For one reason or another, you found yourself reading this article. Maybe you are feeling depressed or someone you love is sad. Chances are, you or your loved one is suffering from a chemical imbalance in your brain known as mental depression. The good news is there is help for you.
Clinical depression is a mental illness which causes feelings of sadness and despair, changes in sleep and eating habits, loss of interest in normal activities, and pain that has no obvious meaning.
Most medical definitions of depression are based on looking at a patient’s individual symptoms and determining whether a combination of these symptoms meets the criteria for a typical depressed person.
Typical medical definition:
A person can be diagnosed as suffering from clinical depression if 5 or more of the following Symptoms of Depression were present during the same two-week period and represent a change from previous functioning.
- Depressive mood for most of the day, almost every day, as indicated by either a subjective report or an observation made by others.
A marked decrease in interest or pleasure in all or nearly all activities most of the day, almost every day.
Significant weight loss in the absence of diet or weight gain, or decreased or increased appetite almost every day.
Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness or sleep) almost every day.
Psychomotor agitation or lethargy almost every day (observed by others, not just a subjective feeling of anxiety or slowing down)
Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day.
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which can be delusional) almost every day.
Decreased ability to think or concentrate or hesitation almost every day.
Recurrent thoughts of death, repeated suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Most medical definitions of clinical depression will be similar to those given above.
You see that there is no simple and unambiguous answer to the question “What is depression?” and that some people may experience more or less of the above symptoms of depression. Some people may even experience some of these symptoms and not experience clinical depression.
I’ll end this section by saying that the above is a good plan and answers the question, “What is depression?” but I believe that the definition is not as important as what you actually do to help yourself out of depression.
An obsession with definitions, causes and symptoms does nothing to help a person get out of depression, so I would suggest focusing your efforts on overcoming depression and finding ways to deal with symptoms rather than getting bogged down in definitions and past.
Symptoms of Depression
Below we look at some of the main Symptoms of Depression: –
Ordinary people, like you, feel unhealthy. It is important to find out if you are feeling depressed because of an event in your life or because of a more serious problem such as clinical depression. The purpose of this article is to discuss some of the most common Symptoms of Depression.
The absence of any of these symptoms does not mean that you are not depressed, while having all of these symptoms does not mean that you are. This is just a very general guideline for determining whether to seek professional help.
The symptoms of depression can vary depending on the age of the patient. In young people, especially adolescents, social isolation may be the most prominent symptom of clinical depression. Parents should watch for unexplained changes in mood or behavior.
Changing friends can also be a sign that your child is depressed. Drops in ratings can be another sure sign that something is wrong. It is not uncommon for students with excellent grades to miss school or even drop out altogether. Gifted students are among those most at risk of depression from external events.
Every teenager experience additional stress throughout high school. There is more than just an adaptation, but now they have to make life-changing decisions.
Am I going to college? What college would I like to go to? Can my family afford college? What kind of job can I get? How can I survive? Where will I live? These are just a few of the mind-boggling questions that arise in the mind of a stressed teenager. Pay special attention to him / her so as not to miss the first symptoms of depression.
College graduates are another group known to be at high risk for depression. College itself can be a fun and rewarding time, as many students can get out of the house for the first time and experience something new.
Everything is well planned and dictated by the students’ professors / advisors. At the end of their studies, they have a diploma and nothing else. Now the search for a job, a place of residence, and so on. It falls on the person. In a clumsy economy, finding a job in his chosen field of work is an especially difficult task.
The stress that accompanies this can lead to a more serious condition if not recognized early as a symptom of depression. It is important for young graduates to continue to communicate and enjoy life as they seek a new path for themselves.
We will analyze a third group of people who are commonly referred to as middle-aged people. Symptoms in this group are not always easy to notice, given that their personal life is more private and the social part of their life has been drastically reduced.
Many people at this age are married and have children of their own. Anything from missed work at work to problems with your spouse can be a catalyst for depression. Internal Symptoms of Depression can be hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, lack of interest, trouble sleeping, etc., but outwardly they are much more difficult to recognize.
If you’re worried about a colleague, for example, you can keep track of their attendance and productivity. Many people with depression will see significant declines in attendance and / or productivity.
The last group of people we will look at is entering their golden years. These people retire many times and their children are not at home. Symptoms of Depression are more difficult to identify, especially if the patient’s family is far away.
If the person has never experienced depression before this point, it may be due to a lack of purpose caused by retirement or the move of children from home. If you are worried about your parents and grandparents, often remember that family / career determines people.
When you remove them, the person may feel empty and depressed. Failure to recognize these early signs can lead to a much more serious problem.
If you think that you or someone you know is suffering from any of these Symptoms of Depression, I highly recommend that you seek help. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and there are many effective treatments available in today’s world.
Types of Depression
- Mental Depression
Mental depression affects the lives of millions of people around the world. No one is out of the reach of this insidious disease. Those who are fortunate enough to never get depressed are likely to have a family member or friend who is struggling with it.
Mental depression, characterized by mood swings, uncontrollable emotions and a loss of interest in life itself, can tear even the best of lives apart. If left untreated, many people will face incredible tragedies in their lives.
Mental depression can lead to family problems, professional problems, social problems, etc. Although most people think this type of illness is “in your head,” it can actually have a physical effect on your body. People with depression often complain of chronic fatigue or pain.
This is a cruel cycle, as one of the best ways to help break a depression attack is to socialize or participate in some kind of group activity. When you are in physical pain, it can be difficult to overcome even the mildest cases of depression.
There is another more serious form of mental depression known as “bipolar” or “manic” depression. Often, these patients are prescribed mood stabilizers. Imagine yourself on a roller coaster with ups and downs. Imagine that ups are your happy mood and downs are your sad mood. Now everyone has their ups and downs.
The problem for people with manic depression is that their highs are much higher and their lows are much smaller. If you yourself are manic, I would venture to suggest that you made a major impulse purchase that you later regretted. I do not mean a small purchase. I mean something like a car, a boat, a house, etc.
One member of my family once went and bought a new sports car a week before he knew his company was going on strike. He didn’t have the opportunity to pay for it, but he bought it anyway, since he was on the rise on his roller coaster. These ups are potentially just as dangerous as downs.
Speaking of depression, if a person suffers from bipolar depression, they can often experience unbearable feelings of hopelessness. Often these feelings can escalate into suicide. While the “normal” person admits that bad things happen in life and tries to overcome them, someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder may not make sense to live.
One of the most powerful treatments I have come across is support. There may be no magic pill for depression, but when a person has friends and family to reach out to and talk to during a crisis, they are much more likely to survive mental depression.
There are also many local support groups run by counseling centers, churches, and other private organizations. If you are the one you love and struggle, there is no reason to be ashamed.
Once again, MILLIONS of people around the world are fighting this disease. Your race, religion, financial situation, etc. have absolutely nothing to do with it. Depression can develop as a result of events that happen in your life, but it can also be transmitted genetically.
Yes, this disease is considered mental, but the root of the problem lies in the physico-chemical imbalance of the brain. The worst thing you can do is deny your symptoms or hesitate to seek help.
People are treated daily for what they have done to themselves, but mental depression is not one of them. I urge you to take action and seek immediate treatment if you experience any symptoms of depression. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but I know you will not regret it when you start taking steps to recover.
- Bipolar Depression
Bipolar depression, once known as manic depression, affects thousands of people around the world. This is perhaps the most severe type of depression a person can experience, often requiring many years of treatment to effectively keep it under control. This disorder is characterized by sudden ups and downs in a person’s mood.
These emotional roller coaster rides are often unpredictable and can have serious consequences. If you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar depression, you have a long way to go, but don’t be discouraged. With the right handling and the right psychological attitude, you have a very good chance of living a seemingly normal life.
Often, the first step in treating bipolar depression or manic depression is to seek professional help. A doctor or counselor will need to assess your specific depression.
After completing an accurate assessment (this may take several sessions), a treatment plan can be implemented. They may order you to continue therapy to keep a close eye on your depression.
These therapy sessions can be categorized into four types of treatments. These four types of therapy include individual counseling, group counseling, family counseling, and marriage counseling.
One-to-one counseling is exactly what its name suggests, which means that you meet with a counselor in an individual setting to explore ways to cope with depression.
You can also discuss topics related to your recent feelings or moods. This type of treatment aims to help you get rid of your depression.
The second traditional type of therapy is group counseling, in which a group of people with depression meets and discusses their personal struggles with depression, as well as their successes. This type of therapy helps you understand that you are not there when you are dealing with depression.
Many other people also suffer from depression. You will also receive valuable information about other people who face the same problems that you may face. You will often feel more at ease discussing the problems you face with these people because you know they can really figure out where you came from.
The third type of therapy is family counseling. Family counseling consists of visits to a psychologist by you and your loved ones. The sessions focus on a few points.
One of these tricks is to help your family figure out how to deal with depression. You can also discuss how your family members can help you feel better, as well as some of the causes of your depression.
The latter type of treatment for depression is known as marriage counseling, but don’t be confused, you don’t have to struggle in your marriage to take part in this type of therapy.
Depression is difficult for doctors to understand, much less your loving spouse. He or she may blame himself for your illness, so it is important that they attend therapy with you so that they can understand that your depression is not their fault.
During therapy, both of you will learn how to best deal with depression, but your spouse will also learn how he or she can help you recover. A strong mental support system at home is one of the best treatments for any type of depression.
In addition to regular therapy, bipolar depression often requires prescription antidepressants, but only your doctor will know for sure. Antidepressants themselves have their own disadvantages, including common side effects such as personality changes and weight gain.
If your doctor decides to prescribe prescription antidepressants for bipolar depression, you will need to monitor your well-being closely every day. The wrong antidepressant can lead to side effects, in some cases even backlash, exacerbating your depression after the point of no return.
Some people with bipolar depression have actually committed suicide by taking the wrong type of antidepressant. These cases are rare and usually occur when a person is suffering from undiagnosed bipolar depression.
Depression, like any other medical condition, cannot be cured overnight. It will take time and determination on your part to overcome depression, and even if there are times when you feel like giving up, don’t do it!
- Clinical Depression
Are you feeling more depressed than excited? When you get out of bed in the morning, do you find yourself postponing sleep over and over again, fighting the thought of having to face another day? It can even be difficult to convince yourself to shower and brush your teeth. If any of this describes you, chances are good that you are suffering from some form of clinical depression.
Everyone experiences depression at some point in their lives. This is natural, for example, when you lose a loved one, but those who suffer from clinical depression experience these feelings often or even all the time. There should be no legitimate reason for feeling overwhelmed.
They just do it. A person with clinical depression may not even know or understand why they feel this way. They just know that they feel empty inside, as if something is missing in their life.
Millions of people suffer from clinical depression. Some are young and some are old. Someone could have known this for years, while others only found out. No one really understands what exactly causes depression. What we do know is limited and often discussed by various mental health experts.
A long-standing theory is that clinical depression is caused by a deficiency in the brain of a certain neurotransmitter known as serotonin, but we have no effective way to test this while a person is still alive.
The answer to this seeming problem is chemical antidepressants designed to increase serotonin levels and thus relieve symptoms of depression. If it were that easy, we would read about all children and families torn apart by depression.
Husbands didn’t beat their wives because of depression. Parents would not abuse their children because of depression. Children won’t run away because of depression.
And the list goes on and on. There is no evidence to support this, but I would venture to suggest that every person in the world has suffered from depression in some tiny way at some point. They may not have lost someone close or have a loved one who suffers from depression, but they were most likely affected in some way at some point.
The complexity of clinical depression is that we do not have a reliable gunshot method to cure or cure it, and we cannot do this until we understand the root cause of its occurrence. Could this be, as some have suggested, the way of life that we lead?
Maybe we’re on a diet? Are we missing sunshine? There are so many theories about the causes of depression that it is difficult to know where to start. The list of treatments can be confusing as people disagree on the best path.
Antidepressants have been recommended as a medicine for years, but recent research has raised speculation about how effective chemical drugs are.
Then you have alternative treatments like St. John’s wort, which has been very promising in clinical trials, but there is strong enough evidence to warrant replacing antidepressants, at least for now.
St. John’s wort also has several unpleasant side effects such as sensitivity to light, although this is very rare and much less serious than the side effects of a standard antidepressant, which can cause side effects such as weight gain.
However, if you are not the type to put something into your body, you can turn to self-help methods that include self-help books and / or self-help groups.
These groups do not need to be part of a professional therapeutic program, as any type of support group is often strongly recommended by health professionals.
Suffering from clinical depression is likely to be the most difficult thing a person can face in life, but with the right attitude, support group, and treatment plan, that person has a very high chance of a fulfilling normal life. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of and can be effectively contained if left unchecked.
Cause of Depression
What would you say if I told you that there is a disease that affects the life of almost every person on Earth in one way or another? The man, woman and child do not matter, but we do not yet know the exact reason for this.
Would you be worried? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of treatments for people experiencing depression, but how effective can these treatments be if we still don’t understand the exact cause of depression?
The medical community has long disagreed about what actually causes depression, and many believe it is caused by physical abnormalities in the brain, while others are not so sure. For those of you with conventional wisdom, depression is caused by low serotonin levels.
What is Serotonin? It is a neurotransmitter in the human brain that is weakly associated with human emotions. This theory is at the heart of prescription antidepressants.
Chemical antidepressants improve symptoms of depression by increasing levels of this particular neurotransmitter. You’ve often heard that a chemical imbalance in the brain is the cause of depression. This statement refers to low serotonin levels. While this is a general theory, these are not the only thoughts about the cause of depression.
There are people who tell us that depression is caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. Your body is literally a living machine. It consists of millions of moving parts from your arms and legs to the cells of your body and, like any complex machine, requires regular maintenance and care.
The food you add to your body is very similar to the type of motor oil you put into your car. When you use poor quality lubricants for your engine, you expect it to break; when you feed your body with garbage, you should expect it to respond accordingly.
Diets that are particularly low in omega-3 fatty acids raise suspicion as a cause of depression. I would advise you to exercise caution when including fish or hemp oil in your diet, as both are excellent sources of omega-3s.
Going back to maintenance, your body requires you to do certain exercises. When you don’t meet these requirements, you are depriving yourself of one of the best ways to relieve stress.
Stress builds up in all of us, and without a bypass valve, it will build up until you experience a nervous breakdown or violent eruption. None of these effects are desirable. By engaging in strenuous activities, you release the accumulated tension.
Besides being good for the mind, exercise is also good for the heart, muscles, and excess weight. Exercise helps you look good and looks good makes you feel good.
Have you ever heard that you feel as good as you look? Many believe that self-esteem is the source of depression. Good looks boost self-esteem, and building a positive self-image will go a long way in treating your depression.
Another common reason is lack of sunlight. You might think that it would be impossible to avoid the sunlight your body needs, but you are wrong. Sunlight contains important minerals such as vitamin D, and a lack of these can lead to depression.
Many people might think that the winter blues are just an expression, but the truth is, the sun doesn’t shine that much during the winter months. Less sun means less sunshine, and this is the reason more people are reported to suffer from depression during these months of the year.
You can significantly reduce your symptoms of depression by making the extra effort to get more sunlight every day. Go outside for a walk, sit on your porch, mow your lawn, do something to get enough sunlight.
Regardless of what you think is the cause of depression, it is important to take action to treat it. Whether you choose a professional or self-care program, it’s always better to do something than nothing.
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