Depression is more than just feeling low or sad. It is a mental illness in which you endure prolonged feelings of sadness and/or loss of interest. What sets depression apart from sadness? If you are experiencing prolonged feelings of sadness and/or loss of interest for a period of at least 2 weeks, then you could be suffering from depression.

Depression is notorious for robbing your enthusiasm and life force to savour the taste of happiness and fulfilment. If you suspect that you are suffering from depression consult your nearest medical practitioner for a diagnosis.

Types of Depression

Just like any mental health illness, identifying the type of depression you are suffering from is a crucial step towards your recovery. Some individuals affected by depression do not seek out medical help, instead they opt to suffer silently. You need a combination of personal care, love, attention on the part of those close to you and medical assistance to break through. Enduring depression can be challenging but help is always available. With little effort you can overcome depression and lead a life full of creativity and happiness.

Basically, there are 3 major types of depressive disorders.

Treatment Resistant Depression :- This depressive disorder could be chronic, or longstanding and it does not respond to prescribed medication like antidepressants. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is applied to the patient depending on the nature and degree of the condition.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder :- GAD is the most common form of anxiety. It is an extreme, intense and absurd worry usually associated with everyday life. People with GAD overly anticipate disaster about everyday things such as money, friendship, health issues, work and life. The physical effects of GAD include fatigue, nausea, headaches, muscle tensions, restlessness, sleeplessness and sweating.

Major Depressive Disorder :- If you have been diagnosed with 5 or more typical depressive symptoms, you could be suffering from Major Depression. Major Depressive Disorder can affect your ability to eat, work, study and sleep.

Symptoms of Depression

The incidence and intensity of depressive symptoms depend on the individual and their mental condition. It is rare for 2 individuals suffering from the same depressive disorder to experience the same symptoms, however common signs will manifest before the mental illness starts. Here are some signs to help you detect depression early on.

  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia
  • Prolonged feelings of helplessness, worthlessness or guilt
  • Trouble in remembering details and decision making
  • Prolonged feelings of emptiness and/or sadness
  • Lack of energy and enthusiasm in once enjoyable activities and hobbies
  • Weight loss or gain, loss of appetite
  • Prolonged pains, aches, cramps or ailments
  • Suicide thoughts or attempts

Causes of Depression

Unlike any other mental health condition, depressive disorders arise due to various bio-psycho- social factors. Depression is a condition that does not adhere to a specific causation theory; moreover, genetic disposition may or may not affect your susceptibility to it. If you are suffering from depression you need a good amount of awareness to take an informed decision towards your path to recovery.

Here are some internal and external conditions that may help you identify the cause of your depression:

As you grow older family and society heaps a lot of expectations around various areas of your life such as career, marriage and financial well-being. The result is a lot of pressure which contributes to depression.
SSudden and negative social changes such as divorce, abuse, isolation, negative relationships, job-related challe.
Social expectations around gender may contribute to depression. Generally, men are less susceptible to depression because they are not exposed to hormonal changes women undergo.
Low self-esteem, a tendency to get overwhelmed easily by stressful situations, lack of means to overcome stress and negative attitude could result in frequent and prolonged episodes of depression.
Recurring, prolonged or incurable medical conditions can cause negative feelings which could contribute to depression.
Approximately 30-40% of depressive symptoms are attributed to genetic disposition.
Substance abuse or prescribed drugs can make an individual prone to depression. Generally, drugs can interfere with a specific condition of an individual hence heightening their susceptibility to depression.

Diagnosis Treatment

Diagnosis of depression requires an appropriate medical practitioner and forms a crucial step towards your recovery. Wrong medical counsel could lead you further into depression. If you are suffering from depression you should visit your nearest medical practitioner for a correct diagnosis and drug prescription, if needed. Your counsellor will initiate steps towards the right treatment. Communication is a key part of the treatment process.

  • Try to seek out professional help as soon as possible but in case you are unable to get attention
  • right away here are several steps you can follow.
  • Identify a trusted friend or relative in whom you can confide your emotional challenges
  • Take adequate rest by sleeping properly
  • Avoid negative influences like illegal drugs
  • Be active – exercise, go out for a walk, sport, movie or some activity you once enjoyed
  • Be patient – expect your mood to improve gradually not instantly
  • Continue to learn more about depression from a trusted source approved by a statutory body
  • Spend time around cheerful people even if it seems irritable

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