8 Symptoms of Depression and How to get recover?
In Depression we all have been tense, stressed or anxious at some point in our lives. There may have been times when some of us have felt incapable of moving ahead in life or felt a bit empty from within. Feeling sad is a normal reaction to personal loss or our day-to-day struggles. But if the low mood stays day after day, it could signal something larger.
According to the American Psychiatry 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 causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home. Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a detection of depression.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers depression as the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide, and expects it to become the second leading cause by 2020. An estimated 121 million people are currently living with some form of it. Of these individuals, little than 25% have access to sufficient treatment.
What is Depression?
Depression is a state of low mood and dislike to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being.
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People with a depressed mood can feel sad, worried, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, angry, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of hunger or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, experience relationship difficulties and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, stress, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present.
Depressed mood is a feature of some psychiatric syndromes such as major depressive disorder, but it may also be a normal reaction, as long as it does not persist long term, to life events such as bereavement, a symptom of some bodily ailments or a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments. A DSM diagnosis distinguishes an episode (or ‘state’) of depression from the habitual (or ‘trait’) depressive symptoms someone can experience as part of their personality.
Age is an important risk factor. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System found that the rate of diagnosis increased with age, from 2.8% for adults between 18-24 years to a peak of 4.6% for adults between 45-65 years. A study conducted by the Bangalore-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences placed the average age of the depressed Indian at 31 years. In fact, a WHO report suggests that India is the most depressed country in the world.
Although there is no ‘depression test’ that a mental health expert can use to diagnose depression, certain symptoms are more or less common to all the cases. These symptoms may vary according to the form or stage of illness.
Dr. Dherandra Kumar, a Delhi-based Clinical Psychologist and Consultant at Apollo Hospital in Noida, suggests you consult a doctor if you experience the following symptoms constantly:
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1. Changes in mood, such as feeling down or low. This is usually accompanied by persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. In some cases, the person becomes excessively irritable.
2. The chances of substance abuse increase drastically i.e. alcohol and drugs, in turn affecting the person’s interpersonal relationships.
3. The person faces cognitive difference and difficulty in concentration. As a result, even day-to-day things slip away from memory. Confusion and difficulty in day-to-day decisions.
4. Sleep disturbances become a common occurrence. They prefer to stay in bed for a longer duration of time. In some cases, patients may have trouble sleeping or suffer from insomnia.
5. There is a tough alteration in the eating pattern. It is often marked by frequent over-eating or starving oneself, consequently leading to evident weight gain or loss.
6. Feeling of hopelessness, guilt, and pessimism is one of the most common symptoms.
7. Laziness and decreased energy, feeling tired or weak all the time. On the contrary, some may experience restlessness, be hyper active or even have trouble sitting still.
8. Frequent aches, cramps or pain in the body without any physical ailment.
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Depression has a certain social shame attached to it. As a result, in most cases, sufferers feel too shy or ignorant to reach out. They fail to realize that depression is just like any other disease and it’s not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. Therefore, there is an urgent need to create awareness in order to facilitate a change in our attitude and mindset regarding this medical condition which can actually be treated and deal with.
How to get out from Depression?
1. Increasing Social Contact and Support :
Social support is important to getting out of a depression and can help you face with stressful life events. Support from others can also help reduce negative thoughts that lead to depression. Find those people in your life – friends, family members, or coworkers – who make a positive impact on your daily functioning. Are they encouraging? Do you enjoy their company? Can you go out and do things with them? These are the people you want to spend your time with.
2. Changing Your Thinking :
Consider over bitter and negative thoughts are a trademark of depression. This means you get stuck thinking the same negative thoughts over and over again. Making changes to stop this negative consideration can take time, but hang on in this matter can make a major difference.
3. Focus on your health :
Poor health can lead to increased depression and less happiness or well-being overall. Look at your overall health and evaluate yourself honestly.
See a medical doctor if you have any health concerns that have not yet been taken care of. Sometimes depression can be caused by medication, substance use, or a medical condition. Make sure you get screened by a medical doctor for any other possible causes of depressive symptoms.
4. Get Outside :
The vitamin D you get from sunlight has been shown to help reduce depression. Spend thirty minutes a day in the sun and get wet in the vitamin-D goodness that it has to offer. Or, you can take vitamin-D in pill form as a supplement.
Take in your sunlight in a local park or nature reserve to combine the best that sunlight has to offer with the beauty of nature. Being outside near living, growing things can help refresh the senses and give you more energy and focus.