Depression is one of the leading and most common causes of mental illness in adults across the globe. Nearly one-fourth of adults are a victim of this problem, which severely affects their physical as well as mental health.
Most physicians claim that feeling anxious or sad at times is a part of life. But, if these feelings persist for long (up to two weeks at a stretch), they become a potential sign of depression. When left untreated, can not only affect a person’s mental health but also disrupt their personal and social life.
What Leads to Depression?
In many cases, depression can happen suddenly, as a result of a physical illness, experiences that date back to their childhood, bereavement, constant rejection, unemployment, persisting family issues or other life-changing events.
Chronic illnesses which are generally linked to depression include back pain, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Pituitary damage, though a treatable condition, which usually follows head injuries, can also cause depression.
Besides these, many psychiatrists state that sometimes there are no clear reasons for a person suffering from being depressed. But, no matter what the original cause may be, identifying things which may affect how a person feels and the things that are most likely to trigger depression is an important first step to preventing the condition from surfacing and persisting.
Types of Depression
Typically, five types of depression states are known to medical science. These are as follows:-
- Mild depression
- Major depression
- Bi-polar disorder
- Post-natal depression
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Each of these has its own signs, symptoms and consequences. Seeking the assistance of a physician or psychiatrist is of utmost importance. They can help identify the depth of the illness and prescribe the right medications and ways to overcome depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Usually, depression can be difficult to detect, especially in children. Behaviours that a person must look out for include worrying too much, persistent clinginess, unwillingness to do anything, meeting anyone or attending places of interest such as school, college, office, and more. Below mentioned are prominent signs and symptoms of depression, which must not be ignored at any cost.
- Less Socializing: One of the most common and prominent signs of depression is staying away from socializing. Even in a room full of people (known or unknown), a person feels lonely and seeks ways to stay aloof or escape. Social gatherings, community meetings, family functions, and outings with friends become less important.
- Staying Reserved: This is the next visible signal of depression – getting deeper and deeper into one’s own self, staying aloof and rarely expressing his/her feelings to someone. This is because, either they are afraid that no one would understand their feelings, what they’re going through and make fun of the entire thing or they, as a part of their nature, stay reserved. The person secludes himself/herself from all types of groupings. He/she even keep away from daily household chores, major decision making and hardly contributes in anything.
- Too Aggressive ready to Burst out: A person in depression can become irritable, frustrated, fidgety, and remain angry most of the time. Little things or sayings by people around them can make them physically or vocally abusive. They tend to act out their anger either by hurting people around them or causing physical damage to themselves.
- Sleeping for lesser or longer hours than usual: Sleep disorder or insomnia is extremely common in depressed people. They either sleep throughout the day without feeling the need to eat or drink or face difficulty in sleeping even for a couple of hours at a stretch. Such a condition makes them anxious, lazy or angry without any reason.
- Anxiety disorder symptoms: Nervousness, restlessness, panic, fear, and similar feelings associated with an anxious person are prominently visible when a person is in depression. Their body too shows signs of anxiety such as trembling of hands, twitching muscles, shaking legs, rapid breathing, excessive sweating, etc. Little things can make them extremely happy, while the same can make them angry and burst out without any reason. Mood swings also become a part of their daily routine, which cannot be controlled.
- Losing the Battle: Individuals who experience the above-mentioned signs and symptoms of depression often concede in life and convince themselves that they’ve lost the battle of life. They may become vulnerable and even think of ending their life in any manner possible. Their inability to match up to the expectations of their family, co-workers and even their own self – makes them a victim of life. Such people constantly think and talk about suicides, deaths, ending life, and even try one of these acts.
What Can Be Done
One of the best and most recommended things to do when in depression is to open up and speak one’s heart out. Talk to someone close in the family, a friend one can trust or their therapist. If a person does not wish to have a face-to-face conversation, they can talk to someone online or even record their feelings.
Therapists and psychiatrists state that most people are unable to express themselves in person and hence, the medium of video conferencing was introduced. There are many licensed professionals that individuals can talk to without scheduling an appointment. The fact is, the sooner a person starts getting treatment, the sooner he/she will recover and feel better.
Individuals who do not wish to engage in any kind of conversation or physical activity with another person can spend more time with their pets. Studies have shown that nearly 75% of individuals who have pets at home recover faster from depression than those with no pets at all.
This is because people find it more convenient to talk to pets (as they cannot state their opinion or criticize) than human beings. While it’s not a substitute for therapy, it still serves as a major factor that helps individuals deal with being depressed.