Dealing with depression can make you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.
Depression is a mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. It is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It can cause feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can also lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home. Fortunately, it is also treatable.
Causes of Depression
- Abuse: Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can make you more vulnerable to depression later in life.
- Age: People who are elderly are at higher risk of depression. That can be made worse by other factors, such as living alone and having a lack of social support.
- Certain medications: Some drugs can increase your risk of depression.
- Conflict: Depression in someone who has the biological vulnerability to it may result from personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends.
- Death or a loss: Sadness or grief after the death or loss of a loved one, though natural, can increase the risk of depression.
- Gender: Women are about twice as likely as men to become depressed. No one’s sure why. The hormonal changes that women go through at different times of their lives may play a role.
- Genes: A family history of depression may increase the risk. It’s thought that depression is a complex trait, meaning there are probably many different genes that each exert small effects, rather than a single gene that contributes to disease risk..
- Major events: Even good events such as starting a new job, graduating, or getting married can lead to depression. So can moving, losing a job or income, getting divorced, or retiring. However, the syndrome of clinical depression is never just a “normal” response to stressful life events.
- Serious illnesses: Sometimes, depression happens along with a major illness or may be triggered by another medical condition.
- Substance misuse: Nearly 30% of people with substance misuse problems also have major or clinical depression. Even if drugs or alcohol temporarily make you feel better, they ultimately will aggravate depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Treatment of Depression
Many types of antidepressants are available, including those below. Be sure to discuss possible major side effects with your doctor
Psychotherapy is a general term for treating depression by talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy or psychological therapy.
Different types of psychotherapy can be effective for depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy.
There’s no sure way to prevent depression. But you can:
- Find ways to handle stress and improve your self-esteem.
- Take good care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly.
- Reach out to family and friends when times get hard.
- Get regular medical checkups, and see your provider if you don’t feel right.
- Get help if you think you’re depressed. If you wait, it could get worse.
5 Ways to Overcome Depression
- Build supportive relationships
- Implement achievable lifestyle changes like regular exercise and sleep
- Consciously shut down negative thoughts
- Make plans
- Find something to look forward to
If you need professional help for yourself or anyone dealing with depression, contact us at favdoctor.com.