Depression is commonly characterised by a persistent mood of depression, lack of interest in various activities, and other symptoms that can cause impairment in daily life. It can be caused by a combination of social, psychological, as well as biological factors. It can also be hereditary. Research suggests that it is caused by changes in the brain’s function, to the extent of altered activity of some of the brain’s neural circuits.
Depression doesn’t look like just one thing. There are a lot of symptoms to watch out for if you think that you or someone else is going through depression. Here are a few most common symptoms that you can find, note that this is not an exhaustive list.
Major depression is considered a mood disorder that can affect the way a person feels about life. Having an outlook of hopelessness or helplessness is known as one of the most common symptoms of depression. Other feelings to keep an eye out for are worthlessness, inappropriate guilt, or even self-hate. Some recurring phrases that a person may say, then would be those of self-blame and asking what the point of life is.
Depression can result in a lack of interest or motivation or even withdrawal from things a person once took pleasure in or enjoyed doing. It can be anything like going out with friends, hobbies, sports, etc.
Many times, people stop doing what they used to enjoy because of the lack of energy. Overwhelming fatigue can lead to excessive sleeping. Other times, it may also result in insomnia, making an unending cycle. Lack of rest can even lead to anxiety.
It hasn’t been proved that depression causes anxiety, but very often, those two occur together. The symptoms here can look like feelings of panic and dread, rapid breathing or heart rate, trouble focusing or thinking about anything other than what is causing anxiety.
This is one symptom that is many times ignored or is delegated to men only, when in fact, this is a symptom that affects whoever has depression. Irritability, risky or escapist behaviour, and even substance abuse factors in as symptoms of depression.
Both the factors can easily fluctuate, and they can be different for different people. Some may gain weight with an increased appetite or lose weight with the loss of an appetite. An indication of whether this is linked to depression can be whether it is intentional or not. If not, it would probably be linked.
One moment a person could be crying bitterly and be extremely angry the next with no noticeable outward reason for it. This means that depression can result in mood swings.
Suicidal thoughts and suicide is very often linked with depression. Often people talk about it or self-harm before actually committing the act. Keep an eye on anyone you think may be at risk.
Often, before committing suicide, people may throw a party or hold some festivity of some sort as a final going-away gift for those they love.
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As mentioned before, depression is not indicated in the same way by everyone. Here are the types of depression that people go through.
Chronic Depression (Dysthymia)
Bipolar Depression (Manic Depression)
Seasonal Depression (SAD)
It is difficult to live with depression, but there is the availability of treatment to help people. Treatment can differ from person to person and doctor to doctor, depending on what the doctor feels best. Please note that not all doctors or therapists can give the care and treatment that is needed. Therefore, it is best to try again with another doctor until you get the help that you need. Your doctor may suggest a different combination of treatments like lifestyle therapy and medical treatment.
You may be prescribed antidepressants, pills for anxiety, antipsychotic medication, sleeping pills, etc. Each one depends on the diagnosis and the patient. Each medicine has its own potential risks, which is why self-medication is not a good idea.
Meeting a therapist regularly can help cope with intense emotions in a healthy manner. Often group or family therapy can also help. Thirty minutes of exercising a few times a week are usually recommended in this case.
Exercising can help increase the production of endorphins that can improve one’s mood.
Drugs and alcohol can provide temporary relief but can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety and depression worse in the long run.
Setting firm professional and personal boundaries can eliminate the feeling of being overwhelmed and can also provide relief from toxic circles of people that are around them.
1. What is the Meaning of Depression?
Ans: Clinical depression is a serious mental condition that affects a person’s daily livelihood, thinking, and behaviour in an adverse manner. Unlike sadness, depression is persistent and interferes with a person’s ability to feel pleasure in all that they used to. One loses hope in life as there is constant sorrow and nothing feels good. The depressed person feels that there is no way out. Symptoms can last from weeks to years if left untreated. It can lead to health issues, other impairment, and in extreme cases, even suicide. Hence, depression should be addressed on time before it is too late.
2. What Are Some Indicators of Depression and How to Get Help?
Ans: It is said that, from a myriad of symptoms, one of the symptoms of depression must either be a consistently depressed mood or a loss of pleasure and interest in life. Other symptoms of depression include-
Thoughts of death or suicide.
Loss of interest in activities one usually enjoyed and in meeting people.
Changes in sleeping pattern, weight, and appetite.
Irritability and restlessness.
Impaired ability to concentrate and to make decisions.
The person must go to a doctor for an evaluation as soon as possible. Proper methods of treatment would be employed by the medical professional, such as antidepressant medicines and psychotherapy.