Combating Depression

In the simplest term, depression is a disorder of the brain, MRI and PET scans have revealed that depressed brain is different in various functionalities than normal brain. A depressed mood should not be confused with depression, as a depressed mood is a temporary reaction to life happenings and misshaping. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that by 2030, depression will account for the highest level of disability accorded to any physical or mental disorder in the world.

Factors contributing to depression:

  •  Genetics: As any other common ailment, this too can be passed down and with time can trigger other health problems including high blood pressure, anxiety attacks etc.
  • Conflict with others: This factor includes personal turmoil (Disputes with closed ones), leading to think one if he/she is the sole cause for every other thing going wrong.
  • Death or loss of a near relative, parent, friend etc.: Persons falling under this head need special care and attention, at times they might be keen on pushing you out of their stressed sphere because of their vulnerability, thinking that knowing about their problems will attract bad comments as; attention and sympathy seeker. 
  • Personal Reasons: Includes- 
  1. Loss of job – A major factor contributing to depression, a lot of people particularly after they loose job over-think about what others will remark them with.
  2. Problems in marriage – Another major contributing factor among depressed people (this indeed happens due to wrong portrait of a happy married life shown on television and in movies where most of the time a well groomed guy and a very pretty girl is shown to fall in love giving the wrong idea to marriage institution, getting a wrong idea which only lingers around prettiness, wealth and how whole of their life do they keep staring at each other. Whatever is shown on TV is not true most of the times, cinemas will never show a girl with a pimple on her face falling in love with a guy who has marks on his face. P.S. No one is perfect, moon’s got marks too!)
  3. Financial breakdown – Money is important, even socialist government charge for your welfare. 
  4. Overthinking – This has always been the root cause of all the problems, creating such depressing scenarios in one’s head which may not ever happen. Can even lead to existential crisis.
  •  Irregular personal routine: Includes-
  1.  Sleep Problems
  2. Presence of anxiety and
  3. ADHD.

Perceptible signs of depression:

Temporary sadness, loneliness and loss of confidence might be totally normal resulting out of normal life situations and should not be confused with depression, however if once these things become overwhelming, one might need to seek out for help. Common signs may include:

  •  Concentration problems 
  • Fatigue (most of the time)
  • Pessimism in every other thing
  • Low self esteem
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Irritability from every other thing
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Continuous sadness

Types of depression:

  • Major Depression MDD (also known as Major depressive disorder, chronic major depression or Unipolar depression) – Cause for this category is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental and psychological facts. Between 2-7% of adults with major depression die by suicide, also about 60% of suicide cases includes persons who had depression. 
  • Dysthymia – Been in a depressed mood for not less than 2 years. Victims suffer from same physical problems as depression, yet there are less severe but longer-lasting symptoms.
  • Bipolar Disorder – Victim may be cycling between mood changes, severe highs and lows along with periods of normal mood in between. The risk of suicide among these sufferers is more than 6 percent. About 30-40 percent may tend to self-harm.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder – It may last up to 2 years and symptoms may come and go in severity. It is defined as a low mood occurring for at least two years, along with at least two other symptoms of depression.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – It starts during the winter months and goes away with setting of summer months (possible explanation includes: Due to low natural sunlight).
  • Psychotic Depression – It happens after an individual has already had several episodes of depression without psychosis. Persons suffering may experience a major depressive episode, along with one or more psychotic symptoms.
  • Postpartum Depression – It happens mostly after giving birth to a baby due to hormonal and physical changes.
  • Substance Induced Mood Disorder (abuse or dependence) – A substance use can mask depression. Causes a change in the way you think, feel or act caused by taking or stopping a drug, medicines and illegal drugs can be the cause behind being depressed, to have too much energy or maybe to have trouble controlling one’s action.
  • Co-morbidity – When a disease or disorder occurs at the same time as another, but is unrelated to it, it is considered to be co-morbid.

Overcoming Depression:

1) Focusing in the moment – Practice on engaging your senses in present, forgetting about any negative possibility arising in future, it leaves little time for worry.

2) Get in a routine – Set a gentle routine which can help you get back on track.

3) Listening to upbeat music – Leaving all the sad songs aside, try the upbeat and happy music which alters brain chemistry and can help you in improving your mood.

4) Exercise – It temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphin. Exercising doesn’t mean running marathons, simple walks may do wonders.

5) Eating healthy – Include omega 3 fatty acids in diet (walnuts, flax-seed and oily fishes).

6) Improving sleep – Take all the distractions out of your bedroom – no computer, no TV. In time you may find your sleep to be improved.

7) Stop overthinking – Do your best to distract yourself from over thinking. Keeping busy is an effective way to overcome depression.

Note: This part in no way intends to stop anyone or influence to/from consulting any doctor/physician for medicinal purposes in combating depression. And in no way shall be treated as a prescription from a doctor or physician, these are only general guidelines intended to be used on user’s sole discretion.

Women are more likely than men to get a mood disorder. Certain stuffs: Genes, brain chemicals, personality and living conditions may play their own roles in triggering it.

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