Every person has felt a sense of sadness and discontentment. There are ups and downs in the lives of every individual, and the human mind and heart experience multiple phases of emotions.
However, sometimes these feelings and emotions are difficult to deal with. The sense of sadness, loss of love, anger, and discontentment keep on existing, making you feel as if you have walked into the abyss and there’s no way out.
These feelings and intense emotions that stay constant indicate a possibility of a medical condition called depression. Depression is a condition determined by loss of interest, low mood, sadness, and frustration, disrupting daily activities significantly.
It is majorly due to psychological, biological, and social factors. Studies have shown that such elements may cause brain function changes and alter the brain’s activity of neural circuits.
This is a fairly common condition in India, with 10 million cases annually. Suppose you relate to the symptoms and feel this constant state of feelings for days and months. In that case, you should consult a medical practitioner, clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist.
In our society, the condition of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are taboo and are considered to be acceptable. However, there is always a way to turn things around, create awareness, and seek professional help.
Depression is different from grief, as grief is usually felt after the passing of a loved one or after a traumatic event. However, depression has more to do with self-loathing and loss of self-esteem.
Multiple conditions can get worse due to depression, such as arthritis, asthma, obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
What are the symptoms of depression?
The signs and symptoms of depression are stated below, and you should seek professional help if you experience these symptoms every day or for at least two weeks:
- Frequent crying
- Feeling annoyed, bothered, or angry
- Feeling hopeless, sad, or anxious
- Thought of death, suicide, or self-harm
- Less energy, fatigue
- Chronic physical pain with no cause
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Appetite or change in weight
- Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or decision making
- Difficulty sleeping, waking up too early or sleeping too late
- Slowly talking and moving
- digestive problems
- Excessive drinking or using drugs
- Reduced sexual desire or lack of sexual performance
The symptoms may differ for teens, kids, women, and the elderly.
What are the causes of depression?
There are several reasons which can cause depression, and some of these are listed below:
Change in hormone levels such as progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy, premenopause, periods, postpartum period, and menopause can be a cause of depression.
Structure of the brain
The brain’s structure also decides whether you are at risk of depression. The frontal lobe of your brain becomes less active. However, scientists are yet to know if it happens before or after the development of depression.
Your childhood trauma can also be a significant cause of your depression as the fears from the previously faced stressful situation could come again onto the surface.
The risk of depression increases if you have had a history of depression in your family or a similar mood disorder.
Chemical imbalances in the parts of the brain that manage people’s thoughts, sleep, mood, and behavior lead to depression.
Use of Substance
The use of substance abuse, such as drugs or alcohol, can affect the risk of having depression as it has a terrible negative impact on our brains.
Excessive Chronic Pain
Excessive chronic emotional or physical pain, the pain which lasts for an extended period, could also lead to depression.
What are the treatment options available for depression?
Many treatment options are available for depression today; these include medication and lifestyle therapies. Medications such as antidepressants are prescribed to patients to help increase their serotonin levels.
Another way to treat depression is psychotherapy. In psychotherapy, you speak with a professional therapist who helps you learn ways to cope with negative feelings that aren’t harmful to your overall well-being.
It is often used alongside medications and has helped many people understand how to cope with depression.
The therapist might also use techniques such as CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on uncovering unhealthy patterns of thought process and harmful behavior ways that could be changed accordingly, and DBT Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on accepting uncomfortable thoughts instead of fighting them.
Light therapy is used for major depressive disorder in which the patient is exposed to white light that helps regulate moods and symptoms of depression.
Simple ways to combat depression are:
- Setting your limits and boundaries with people
- Talking about your feelings to someone who might understand you and listen to you
- Avoiding substance abuse
- Taking care of yourself by meditating, listening to uplifting music, following a healthy diet, and taking proper sleep.
- Taking supplements such as vitamin D and Vitamin B
Depression is a severe illness that must be considered a threat to our human race, especially to the youth. Therefore, it should be regarded as spreading awareness for the cause and seeking professional help when needed.
Depression is not a flaw of a person; it is an illness that any individual can have, be kind to those around you as you may not know what they are going through.
Bansal Hospital Bhopal cares for the patients as much as their loved ones do; we believe every individual is eligible to seek help, especially those experiencing mental illness.
Our credible psychiatrists provide apt diagnoses and treatment for the patients while helping their families understand the severity of the illness.