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Sunday, 9 September 2018

Depression: Signs and How to overcome it.

What really is Depression?

Wikipedia says: Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, tendencies, and sense of well-being. It is also a symptom of some physical diseases and a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments.

depression depressed lady
Credits: Odyssey

Depression is a common but serious mood disorder that has been estimated to affect 1 in 20 individuals. It affects how you think, feel and behave, and can lead to various emotional and physical problems. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7.6 percent of people over the age of 12 experience depression.
Depression can affect your relationships and reduce your productivity at work or school.

It is very important to understand that feeling down at times is a normal situation that happens in most people’s lives. Sad and distressful events occur in everyone’s life, and can make you feel down. But the difference is that when you feel miserable and hopeless on a consistent basis – that is the serious condition known as “Depression.” Depression is more than just feeling ‘down’ and is not the common mood swing.

Symptoms of Depression (Signs that you’re depressed)

  • Loss of interest in most regular activities
  • Angry outbursts
  •   Significant weight loss or gain
  • Tiredness, Fatigue or lack of energy
  •   Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or guilt
  • Loss of concentration and inability to think straight at work or school
  • Excessive sleeping (hypersomnia) or inability to sleep (insomnia)
  • Recurring  thoughts of suicide and death
  • Drug abuse
  • Slow thinking
  • Sluggish movement and social isolation
  • Sadness and low self esteem 

Of course, you may experience one or more of these symptoms. DO NOT ignore any of these symptoms if you notice them being persistent. If your mood doesn’t improve with time, do visit your doctor for medical attention. Depression is a serious condition, and it not only affects you, but your loved ones too.

What can make you depressed (Causes of depression)

Depression can be caused by the following reasons:
1. Distressful, grievous events or difficult life circumstances such as the loss of a loved one, economic problem, medical problems or a bad relationship.
2. Early childhood trauma (such as childhood rape or parental separation). Some events actually affect the way your body reacts to stressful situations.
3. Family history of depression, or another mood disorder. Some people develop depression because of their genetics.
4. Drug abuse and excessive alcohol intake. About 30%  of people who have a substance abuse problem experience depression.
5. Use of certain medications. Some certain drugs can trigger depression. Ask your doctor if need be.
6. Being excessively self-critical.
7. Depression can be caused by some other health problems; such as thyroid problems or vitamin-D deficiency.

The different types of depression

Depression ranges on how serious it is. It could be mild & temporary, or severe & ongoing.
There are two major types of depression: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD).

Major depressive disorder – Major depressive disorder is the most severe form of depression. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that do not go away on their own. It is accompanied by psychosis. Psychosis can involve delusions – false beliefs and hallucinations (sensing things that do not exist)

Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthmia) – It is a mild, but chronic form of depression. It often results in low productivity at school, home and work.

Another type is 'Seasonal Affective Disorder' (SAD) – Countries with long or severe winters seem to be affected more by this condition. It is related to reduced daylight of winter. The depression occurs during this season and lifts for the rest of the year.

Treatment for depression / How to overcome it.

It is highly recommended that you talk to your doctor about it. Since living with depression may be difficult, treatment can help you successfully cope. The treatments for depression are:
1. Use of a doctor’s recommended medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotic and antianxiety drugs.
2. You can as well speak with a psychotherapist to help you learn skills to overcome depression and negative feelings.
3. Get support from close ones. Talk it out to someone you trust – be it a family member or a good friend.
4. Meditation. Meditation has shown to be helpful for treating depression in clinical studies. Mindfulness meditation in particular has been shown to have a strong effect on lessening symptoms of depression, such as negative thinking and lack of focus.
5.  Exercising (especially aerobic exercises) Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-5 days a week. This helps your body to produce certain hormones that help to improve your mood, thereby overcoming depression.
6. AVOID taking alcohol and use of hard drugs. They may temporarily make you feel better for a while, but the truth is that In the long run, they can worsen depression and other mood issues.
7. Take care of yourself, eat good healthy food, have enough sleep and rest.
8. Keep your mind and body involved in enjoyable activities, and try your best to avoid negative people.

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Post tags: Depression, definition, causes, symptoms, treatment.

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