Depression is a word that is widely used but less understood. It is often confused with sadness, anxiety, phobia or stress.
Sadness, feeling down, having a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities – these are symptoms familiar to all of us. But, if they persist and affect our life substantially, it may be depression. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistently low mood and a feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is a persistent problem, not a passing one, lasting on average 6 to 8 months.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the most common illness worldwide and the leading cause of disability. They estimate that 350 million people are affected by depression, globally.
Sometimes physical problems can cause depression. But other times, symptoms of depression are part of a more complex psychiatric problem.
Types or Subtypes of Depression
- Major depressive disorder
- Dysthymia and chronic depression (now called persistent depressive disorder)
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Psychotic depression
- Unipolar and bipolar depression
- Postpartum depression
- Major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Causes Of Depression
The causes of depression are not fully understood and may not be down to a single source. Depression is likely to be due to a complex combination of factors that include :
- Biology – changes in neurotransmitter levels
- psychological and social (psychosocial)
Some people are at higher risk of depression than others; risk factors include:
- Life events: These include bereavement, divorce, work issues, relationships with friends and family, financial problems, medical concerns, or acute stress.
- Personality: Those with less successful coping strategies, or previous life trauma are more susceptible.
- Genetic factors: Having a first-degree relatives with depression increases the risk.
- A past head injury.
- Having had one episode of major depression :This increases the risk of a subsequent one.
- Chronic pain syndromes : These and other chronic conditions, such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cardiovascular disease make depression more likely.
- Traumatic experience or exposure : Tragic experience or exposure often imprints us with unpleasant and fearful memories which does not allow us to think rationally or practically. For example witnessing an accident, exposure to unpleasant sight, abuse.
- Future uncertainty or negative anticipation : Excessive and stressing in a negative way about future like finance, security, stability, loneliness etc. may lead to depression
- Childhood trauma : Childhood trauma has a significant impact in the overall shaping of cognitive and emotional makeup of a person, which later on become a major cause of mental health concerns and worries in adulthood.
- Disturbed Sleeping and Eating Habits : Unhealthy sleeping and eating routine may make you prone towards the anxiety over a period of time.
- Medical or medicine induced Depression : Chronic illness or serious health condition may lead to excessive worry in terms of finances, health risk, long term medical dependency, side-effects of medicines.
- Work stress : Work life has become one of the major stress creating aspect of everyone’s life, it not only affects the working person but their family due to unavailability, lack of quality time. Prolonged work hours, demanding job, pressure and exhaustion can take an adverse toll on their life.
- Bullying and Harassment : Bullying is prevalent in various organization be it school, college or workplace in different forms. Taking undue advantage, taking employees for granted, constant demotivation and negativity, inter and intra politics becomes a reason for bullying and abuse in various forms. This may result in depression and restless tendencies in employees.
Possible Treatments and Therapy to Heal Your Depresion :
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Lifestyle Modifications
- Creative Therapy
- Goals Management
- Mindfulness & Meditations
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Try to get the most out of your online counselling & therapy. Keep your appointments. Practice the exercises your therapist gives you. Treatment helps, and without it, you might get worse.Remember, you don’t have to deal with depression on your own. Help is out there.