Introduction To Depression
It is normal to feel sad at some point in our lives, but this may be a problem if you have been feeling low for a long time and it has affected your daily life.
Feeling sad for at least two weeks is often called clinical depression. It is a mental health condition and not a “weakness”. Most of all, it cannot be willed away.
For more information on mental health conditions, you may refer to Mental Health Resources.
Signs and Symptoms
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Thoughts of suicide
- Change of sleeping patterns
- Loss of appetite/weight changes
- Loss of energy
- Lack of interest in activities that were once pleasurable
- Panic Disorder
- Feeling hopeless, sad or empty
- Irritability and outbursts of anger
- Displeasure in socialising
- Slowed body movements, thinking and speech
What Are The Causes
Some people may be born with a higher risk of developing depression. But this does not mean you will definitely suffer from it if depression runs in your family. If you have a family history of depression, it helps if you maintain a healthy lifestyle and gain some insight on the condition. Another factor is a chemical imbalance in the brain, which affect your moods. Hormonal imbalances can also make an individual vulnerable to depression.
Having an anxiety disorder increases the risk of depression. Chronic illness such as cancer, stroke and heart diseases can predispose a person towards depression as well.
People who are perfectionists, easily affected by criticism, and prone to anxiety may be more likely to suffer from depression.
Stressful or traumatic events can cause people to suffer from depression. This includes relationship problems, worries over your money, losing your job, or grief from the death of a loved one. While people often feel less sad as time passes by, some people may develop depression.
How It Is Treated
If you think you or someone you know may have depression, consult a mental health professional.
Treatment comes in two main forms:
Psychological therapy: This can help you to cope with stress and low mood.
Medication: Anti-depressants helps regulate your brain’s chemical balance, improving the symptoms of depression. Treatment can also be a combination of both, which can boost chances of recovery.
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