What is depression?
Depression is a mental disorder that causes a person to feel low mood constantly, have no interest in work or have persistent feeling of being guilty. It is the leading cause of disability in the world. But there is a distinct difference between having depression and feeling depressed. We all feel sad or disheartened when we go through a bad phase. For losing our beloved ones, failing in exam or even the gloomy environment can be a reason behind our sadness. Such kind of sadness is a normal human behavior which everyone experiences at some point of life. Such kind of feeling is painful but goes away as the time passes by. Also, we don’t need any medical treatment to recover our sadness. But when this sadness last for 2 weeks or more than that, then one needs to consult the doctor.
Clinical depression or major depression is a medical disorder that affects a person’s daily work like sleeping, working, eating etc. It gives a person a complete sense of hopelessness and sadness. This is why it is one of the major mood disorders also.
Symptoms of major depression
Major depression has different impacts on a person regarding to his gender and age. Before diagnosing a person who is sad with depression, it’s important to notice the fact if the person’s behavior is apparently different from how usually he acts on that situation. But some symptoms are common in all who suffers from this. Such as-
• Feels sad more often for no reason
• Loses interest in life and in the work that once was very important for them
• Sleeping either too much or too less(insomnia)
• Gains much weight or loses weight. Basically there is a significant change in weight difference
• Feels fatigue or physically drained. Even a small task seems to be a huge load
• Strong and persistent feelings of being guilty or worthless
• Having poor concentration at work or study
• Wishing for death or recurring thoughts of suicide
Depression and suicide risk
Suicide is one of the major factors of depression. People think that committing suicide is the only way to escape death as depression gets deeper. But they don’t want to end their life, they just want to end the pain. Here are some warning signs for suicidal thoughts:
• Often talks about killing or harming oneself
• Considers oneself to be worthless and be a burden for society
• Saying goodbye in a way that this the last time they are meeting
• Having a long time plan for suicide
• Reckless acts such as increase in drinking alcohol
If you ever feel like committing suicide or see any of your family member or friends or anyone around you is talking about suicide or stepping ahead to commit it, then please call 1-800-273-8255 for help
Reasons behind depression
There are no specific reasons behind depression as it varies from person to person. Moreover, some chemical factors interact to create chemical imbalances in our brain that causes depression. But three factors combinedly work behind depression.
If any of your family members have depression, then you seem to develop that in yourself. Besides, hormonal changes, abnormal changes in certain part of brain, mental disorders like schizophrenia cause depression. But it doesn’t mean that if anyone of your family is suffering from depression, then you will too. It depends on your lifestyle, relationships also.
Any negative life events such as losing beloved one, losing a job, being in an abusive relationship often become the reasons behind depression. When a person continuously go through these stressful events, they become traumatized and yields to depression
Behavioral and social factor:
Many people drink alcohol to get rid of stress. But if a person is already suffering from depression, then drinking alcohol can increase the risk of depression. Again, if a person keeps overthinking or suffers from low esteem or then he is at greater risk of depression.
Chronic illness also causes depression. Chronic illness is such kind of illness that cannot be cured completely and lasts for a very long time. Though that can be controlled for a certain time by doing exercises. But such kind of illness causes depression.
Is depression preventable?
Most scientists say that it is not realistic to prevent clinical depression completely. Because most of the things cannot be controlled such as our genes, chemicals in our brain and also our environment. But one can keep depression from coming back by taking some medical treatments like MCBT( Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) which changes the way you think. One can also develop some healthy habits like having nutrient dense foods, exercising and sleeping regularly.
Treatment for depression
Depression is treatable. But this also varies from person to person. What works for one may not work for other as depression symptoms are intangible.
Talk therapy can be an effective treatment if there is no specific medical reason behind one’s depression. Such kind of treatment gives one feel better and teaches how to reframe negative thinking. This treatment includes CBT(cognitive behavioral therapy), psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy etc. This therapy also helps to make people understand the reason behind their depression, why do they feel so how they can stay healthy. Such kind of treatment is much effective.
antidepressants improve the neurotransmitters in brain. Many antidepressants are available such as- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), atypical antidepressants which are prescribed by the doctors depending on how one gets affected.
Brain stimulation therapies:
For some people, antidepressants may not work and that’s why they are suggested stimulation therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which is use to pass electrons through your brain and has an effect on neurotransmitter so that you relieve all your depressions. Another therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) which is an option for those who does not react to antidepressants.
Depression and few words
In eastern culture, people do not often talk about depression as they consider it to be a matter of shame. On the other hand, WHO claims that globally, over 264 million of people all over the world suffer from depression and almost 800000 people die due to suicide every year. Depression doesn’t refer to any abnormality. It is an illness which is connected to brain and it doesn’t go away if you want to let it go. One has to take proper treatment for it. For example, when you have high fever and you want your fever to go away. Will that happen just by wanting it? No, right? You will have to take medicine and rest. So take depression and any other mental illness from the same perspective