Nowadays, people use the word “Depression” way too often (and way too casually) without actually knowing its true meaning. You see it almost everyday, on social media, the news, etc. But in reality, Depression is a very serious matter that should not be trifled with and requires immediate attention.
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So what is Depression ?
What was previously known as Melancholia, is now known as Clinical Depression, Major Depression, or simply Depression and commonly referred to as major depressive disorder by many health care professionals. Historical evidence suggests that a sense of sadness or melancholy has long been a universal part of human experience; the term “Depression” has only been around for a hundred years or so. At some point in their lives, everyone goes through brief episodes of unhappiness, loneliness and sadness. Depression, however, is more intense and longer lasting than typical unhappiness and grief; this can cause difficulties in a person’s ability to engage in day-to-day activities. Depression refers to a wide range of mental health problems characterised by a loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things and experiences, low mood and a range of associated emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioural symptoms.
Why should depression be taken seriously?
Depression is on the rise globally. As of late, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. As a result, antidepressant medications have become some of the most prescribed drugs in many countries. If left untreated, depression can lead to alcohol or drug addiction. It can destroy relationships and cause problems at work. It has also been observed that depression can cause loss of appetite and sleep disturbances which leads to further physical health complications. In a study, it was found that a fifth of people with a chronic physical health problem (such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke) have depression – a rate that is two to three times higher than in those who are in good physical health. A combination of depression and a chronic physical health problem can significantly worsen the negative outcomes for people with both conditions. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Around 800000 people die due to suicide every year.
DID YOU KNOW?
A study published in October 2017 in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that even one hour of physical activity each week was associated with a 12 percent lower incidence of depression
How can you tell if you or someone you know has depression?
Some major signs of depression include: anxiety, feeling worthless, helpless or guilty, erratic behaviour (loss of interest in enjoyable activities), fatigue, changes in appetite (undereating or overeating), sleep disturbances (sleeping too little or too much), loss of focus and concentration, and thoughts of suicide. A person may or may not show all these symptoms at the same time. Anyone who has had these symptoms for a long period of time should immediately seek professional help before it gets worse.
People who have been through difficult life situations (loss, unemployment, psychological trauma) are most susceptible to depression. Sometimes, depression “runs in the family”. Although there is no concrete evidence of a gene causing depression, it has been found that relatives of people with severe depression are somewhat more likely to suffer from depression than others. Depression can also be caused by other major conditions like cancer or AIDS. Certain prescription drugs (like barbiturates, benzodiazepines, isotretinoin) have also been found to cause depression for some people. Substance abuse is also a major cause of depression; around 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have depression.
If not treated properly and with haste, depression can turn into a disaster. Distinguishing between a general case of sadness or unhappiness and clinical depression can be tricky. It is not easy to tell if a person is actually depressed or just “going through a phase”. It can start with a situation as simple as getting fired but can quickly turn into a grave situation where the person who got fired commits suicide after being depressed. It is important to notice the early signs of depression. If you or someone you know has been showing any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, you should immediately seek/advise professional help.
Our team of mental health experts at Mindport are ready to listen to your problems and offer some of the best advice in the country on mental health issues (including depression). We offer diagnosis and treatment of depression for individuals of all age groups. At Mindport, you can hire services like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behaviour Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy and more from professionals.
If you are seeking help with mental health issues, you can book an appointment with us through email or phone. Control depression before it controls your life.