responding to the questions. It completely blocks the way for good and positive things to come into mind. It even doesn’t let the person stay focused on anything so that he/she can divert her mind from what all is going through in her body.
- Suicidabilty: Thoughts of death or suicide, or has a suicide plan. When a person doesn’t get to understand what exactly is happening in his/her life or why is he/she going through such mood swings and all other traumas, the only thing he/she could think of is ending up his/her life. He/she always has something or the other on her mind to end the life.
Some other common symptoms of depression that a person may feel are:
- MOOD: Increased unease, general displeasure, feeling of guilt and sadness, inability to feel the happiness, feeling lonely, mood swings or emotional breakdowns.
- BEHAVIOURAL: Tension, nervousness, irritability, glumness, crankiness, self-harm or social isolation.
- SLEEP: Excess sleeping, broken sleep, feeling unable to step out of the bed, early awakening, restless sleep, changing sleeping postures every minute, not feeling refreshed after sleeping for the whole day etc.
- WHOLE BODY: Excessive hunger, loss of appetite, fatigue and tiredness, restlessness and constipation.
- THINKING: Lack of concentration, trouble with memory, difficulty in making decisions, slowness in thoughts, thoughts of suicide and lack of interest.
- SOCIAL: Isolation or avoiding meeting with people, feeling worthless, low self-confidence, low self-esteem.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL: Depression or repeatedly pondering over a single thought, thoughts of self-harm, thoughts of suicide.
- PAIN: severe headaches and cramps usually without any physical inability.
- OTHER COMMON FACTORS: Alcohol, narcotics, or other such drug’s use and abuse, or an already existing medical condition.
Causes of Depression
There can be any cause of depression which varies from person to person. Depression can be because of any ongoing stress in someone’s life or any medical condition or consecutive failures in any particular field. It could be anything. Few debatable causes are mentioned below:
- Possibly a medical condition
- Due to inclination of depression in family
- Life stressors and uncertainty
- Trauma-like loss of a parent during teen year or regular sexual or physical abuse
- Underlying medical condition like diabetes or thyroid problem
- Certain medications. Some drugs, such as isotretinoin (used to treat acne), the antiviral drug interferon-alpha, and corticosteroids, can increase your risk of depression
- A family history of depression may increase the risk. It's thought that depression is a complex trait, meaning that there are probably many different genes that each exert small effects, rather than a single gene that contributes to disease risk. The genetics of depression, like most psychiatric disorders, are not as simple or straightforward as in purely genetic diseases such as Huntington's chorea or cystic fibrosis
- Major life events such as getting a new job, getting married, getting divorced, losing a job, loss of income etc. can also lead to depression.
- Being ill for over a normal period of time may make a person get into depression, making him/her think like that he/she will never be able to get out of this illness.
- Consecutive mental and emotional breakdowns may also make a person get into depression. The breakdowns may be caused to him/her by someone so dear that makes him/her think like that his/her the world is falling all apart.
- There are certain depressions which are caused due to some sort of seasonal change making the body out of the routine. Such a depression type is known as SAD(Seasonal affective disorder) which is also known as winter blues, winter depression, summer depression, summertime sadness or seasonal depression. The reason could be your biological clock(circadian rhythm) which is caused due to an inadequate amount of sunlight in fall tending to cause winter-onset SAD.
- One reason could be change into the amount of body’s melatonin which plays a role in sleep pattern and mood.
- Postpartum depression is the depression that some women go through after childbirth, stillbirth or miscarriage, due to the change in hormones level in her body.
- “Baby blues” lasts for a couple of weeks after childbirth and disappears.
Treatments of Depression
Depression can be treated with the help of certain counseling sessions along with getting onto medication. There is no standardized treatment method for depression as it varies from person to person. Medication could be applicable for mood stabilizers while therapy or counseling session is to fight with Cognitive, behavioral, mood swings etc. Depression makes a person feel very low which affects their thoughts, behaviors, feelings, emotions and physical health. Thus, depending upon the severity, duration and its symptoms, the treatment procedure comprising of medication and therapies is followed up. But without the person’s own determination and full support, nothing could be done to make that person step out of depression.
The foremost ways to be followed for getting out of depression are:
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- Show the Willingness to Change: If a person has set the fact into his/her mind that they will never be able to get out of depression; no other person or medicine can help him/her. So first of all the person going through depression should have the firm determination that no matter what, he/she will get out of this state. For getting out of depression a person can set short-term goals and achieve them or he/she can also go out for taking a walk regularly, listen to good music, watch out their favorite movies, relive their favorite moments and talk their heart out to the people dear to them. It requires lots of perseverance and self-accomplishment.
- Mingle More: Depression makes a person feel guilty, worthless, good for nothing and various such feelings arose in the person. He/ She starts isolating himself/herself from the social world and stops mingling with people around because they start feeling inferior. But actually, this will make them lore more into depression. People should walk out and socialize more with people around; this way they will get to know the mindset of people regarding him/her. The more we hang out with people around and socialize, the better we can change our mood and get a positive outlook towards life. Talking to the people whom you think to be trustworthy and compatible enough to understand your situation will help you a lot in recovering. If they are not available to face to face then go on for telephonic conversations, chatting and video calls over any social media.
- Start Meditating: Meditating for 15 minutes in a day helps a lot in recovering from depression. Just sit idle for 15 minutes and buzz “OM”. Start jogging, walking around in the park, join laughter clubs, exercise, dance, join aerobic classes and another such sort of exercises. Help reliving your good times again and start spending as much time as you want with the people you are comfortable with.
- Pamper Yourself: It has been very rightly said that for spreading love, one should know how to love own self. If one is capable enough to love one own self then he/she will be able to spread love among all others. Do things which you enjoy doing. Treat yourself like the ruler of the world. Get out of your low moods and experience the world like never before. Plan trips with friends. Go out and adore the beauty of nature. Have meals with your family together. Tell your close friends about how you thought the things would be like when you were a kid. Listen to good music which can keep you going all through and make you stand and dance like mad.
- Have Proper Meals: Usually in a low mood, we tend to skip our meals which make us feel even more depressed, make us feel like our world has come to an end like there is nothing more significant in life, and various such negative thoughts come to our mind. Try eating something or the other every three to four hours. Uphold a mood enhancing nutrition too so that you have enough energy to fight your depression out.
- Take Tight Sleep: The foremost thing which is aimed by depression is our sleeping habits and patterns. If a person tends to sleep more or less than he/she regularly uses to, then it should immediately be taken into notice. Aim at sleeping 8 hours daily on an ideal basis. Yoga, meditation, proper meals and sunlight helps to boost your mind as much as possible. Once your mind will be in peace, your sleeping habits will again get on the right track and so do your depressive mood.
- Dare Your Undesirable Thoughts: There are various absurd thoughts that cross our mind when we are depressed. Daring to resist your mind from such thoughts will be of a great help. See positive and good side of every bad thing around you. That way you will be able to be the best fighter to fight out depression.
- Seek Professional Help: When nothing works or shows any significant result, seek professional help as soon as possible. Consult a good therapist or counselor around you and ask him/her for the help.
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