These days, we hear a lot of people complaining that they are suffering from depression. But what exactly is this depression? Basically, it is a very common problem that deeply affects one’s mental health. It creates feelings of utter sadness, increased anger, and losing interest in various things. This disorder can affect anyone. It doesn’t differentiate between children, adolescents, adults, or elders. In this article, we will be talking about types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of depression. But first, let’s understand more about this disorder!
It is actually a disorder that has a direct link with the mood. Changes in mood throughout the day is something else and is completely normal to occur. But depression causes a person to lose interest in things that they previously enjoyed. It makes an individual extremely moody and this results in severe loneliness. Hence, the prevention of this disorder is necessary. This disorder can occur if an individual goes through major life changes. Some major experiences can make a person depressed and helpless. For instance, losing a major job, feeling of rejection, family problems, and whatnot.
It majorly affects an individuals’ mindset, behavior, and whole life. There is no time period for how long this disorder lasts. It can last for a week, for months, or even for years. Therefore, it is an ongoing process. It is important and extremely essential to understand that depression is not something to be ashamed of. Now, let’s have a look at different types of depression.
Types of Depression
It is a major depressive disorder. Statistics say that 264 million people of various age groups suffer from this disorder. It can lead to acts of violence and can be a major disruption in an individual’s life. There are various types of this particular disorder. Some of them are as follows:
It is also known as a major depressive disorder. If an individual feels depressed most of the time then it is likely that he/she is suffering from major depression. It causes signs such as pains, self-harm, constant fatigue, loss of appetite, lack of concentration, and anxiety.
If an individual’s disorder period lasts for 2 years or even more than 2 years, then this person is most likely to be going through persistent depressive disorder. It causes symptoms such as changes in sleep pattern, hopelessness, low self-esteem, lack of interest in things previously enjoyed, and difficulty with school or work.
In this kind, the symptoms are that of major depression but in a psychotic way. So, major symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
It is also called bipolar disorder. In this kind, there is a mixture of feelings. At times, you will feel extremely happy but still will be experiencing episodes of depression. The symptoms include lack of energy, sleep problems, fatigue, feelings of emptiness, and trouble while concentrating.
This is related to certain seasons. It mostly takes place in winter. The symptoms for seasonal depression include the gain in weight, social withdrawal, feelings of unworthiness, hopelessness, and an increase in the need for sleep.
It is important to know all these types. The reason being that every kind has different symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Now, let’s move towards the causes of depression!
Causes of Depression:
There are a variety of causes for this disorder. Some causes of depression are quite common while others are biological and some cater to certain circumstances. A few of the common causes of depression include:
Some children have a relatively dark childhood compared to other children. These kids are most likely to be depressed in the later stages of life. Some events or experiences can either make a person or break a person. Even a small event can change the way a child’s reaction to something.
Usage of drugs:
An individual with a history of alcohol or drugs can have a high risk of developing depression. The reason behind this is that drugs or any other kind of addiction alter the way our body acts. It destroys cells and certain body parts. As a result, drugs make a person weak and unwell.
Family history or genes:
An individual with a family history of depression or any other kind of disorder is at a higher risk. Depression is not carried further by just one single gene. It is a combination of various genes that affect a person in return.
A loss or a close death:
Death of a loved one is one of the major causes of this disorder. This can increase a lot of chances of developing this disorder. An absence of an important figure in your life can be very difficult for some people to absorb. So, it is necessary to look out for people and keep a check on them if they have lost someone dear!
Major life-changing events:
Certain events or experiences can change an individual’s outlook for life. These life-changing incidents include loss of job, unemployment, sudden poverty, divorce, moving, or even retirement. Therefore, life-changing events are among the most common causes of this disorder.
Abuse can be of many types. It can include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. This increases the threat of developing depression, most likely clinical depression.
Therefore, it is extremely essential to understand that you should not take every matter to your heart. If you overthink certain something, this will also lead you to be stressed. Furthermore, stress also increases the probability of getting depression. Now let’s move forward towards the symptoms of this disorder.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms are not the same for everyone. Just like the causes, symptoms of depression can vary from person to person as well. This way the diagnosis of depression also varies in return. There are some common and general symptoms of depression. If an individual is experiencing severe symptoms, then it is necessary to move towards the diagnosis stage. Common signs and symptoms of depression include:
Loss of interest:
It is common for depressed people to lose interest in things that they were previously interested in. Whether it is a past time, a sport, or a daily activity.
Loss or gain in weight:
For some people, depression brings loss in weight and for some people a major gain in weight. So, unintentional gaining or losing weight is one of the most common symptoms of depression!
Behavioral changes are extremely common. Your behavior can change swiftly from time to time.
Sleep routine changes:
A change of pattern in sleep can also occur if you are depressed. Some people face severe insomnia where they are unable to get sleep any sleep at all. They acquire little to no amount of sleep. Whereas others are always sleeping and in a state of fatigue.
You feel like there is nothing that can go your way and you feel completely helpless and that you can do nothing productive in your life. In short, you feel totally helpless in your life!
Constant headaches are among the most prominent symptom of depression. Not only a headache but constant pain and aches in other body parts are very common.
At times, people mistake these symptoms for mere sadness. It can be quite dangerous and life-threatening if you do not consult a doctor. To avoid severe symptoms, it is better to opt for early diagnoses and get started with your treatment as soon as possible! It is extremely essential to take care for the prevention of further complications of the depression. Now, let’s learn about the diagnosis of depression!
Diagnosis of Depression
If you experience the above-mentioned symptoms, you should not wait further and immediately get in contact with a health professional for the proper diagnosis of depression. Different types of depression cater to different kinds of ways of diagnosis. There are several techniques available for the diagnosis of depression which includes:
Your health professional may take a physical exam which will guarantee if you have depression or not. He will ask you about your medical history. He will examine your health and ask you if anyone from your family has depression or not.
Tests carried out in labs
A blood test might be taken to check if the patient is suffering from this disorder. Doctors usually perform a white blood cell test as well for in-depth analysis. An excessive amount of white blood cells can lead to inflammation or a severe infection in your body. Your thyroid will be checked if it is functioning properly.
Your health professional will ask about your mood swings, behavioral changes, and your feelings. You might also be asked to fill out a questionnaire that demonstrates if you have this disorder or not.
If you feel like you are experiencing the symptoms of depression, make sure you check in with your doctor as soon as you can! This way the diagnosis can be started early and it will be beneficial for you to then continue with the treatment of depression!
Treatment of Depression
This disorder can be very difficult for some people. It may also be life-threatening to some extent. Ask someone how is it like to live with this disorder. The answer will be ‘extremely difficult’. After the diagnosis, the phase is the treatment of depression. It can improve your life and your depressive period.
You should talk to your healthcare professional in detail. He will guide you as to what steps should be taken etcetera. There is not one single treatment to manage this disease. There are a number of treatments. Sometimes, a single treatment of depression does wonders. Whereas, a person may need a combination of treatments in some cases.
Your healthcare professional might give you a list of medications. These medications include antidepressants, anti-anxiety tablets, and antipsychotic medicines. Every medicine has its own positive and negative effects. Therefore, never use a medication without a prescription from an expert!
Psychotherapy includes a depressed person speaking with a psychiatrist about how they feel. This really helps as full attention is given to the patient. In most of the cases, talking about the issue may relieve all the symptoms of depression.
Exercise reduces endorphins. Therefore, it is very much appreciated for a depressed person. If you are going through a horrible episode of depression, you should exercise and practice yoga as much as you can.
Taking care of yourself
SELF-CARE IS A MUST. Always remember, you come first no matter what! It is important and highly essential to take care of your well being and your mental state of mind.
Prevention of Depression
Definitely all kinds of treatment can fight depression but wouldn’t that be great to prevent it in the first? Obviously it will not be easy, but it is worth a shot! So, let’s take a look at the prevention of depression!
Change the way you handle stress
In our everyday life, we have so much workload that can cause stress one way or another. You should make sure that you handle your stress maturely. Try to relax in such tense situations. Grab a light-hearted book or watch a movie to release tension. Being stressed is one of the major causes of depression. So it is extremely vital to reduce stress!
Talk to a loved one
If you are feeling the symptoms of depression, it would be better to talk to a loved one and have a heart to heart conversation. This would make the situation better. This also lightens the weight and burden that is over your shoulders. Most of the time, people don’t feel like talking to someone. But believe me, your problem won’t go away by burying it deep inside your heart.
Exercise your way out
Exercise also helps a lot! It releases endorphins. Meditation is the key to relaxation. Yoga can be a great way to make yourself calm down. Try to inhibit exercise in your daily routine. It is a great way to be better physically and mentally as well!
Cut down on the daily workload
Try to be as free of work as possible. A heavy workload can also be a cause of depression. Seeing that a lot of work is yet to be done can build anxiety problems. It can also cause insomnia and disturb your sleep pattern. Minimize your workload and only do things that are important. Try to prioritize your time as much as possible!
Everything is meaningless if you don’t have peace of mind. So, it is very important to keep in check with all the symptoms and always remember that your mental peace is the most important thing!
Depression is a common disorder. It affects the mind severely. The symptoms include loss of appetite, reckless behavior, helplessness, restlessness, and loss or gain in weight. Some severe symptoms make it a life-threatening disease. The diagnosis of depression is also in practice. Generally, blood tests and physical tests are taken to find out if the person is suffering from this disorder. The treatment of depression includes psychotherapy, medications, and self-care. An individual should also take all prevention methods into consideration. So, it is better to stay in check of all the symptoms so that if something is wrong, you should rush towards the treatment of depression!