Depression is a mood disorder that involves persistent sadness and feelings of loss of interest. It is different from the mood swings that people often experience as part of their lives since it is largely instigated by what goes through the mind of a depressed person
The cause of depression?
Major life events, such as bereavement or loss of work, can cause major depression. However, doctors only believe that feelings of sadness are part of depression, if they persist.
*Changes in brain neurotransmitter levels
*Psychological and social factors
*Other conditions such as bipolar disorder
Types of depression
Depression is an ongoing problem, not a past problem. It includes episodes where symptoms last for at least 2 weeks. Depression can last for weeks, months, or years. There are several forms of depression. The following are some of the most common types.
People with severe depression experience a state of persistent sadness. They may lose interest in activities they liked in the past. Treatment usually involves medication and psychotherapy.
Also known as dysthymia, persistent depression causes symptoms to last for at least 2 years. People with this disease may have episodes of severe depression and milder symptoms.
Depression is a common symptom of bipolar disorder, and studies have shown that people with this disorder may experience symptoms about half the time. This can make it difficult to distinguish bipolar disorder from depression.
Some people experience psychosis from depression. Psychosis can involve delusions, such as false beliefs and detachment from reality. It may also involve hallucinations-perceiving things that don’t exist.
After giving birth, many women experience what some call “baby blues”. “When hormone levels readjust after childbirth, emotions change. Postpartum depression or postpartum depression is more serious. There is no single cause of this type of depression, it can last for months or years. Anyone who experiences persistent depression after childbirth should seek medical attention. Seasonal patterns of major depression Formerly known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, this type of depression is associated with reduced daytime hours in autumn and winter. It improves during the rest of the year and in response to phototherapy.
Those prone to depression
Some people seem to become depressed more easily than others. This may be due to body composition (including body chemistry), or because of early life experience and family influence. Others may be more inclined to “look at the gloomy side of life”, which may make them more susceptible to depression.
A look at what goes through the mind of a depressed person
Although not everyone’s experience is the same, when people have severe depressive episodes, the world can literally look like a dark place. Beautiful things may look ugly, flat, or even sinister. What goes through the mind of a depressed person is the feeling of worthlessness, he/she may trust their loved ones, or even their own children, would be better without them. Nothing seems comforting, pleasant, or worthwhile to live. There is no obvious hope of making things better.
When this shift in reality occurs, it is difficult to remember or believe what seemed normal before the episode. What this person believes in the episode seems to be absolutely true, and anything that conflicts with it is false. For example, if the person cannot feel the love for his spouse, and someone reminds the person that he or she has felt this love, the person may firmly believe that he or she has been pretending to be himself or others-even though he or she really didn’t remember feeling love at the time, and couldn’t feel it in the episode, so it was concluded that he or she had never felt it. The same process also happens in happiness and happiness.
Trying to tell this person that he or she was happy once and will feel happy again may cause this person to feel more misunderstood and isolated because he or she is convinced that this is not true. The feeling of challenge is overwhelming; the feeling of sadness is unbearable; the feeling of happiness is not fun. Even if there was no problem before the episode, when it fell, everything seemed to be wrong.
Suddenly, no one seemed caring or cute. Everything is irritating. Work is boring and unbearable. Any activity requires more effort, as if every action requires displacement of quicksand to be completed. The feeling of challenge is overwhelming; the feeling of sadness is unbearable; the feeling of happiness is not fun—or at best fleeting happiness in the ocean of pain. Major depressive disorder feels like severe pain that cannot be recognized in any particular part of the body. The most (usually) pleasant and comforting touch can feel painful to the point of tears. People seem to be far away-on the other side of the glass foam. No one seems to understand or care, and people seem insincere.
Depression is completely isolated. Everything seems meaningless, including previous achievements and life-giving things. Anything that gives people a sense of worth or self-esteem will disappear. These assets or achievements are no longer important, no longer look real, or are obscured by a negative self-image. Anything that has ever caused a person to feel shame, guilt, or regret will occupy most of his or her spiritual space.
In this state, the person will feel hopelessly unlovable, and make sure that everyone has given up or is about to give up on him or her. It is difficult to describe all of this in a way that people who have never experienced it can understand. I can’t emphasize that when this happens, what I describe is definitely the reality of depressed people. When people try to make this person see the bright side, be grateful, change his or her thoughts, or meditate, or they minimize or try to refute this person’s reality, they are unlikely to succeed. On the contrary, they and depressed people may feel frustrated and alienated. I believe that cognitive therapy has an important place, but it is usually not in the throes of a severe depressive episode.
Risk of depression
- You may find it difficult to do even simple things
- You stop doing your normal activities
- you cut yourself off from other people
- You may become inactive and just do nothing for a long time
- you can become suicidal
Symptoms of depression
- a depressed mood
- reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- a loss of sexual desire
- changes in appetite
- unintentional weight loss or gain
- sleeping too much or too little
- agitation, restlessness, and pacing up and down
- slowed movement and speech
- fatigue or loss of energy
- feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or an attempt at suicide
Is it Curable?
- Depression is treatable, and managing symptoms usually involves three components:
- Support: This can range from discussing practical solutions and possible causes to educating family members.
- Psychotherapy: Also known as talking therapy, some options include one-to-one counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT).
- Drug treatment: A doctor may prescribe antidepressants.