What is DEPRESSION?
Depression, in simple words, is a feeling of persistent sadness and loss of interest. This is considered a problem when it affects daily life and activities. Moreover, the duration of the symptoms is another determining factor to check its severity. Depression negatively affects how you feel, think and act. Hence it can take a toll on your emotions and impairs your functionality like job, hygiene, daily chores, socializing etc, Depression sometimes questions the meaning and existence of your life as well. Unfortunately, the notion that depression is just a weakness or avoidance confuses the sufferers to seek treatment.
Is DEPRESSION Overlooked?
As we all hear or assume, Depression is not just a low mood, sadness, or feeling down for a couple of days or just not being interested in activities or socializing. It’s an intense feeling of heaviness, sadness, moodiness, that persist for weeks or months even years, impairing the functioning of an individual emotionally and physically. However, through effective intervention and treatment, the problem is less distressful.
Even though the signs of depression vary, Commonly seen symptoms are but not confined to:
- The change of thoughts, feelings, and behaviour patterns
- The feeling of Hopelessness and Pessimism is predominant. The outlook and perspective towards life and the world change for some.
- The loss of interest in pleasure and other activities that once enjoyed is experienced.
- Feeling no or less motivation is another challenging sign.
- Emptiness, Boredom, dullness are experiences that we go through in the phase of depression
- Feeling of despair
- Change in appetite, sleep routine
- The feeling of worthlessness
- Excessive/ Inappropriate guilt
- Diminished ability to concentrate, think. Unclear or foggy thoughts.
- Suicidal ideation is another challenging symptom in moderate to severe depression. Thoughts of death and planning ideas and ways occur as part of feeling unworthy, undeserving life
- Difficulty to cope with the emotional pain and be seen as irritable and frustrated for no reason
- Indecisiveness and disappointment
- People start observing and commenting
- All these thoughts and feelings will be experienced at some time or the other in our daily life but cannot be considered as depression if it doesn’t exist more than three weeks And also, all these above-mentioned signs need not be necessarily found in all.
The Major Causes for depression
Having said that, depression is caused due to many reasons and may not necessarily stick to a single factor. Emotional, Physical, Environmental circumstances can trigger the onset. There is a high- risk for relapse if something adverse happens in the life settings. One common causes for the onset are
- Traumatic events
- loss of loved ones,
- dependency on substances,
- physical and emotional harassment,
- unexpected shifts in life, accidents, etc
- an abrupt ending of the treatment
- medical conditions like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc are also seen among the reasons to flare up.
The other factors falling into the high-risk category are people who experience a prolonged period of acute stress, having members suffering from depression in the family/ friends; sustained from a head injury, and also from some medicines. People living with persistent pain are also included in the high-risk category.
Also Read – Is Grief Normal?
How to Manage/Cope Depression?
- Workout thrice weekly (outdoor recommended but indoor is fine)
Physical Excercise increases the production of endorphin hormones. These hormones play a vital role in elevating mood and relieving pain. Aiming for a 30-minute exercise will not only reduces stress, anxiety but also boost our self-esteem
- Practice Relaxation Techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation. These are proven effective among people suffering from depression.
- Observe the negative thoughts and feelings. Doing this can help you identify the reasons for your distress and figure out maladaptive thought patterns. It is difficult to feel better without knowing what you think and feel
- Avoid Alcohol and Drugs: Drinking and misusing substances may make you feel better for a short time but worsen the condition in the long run.
- Avoid uncomfortable social circles and feel less terrible.
- Practice saying ‘No’ when necessary help copes with situations better. Your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour feel less stringent and genuine then. This is also part of self-care that results at its best through practice.
- Setting Boundaries for self and others is another strategy that we could inculcate through practice,
- Seeking professional help is another important step to look into once you are stuck with ruminating thoughts and your coping mechanisms fails to work to make you feel better. An appropriate intervention helps you manage and recover from the struggle. Your therapist can help you set realistic, adaptable, and tailored interventions to regain a sense of self, satisfaction, and control over your life.
- Last but not least, the research studies suggest the intake of the right dose of vitamin D and B-12 is effective in reducing the symptoms.