WHAT IT IS, CAUSES AND THE COMMON
SYMPTOMS FOR DIAGNOSIS
Why You Should Care to Know about Depression
In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated the following facts with regards to Depression:
• Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
• Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
• More women are affected by depression than men.
• Depression can lead to suicide.
In view of these staggering facts about depression, in this article, I would like to share on what depression is all about, what could cause depression, and finally the symptoms of depression. Let’s get into it right away…
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
• According to the American Psychiatric Association, Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.
• Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness and loss of interest in activities that used to previously matter to you.
• Major Depression (which is also known as “Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression”) affects how a person feels, thinks and behaves, and can lead to a number of varied emotional and physical problems.
• Depression is different from usual sadness or grief and bereavement.
The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for anyone to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being “depressed.”
But we have to understand that being sad is not necessarily the same as having depression.
• In simple terms, depression is a mental condition or mood disorder in which an individual experiences strong feelings of sadness, hopelessness and helplessness.
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
Some of the negative life experiences that may lead you to be diagnosed with depression or cause depression include:
• The death of a loved one
• A serious or terminal illness
• A serious accident
• Divorce, separation or break-up of a relationship
• Chronic physical pain
• Losing custody of children or feeling that a child custody decision is not fair
• Intense emotion
• A feeling of not being accepted by family, friends or society
• Loss of hope
• Being victimized (domestic violence, rape, assault, etc.)
• Physical abuse and Verbal abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Unresolved abuse (of any kind) from the past
• Feeling “trapped” in a situation perceived as negative
• Feeling that things will never “get better”
• Feeling “taken advantage of”
• Inability to deal with a perceived “humiliating”
• Drug and Alcohol abuse
• Feeling helpless
• Inability to deal with a perceived “failure”
• Serious legal problems (such as criminal prosecution or incarceration)
• Low self-esteem
• Bullying (adults, as well as children, can be bullied)
• Feeling like you haven’t lived up to your high expectations or those of others
• A horrible disappointment
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Depression is different from the usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to certain challenges and uncomfortable situations in everyday life.
To properly diagnose a person to be suffering from depression, one must establish that most of these symptoms we are about to list are undeniably present and being experienced by the patient. These symptoms of depression include:
• Feeling sad or having a low or depressed mood
• Feeling hopeless and helpless
• Feeling guilty or worthless
• Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
• Loss of energy or increased fatigue
• Changes in appetite leading to weight loss or gain, which has nothing to do with diet
• Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
• Thoughts of death or suicide
• Restlessness: increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g. inability to sit still, pacing and handwringing)
• Slowed movement or speech (must be severe enough to be observable by others).
Also, medical conditions (e.g. thyroid problems, brain tumors or vitamin deficiency) can depict symptoms similar to that of depression, and thus, it must be undeniably ruled out that there are no medical causes present before any diagnosis of depression is given.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe.
Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition.
However, symptoms would have to last at least two (2) weeks and would have to represent a change in your previous level of functioning before a diagnosis of Depression could be pronounced.
Mostly, when Depression is present, you may end up having trouble engaging in your usual day-to-day activities, and that ultimately leads you feeling as if life isn’t worth living. Depression makes you highly at risk of being suicidal.
The good news is that depression can be treated. Depression can be treated with medication or psychotherapy or both depending on the severity of it or other considerations.
If you need help with depression, get in touch with us on +233 551428486 for psychotherapy treatment.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“At the root of almost all mental illnesses is Depression. Untreated Depression is the number one cause of suicides.”
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