Depression is a mood disorder that affects one’s behavior and feelings towards life, characterized by anger, sadness, frustration, worthlessness, guilt, anxiety and irritability. People who are depressed commonly have low self-esteem and they lose interest in activities that were once delightful, so are abrupt bursts of anger, trouble concentrating, difficulty in remembering details and inability to make decisions, they often have thoughts of suicide and are unable to sleep or restless, pain or digestive problems that does not yield to medications, drastic change in appetite that causes weight loss or gain, loss of energy and fatigue.
Depression and its causes
Are Doctors Okay with It?
Why do people get depressed? What causes depression? Depression is in connection with changes in neurotransmitters, these are substances in the brain responsible for the communication of nerve cells known as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine which can be affected by genetics, drug or alcohol abuse, hypothyroidism, certain medications, changes in hormones or circumstances in the society. Some types of depression are inherited such as with bipolar disorder but it does not mean that everyone in the family is likely to acquire the illness, additional factors like a stressful event in life triggers an episode of depression.
Hence, a painful divorce, loss of a loved one, illness or pain, mental, emotional or physical abuse and social isolation are among the factors that could cause depression. It is a result of a combination of genetic, environmental, psychological and biochemical factors. Depressive illnesses have been indicated as brain disorders, research shown that depressed people have brains that look different compared to those who are not depressed and the part of the brain that regulates mood, sleep, thinking and behavior shows up to be functioning abnormally and the neurotransmitters in the brain come out as imbalanced.
Women are more prone to depression than men and this is linked to life cycle of women as well as biological and psychosocial factors that are unique to women. Women are in more danger to depression after giving birth due to change in hormones and physical appearance plus caring for a baby can be very overwhelming, in addition, sexual or physical abuse, stress of home and work responsibilities, poverty and personality traits contribute to the frequency and severity of depression in women.
Men on the other hand responds to depression differently compared to women; men experiences fatigue, disturbance of sleep, lack of interest on activities that used to be pleasurable and irritability and they are more likely to submit to drugs and alcohol, gets frustrated and discouraged, irritable and angry, even abusive. Children are also at risk of depression, research shows that childhood depression recurs and carry on to adulthood especially when left untreated since depression in children is difficult to diagnose as they present themselves as usual mood swings like refusal to go to school, pretending to be sick or clinging to a parent which can be mistakenly viewed as a normal part of children’s developmental stage. Depression is a highly curable disorder mostly by medication and psychotherapy.
How To Deal With Depression
Dealing with depression is not an easy task but it is not impossible to conquer. While depression might not be eliminated completely, there are ways to manage the symptoms and effects of depression and be a fully functioning person of society. Simple lifestyle changes might just be the ticket to make a dent in depression and with the help of medication, or cognitive behavioral therapy, depression may be well under control.
In addition to therapy as directed by a health care specialist, there are things the individual can do to help the process along in a positive manner. The ultimate object of the game is to define a course of action that can be incorporated in everyday life and used as a toll to keep depression in check. Starting with a simple walk around the block will be a great first step, so to speak, in achieving the ultimate goal. From that simple walk to a more challenging walk will help build up your emotional immune system. Add in a bike ride for a change of pace or seek out a walking club and walk different places. The object is to stay active and not allow you to settle into a sedentary life style.
Reaching out to a trusted family member or friend will help you stay balanced physically and emotionally. Isolation will cause loneliness and make depression even worse. It is important to maintain social contacts even if it is just meeting a friend for coffee once in a while. Join a book club or invite friends out to a movie but stay in contact with people. It is important to have someone to talk to once in a while. That will also help you to stay in balance by not getting bogged down with too many recessive thoughts.
A Wellness Tool Kit
Generate a list of things you like to do either as a group activity or something you can do by yourself. It might be something as simple as taking time to enjoy a favorite book or watch a favorite movie. The idea is to do something that will provide a positive-mood boost and perhaps give you something to look forward to.
The activities do not have to be anything exotic or time consuming, unless you like exotic and time consuming. Making time for fun or out of the ordinary activities will help you feel more upbeat and energetic as you go through day.
By implementing an activity or two several times a week, will also give you a feeling of accomplishment and a shot of self confidence. That will go a long way in battling the demons of depression and make the symptoms seem rather small in comparison to life.