Depression, as a mental illness has had a long fight with society to establish itself as something legitimate that deeply stirs the soul of the person. This is so as for long, many didn’t recognize depression as something which is meant to be treated and cured.
Aside from the ocean-deep stigma that looms over the mental illness, it has more to do with people being unaware of it. And we know the common saying, “People hate what they do not understand” which is exactly what happens with depression as well.
But, as we progress as a society, more people are falling prey to depression which needs to be addressed and tackled with sensitivity. To do that, one must know the reasons that cause it and when to seek professional help which will be discussed in the next sections.
Symptoms of Depression
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Sadness is only one small part of depression and some people with depression may not feel sadness at all. Different people encounter symptoms.”
What to Look Out For
Usually, everyone’s journey into clinical depression exhibits disparate feelings but some of the most common symptoms of depression are specified in the following section.
A consistent wave of blue moods reigns supreme over the individual. Feelings of emptiness and anxiety are increasingly common. A loss of hopefulness with a tinge of cynicism begins to onset. One feels fatigued or tired for the most part of the day, losing motivation or incentive to do productive work.
Guilty feelings along with worthlessness begin to trouble the individual who often begins to question his purpose, turning into existentialism.
Moreover, one starts to swing in extremes in terms of sleep—it’s either complete insomnia or long hours of oversleeping. There’s a significant loss of appetite and one feels persistent aches or pain accompanied by untimely cramps.
Causes of Depression
Depression is usually caused by a plethora of factors. But it’s usually not the same for everyone so let’s explore some of the common causes by categorizing them into personal and external factors.
Any kind of physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual violence can lead any person to slip into trauma which remains unprocessed. This can then, turn into early signs of depression.
Also, any kind of conflict whether it be internal, familial, personal, or societal can trigger depression in someone who’s already prone to it, biologically or genetically.
Sadness and melancholy caused by the loss of life or death of someone close or failures of a great extent can also quickly turn into depression and take up permanent space in an individual’s head.
Some personal problems of being excluded from social activities or social isolation that corners one aside from society can also lead to depression.
Certain kinds of drugs or medicines like isotretinoin and others can trigger depression in the consumer. Also, a family history of clinical depression can alter one genetically and make the person prone to it sooner or later. It’s obviously complex in a way but with the right stressor, it can definitely lead to depression.
Even happy events in one’s life can lead to anxiety and make one feel bad. Joyous occasions of getting married, getting the desired job can lead to depression.
It can also be triggered by the prevalence of some other medical conditions like diabetes, etc. In some cases, women undergo postpartum depression which is what they experience after they’ve given birth – a result of multifarious factors.
Treatment of Depression
Before we jump into treatment for depression, one must visit a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or a psychologist to get diagnosed which is an extremely important step.
The specialist will examine you through some surveys, tests, or examinations so that they can clearly diagnose your disorder or mental illness and rule out any other possibility of a medical condition.
Depression can be treated with antidepressants like SSRIs and CBT Psyc which usually take around 2-4 weeks to show results. These should only be taken on advice from mental health professionals.
Other ways are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) a popular form of talk therapy that guides the patient into first understanding the issue then into problem-solving mode.
Therapy works well with patients for it ensures one-to-one treatment where someone encourages you to accept, acknowledge, and drive you away from your negative thinking.
This can eventually lead to revival and recovery of the patient which is why it’s imperative to break the stigma around mental health and seek professional help when needed.