WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad; but this feeling usually passes within a couple of days. However, if those feelings are interfering with your life and don’t go away after a couple of weeks; or if they come back over and over again, for a few days at a time; it could be a sign that you are depressed in the medical sense of the term.
When an individual has a depressive disorder, it tends to interfere with their daily lives, normal functioning and causes pain for both, the person with the disorder and those who care about them. In its mildest form, depression can mean being just in low spirit. It doesn’t stop you from leading your normal life but makes everything harder to do and seems less worth while. At its most severe, major depression “clinical depression” can be life threatening because it may even make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live.
Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. According to the latest estimates from World Health Organization, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives. From the time of this particular study up to this point those figures are substantially higher.
THE CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
There are several causes that may lead to depression. It might be triggered by unwelcome or traumatic events. Loss, anger, life changes, childhood experiences, physical conditions, medication side effects, poor diet, and many others may become triggers towards depression.
"If you're feeling restless, your mind may be full of busy repetitive thoughts, which make it hard to concentrate, relax or sleep".
Depression is more than just feeling “down.” It is a serious illness caused by changes in brain chemistry. Research tells us that other factors contribute to the onset of depression, including genetics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical conditions, stress, grief or difficult life circumstances.
Depressive symptoms can be grouped into three possible categories. Some symptoms are of the physiological type, which are those that have something to do with physical sensations or your physical body, for example: insomnia, poor appetite, oversleeping, unexplained aches and pains, debilitating fatigue or low energy levels. Some symptoms are of the cognitive (thoughts) and affective (emotions) type, such as: thoughts of suicide, hopelessness, low self-esteem, guilt, poor concentration, feeling sad and crying. The third category of symptoms is related to how you act and behave, for example: staying in bed, not going out, avoiding people, alcohol or substance abuse disorder.
Most people think depression leads to overwhelming sadness. Sometimes, people with depression experience anger and irritability rather than hopelessness and misery. If you’ve noticed increased irritability—or it seems like the people around you feel like they need to walk on eggshells—don’t ignore it.
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These guides are designed to help the reader identify the signs of depression. They also provide valuable information and resources for additional assistance.
HOW TO TAKE CARE?
Solving problems involves time, energy and work. When you are feeling depressed you may not be feeling energetic or motivated to work; But if you’re able to take an active part of your treatment it should help improve your situation. You have to break the cycle of negativity. If you’re starting to feel depressed it may be very easy to get into a cycle of automatic negative thoughts that then become difficult for you to change.
Being in a state of depression can become a bigger problem than the actual difficulties that cause it in the first place. You need to make a conscious effort to break the hold depression may have over you. Deciding to do something to help yourself is one of the most important steps you can take. You have to stay active. Regular exercise has proven to be very effective in lifting your mood and increasing your energy levels.
Walking at a reasonable speed and taking notice of what is around you is a good start. You have to connect with other people even when you may not truly feel like it. Keeping in touch with other people can help you feel a bit more grounded and sometimes get things into a better perspective.
If you're severely depressed, you may start to have experiences that others around you may not share. You may begin to believe you are a bad person or even start to think that life is not worth living.
These are false believes and may be part of a depression.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
You need to do things that will help improve the way you feel about yourself. Allow yourself positive experiences. Pay attention to personal appearance. Set yourself achievable goals which will provide you with a higher sense of satisfaction. Look after yourself by eating healthy as much as possible. Be cautious with tobacco, alcohol or other drugs which usually make depression worse. Make sure you do not compare yourself to others.
This post is not designed to completely clarify all thats related to depression, but more so is mainly focused in creating awareness of the seriousness of this disease and what we can do to help. Life sometimes keeps us busy; which may potentially make us lose awareness of all that is going on around us specially among our family. Routine will have the tendency to blind us. We need to take off our blindfolds in order to be as prompt as possible and make a difference.