All you need to know about Depression
Depression is referred to as a persistent feeling of sadness, feeling down, and having a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities that affect your daily life substantially. In fact, major life events such as bereavement or the loss of a job, can lead to depression. Moreover, depression is an ongoing problem, not a passing one. It consists of episodes during which the symptoms last at least for two weeks. It can last for weeks, months or years.
What are the common symptoms of Depression?
- Reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed.
- Loss of sexual desire
- Changes in appetite
- Unintentional weight loss or gain
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Agitation, Restlessness, and pacing up and down
- Slowed movement and speech
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide or an attempt at suicide.
Symptoms In Women:
Depression is nearly twice as common among women as men according to the CDC.
- Mood swings
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Symptoms In Men:
Around 9% of men in the United States have feelings of depression or anxiety. Males with this illness are more likely than females to drink alcohol in excess, display anger and engage in risk taking as a result of a disorder.
- Avoiding families and social situations
- Working without a break
- Having difficulty keeping up with work and family responsibilities
- Displaying abusive or controlling behaviour
What causes depression ?
- Genetic features
- Changes in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels
- Environmental factors
- Psychological and Social factors
- Additional conditions such as bipolar disorder
Types of Depression:
1. Major Depression
A person with major depression experiences a constant state of sadness. In addition, they may lose interest in activities that they used to enjoy. In such cases, treatment usually involves medication and psychotherapy.
2. Persistent Depression Disorder
Also known as dysthymia, persistent depressive disorder causes symptoms that last for at least 2 years. A person with this disorder may have episodes of major depression as well as milder symptoms.
3. Bipolar Disorder
Research shows that people with bipolar disorder may have symptoms around half the time. Consequently, this can make bipolar disorder hard to distinguish from depression.
4. Psychotic Depression
Some people experience psychosis with depression. Psychosis can involve delusions such as false beliefs and a detachment from reality. It can also involve hallucinations, sensing that things don’t exist.
5. Postpartum Depression
After giving birth, many women experience what some people called the “baby blues”. When hormone levels readjust after childbirth, changes in mood can result. Postpartum depression or postnatal depression is more severe. In addition, there is no single cause for this type of depression and it can persist for months or years. Therefore anyone who experiences ongoing depression after delivery should seek medical attention.
6. Major Depressive Disorder With Seasonal Pattern.
This type of depression is related to the reduction in daylight during the fall and winter. It lifts during the rest of the year and in response to light therapy. Hence people who live in countries with long or severe winters seem to be affected more by this condition.
Can Depression be treated?
In short, Depression is treatable and managing symptoms usually involves three components:
- Support: This can range from discussing practical situations and possible causes to educating family members.
- Psychotherapy: Some options include one to one counseling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
- Drug Treatment: A doctor may prescribe antidepressants.
Home Remedies for Depression:
1. Find some ways to be of service to others.
Seek a personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself. Namely, an NGO to volunteer your services can be a good start!
2. Find workable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment.
A goal is workable if it’s:
- Something you can control.
3. Schedule pleasant events or activities.
Remember to do these activities with the right attitude. Also, practice gratitude-take time to notice what went well. Consider keeping a journal. Know that being grateful for your blessings doesn’t mean you have to discount your problems.
4. Stay in the present:
As best you can, during activities try to not be in your head with self-judgment. On the contrary revisiting past in your head will not make things any better. Therefore try to focus on what you are doing and keep yourself occupied with some activities.
5. Exercise and Eat Right.
Doing moderate exercise for about five times a week can dramatically help your mood. Moderate exercise is a level of activity where it is difficult to sing from your diaphragm while doing it. Also, pay attention to how the type of food or drink you’re eating influences your mood. You don’t have to do fad diets, but anyone will be depressed if they frequently binge on carbs, junk food, and energy drinks. In conclusion, remember the virtue of moderation.
6. Focus on people who lift you up:
Interact frequently with others that bring you up and not people that bring you down. While it’s okay to have some alone time, find a balance and don’t isolate yourself or the depression will linger.
7. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule:
Keep a balance with not too little and not too much sleep.
Depression is a mental state that might be temporary or it may become a long-term challenge. Treatments doesn’t always make your depression go away but it does make everything a little manageable. Managing symptoms means finding the right combinations of medication and therapies. If you are someone who suffers from this illness, don’t hesitate to talk to someone about it or get treatment.