Often, we use the word 'depression' loosely in our everyday life. Depression is mainly associated with low mood, crying, sadness, and sulking. If these symptoms are not treated immediately, it might become a prevailing issue in the long run. Also, frequently we come across people who require help, but we are unsure of what to say to the friend who is currently facing a break-up or someone who has lost a loved one. How to identify these signs and symptoms in ourselves and people around us? How can you contribute to lending a helping hand to them? Here is a brief introduction to depression to aid in sensitization of the public.
We have all faced ups and downs in our lives, and we agree that feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life. But, when emotions such as helplessness and hopelessness take over of your life, and you find yourself struggling to cope up, you may have depression.
Simply speaking, depression makes it tough to function and savor life like you once did. Things you enjoyed doing in the past no longer make you happy. You have this constant feeling that people do not understand you and may also feel that you are behaving oddly with others.
Understanding the cause of your depression and recognizing the different symptoms will enable you to seek help at the right time, which is half the battle won.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a common and disturbing mood disorder. While some people describe depression as 'living in a black hole' or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. It can also cause feelings of anger and restlessness. No matter what your symptoms are, when left untreated, it can become a serious issue. Depression can make you feel helpless and hopeless, but these are symptoms of depression itself and not your permanent situation. There are plenty of things you can do by yourself to elevate your mood, overcome depression, and regain joy in life.
Am I Depressed?
Occasional sadness is fine. But, it should be appropriate with your current situation and environment. For example, it is alright to be sad when you have suffered a failure in your personal or professional life. But, if this sadness persists for an unusually long duration, it can mean trouble.
How Do You Identify These Symptoms and Pick Them at the Earliest?
- Irritability over trivial issues which was not a part of your personality earlier.
- Low frustration tolerance.
- Getting tearful over small issues.
- Inability to take criticism.
- Feeling lethargic and low energy levels.
- Staying all alone most of the time.
- Refusing to take part in social interactions.
- Avoiding family gatherings.
- Spending more time doing nothing.
- Not feeling like working or feeling as if you are forced to work.
- Prefer to sit alone and cry often.
Yes, I Am Depressed, Now What?
Once you identify that something is wrong, the most important step is to share your feelings with a friend or family member you trust and are comfortable with. Also, seek professional medical help at the earliest by visiting a psychiatrist.
Initially, medical illnesses are ruled out as hypothyroid status can lead to depressive features. There are various ways of treating depression, out of which often counseling greatly helps.
Structured cognitive behavior therapy is seen to be beneficial in a majority of the patients who are brought in to the clinic at an early stage. In certain cases, medicines (antidepressants) can be prescribed and are found to be very effective.
Also, newer modalities of treating depression like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or deep brain stimulation (DBS) are also in research.
Please be aware that depression can be completely treated. So, let us unite strongly to fight this preventable illness. When given the most appropriate treatment, this condition can be managed to the best of one's ability.
Frequently Asked Questions