You must be often hearing the term depression these days. Sometimes people feel sad, hopeless, or guilty but they don’t know why they are feeling like that. This feeling may remain for weeks, months, and even years. Many people are not well aware of depression, for them, it’s just a down feeling. Depression is a serious disorder that damagingly impacts how you reflect, feel, and act. It can cause many emotional, mental, and physical complications and can diminish your performance at work and at home.
Luckily, you can deal with depression and improve its negative bearings. Usually, when you feel physically sick, you go to a doctor for proper treatment. However, when you have some emotional or mental health issue, most people are not able to recognize it, try to hide it, or wait for it to get resolved on its own, and rarely consider consulting a therapist or psychologist.
- Depression is more than just a miserable or sad feeling.
- It is a medical depressive disorder.
- Depression can touch all aspects of life.
- Strong people can also feel depressed.
- Depression doesn’t signify that you are thankless or ungrateful.
- Children are not resistant to depression.
- It is possible to manage and cure depression.
- Untreated depression can cause self-destruction and suicide.
How Do You Define Depression?
It’s normal to feel sad sometimes and usually, these feelings pass over time. But depression is not the same. Depression is also called a major depressive disorder which can upset anybody, regardless of gender, age, culture, or religion. It may occur with other illnesses (chronic pain, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer) and mental disorders. Depression can slow down the healing and make other ailments worse.
In simple words, depression is an illness that causes a continual feeling of sorrow and loss of awareness. It influences your behavior, actions, and everyday life. You may feel unable to perform your everyday activity and your life is not worth it. Mild depression may be described as a bad state of mind or sad feeling. It doesn’t halt your normal life but sometimes makes everything difficult. The most severe stage of depression can be deadly and life-threatening where you may feel like destroying yourself.
Examples of Depression:
As a life coach, I have met with various depression patients. So here I am sharing some examples of how they felt when suffering from depression.
It begins as feeling sad then I feel like I am shutting down. I was feeling incapable of coping with these feelings. In the end, I was traumatized and empty.
Sometimes I used to feel like shutting down and sometimes liked crying, screaming, shouting, and kicking. Many times, I was just quiet and locked myself in my room. I tried to be busy with the activities I like to do, to distract my mind. It was the worst phase of my life.
I used to feel sad and low for no reason. I was not aware of what was happening to me and why it was happening. The other day, I was like, I have lost myself and I could not be the same person ever again.
Causes Of Depression:
Depression can be caused by a blend of psychological, genetic, and biological factors. It can occur due to specific deviations in the brain or you get trapped in recurring negative thinking patterns. A variety of environmental factors such as workplace problems, divorce, relationship issues, financial problems, or job loss can make people prone to depressive disorders.
A depressive episode may occur after an upsetting event or circumstantial changes in your life. Significant alterations in the brain and drug or alcohol addiction may also lead to depression. Many women suffer from depression after childbirth, variations, and menstrual cycle or due to weather changes.
The causes of depression may vary from person to person.
- Family tendency:
You are at high risk of having depression if any of your family members have already encountered the issue or other mood disorders.
I have seen my mother suffering from a severe mental health condition where she was given electric shocks. Sometimes, when I encounter tough situations and feel anxious or depressed, I feel like I got it from my mother. But the best part is I am aware of these feelings, so I know how to manage and how to avoid them.
People need to understand, there is nothing bad in feeling depressed. What matters is how you deal with these feelings.
- Childhood suffering or trauma:
Some upsetting childhood events may disturb the way you react to a traumatic situation. Sometimes childhood trauma remains until adulthood and causes depression.
- Medical conditions:
Various medical ailments such as insomnia, chronic illness, chronic pain, mental disorders, psychological conditions, or life-threatening diseases make you prone to this disease.
- Alcohol or drug addiction:
People who consume alcohol or drugs are at higher risk of getting this illness. Moreover, 90 % of people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs experience depression. Alcohol is also referred to as a depressant.
- Death of loved ones:
Heartache after losing a loved one may cause poor appetite, sleep disorders, and disinterest in favorite activities. It is human nature to react this way after losing a beloved person. If these symptoms remain for an extended period, the result is depression.
When my husband passed away, I realized the real grief. When you lose your dear ones, with whom you share your life, you feel empty and hopeless. You feel like a part of you is separated.
Symptoms of Depression:
For some people, changes in sleep patterns could be the initial sign of depression.
- Constant feelings of hopelessness, sadness, emptiness, or tearfulness
- Irritability, frustration, or angry outbursts even over useless matters
- Loss of desire or interest in normal activities such as hobbies or physical intimacy
- Sleep instabilities such as insomnia, lack of sleep, or excess sleeping
- Fatigue, lack of energy, and tiredness
- Reduced hunger and weight loss or increased food cravings and weight gain
- Anxiety, restlessness, tension, or nervousness without any reason
- Memory issues and having difficult concentration or recalling things
- Feeling guilty, useless, worthless, or not enough for everything
- Frequent thoughts of suicide or self-harm like “I should die” and planning to end your life
- Decelerated thinking and speaking ability and slow body movements
Moreover, I have been counseling several people, and I have noticed that different people such as males, females, and children, may experience different symptoms.
Males may have symptoms such as:
- Anger, irritability, aggression, or agitation
- Feeling sad, hopeless or empty
- No interest in favorite activities
- Feeling exhausted easily
- Suicidal thoughts
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Engaging in risky activities
- No desire for sex or poor sexual performance
- Inability to focus and complete tasks
- Getting lost during conversations
- Disturbed sleeping patterns
- Fatigue, digestive issues, headache, and pains
Females may have symptoms such as:
I have met many women ignoring the initial signs of depression. Some women misinterpret these symptoms with hormonal shifts and eventually they start living with these symptoms. They become incapable to deal with depression and anxiety and stress continues and ruins their emotional and mental condition.
- Irritability, anxiety, hopelessness, and feeling sad
- Lack of interest in beloved doings
- Extraction from social activities
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
- Reduced thinking and speaking ability
- Poor sleep patterns
- Fatigue, low energy
- Disturbed appetite and significant weight fluctuations
- Increased cramps and pain
- Severe headaches
Children may have symptoms such as:
- Quick mood changes
- Irritability or crying for no reason
- Feeling useless or incapable e.g. I can’t do anything well
- Intense sadness or feelings of despair
- Poor performance at school
- Refusing to attend school
- Avoiding siblings and friends
- Self-destructive and suicidal thoughts
- Trouble focusing and remembering stuff
- Disturbed sleeping style
- Concerned appetite and digestive problems
- Lack of energy
Physical Symptoms of Depression:
Many people think that depression is just associated with mental and emotional well-being but it may range beyond that. However, it can also impact your physical health with noticeable symptoms. If you are having these kinds of symptoms for a prolonged period without any relief, you need help. In that case, you should talk to a physician to diagnose whether you are suffering from a mental or physical health condition. An experienced life coach can help you manage depression and associated mental health matters.
- Unintentional weight loss or gain
- Chronic pain
- Heart problems
- Autoimmune disorders
- Sexual health issues
- Deteriorating health conditions:
People with existing chronic health issues may experience worse symptoms if they suffer from depression. Chronic illnesses are already very stressful and isolating and depression can aggravate these feelings.
For instance, a person is having diabetes and also develops depression. Now depression is going to intensify the symptoms of diabetes. The person may also find it difficult to follow two treatment plans making the symptoms worse.
Distinguishing Minor, Moderate, and Severe Depression
All occurrences of depression are not the same. Different people with depression may have various causes of depression and may experience a diverse range of symptoms at different stages. Depression is categorized depending on the harshness of symptoms and how long they remain.
Mild depression includes a few of the above-listed symptoms for a few days or weeks. This level of depression is noticeable but doesn’t interfere with your daily life. It can be hard to detect minor depression because of subtle kinds of symptoms. Once it is diagnosed, it is easy to cure depression as it can be easily managed with lifestyle modifications and medication.
People suffering from moderate depression may have many symptoms with more seriousness. Some of these symptoms can significantly interfere with your daily life and may also impact your relationships. It can be treated with lifestyle changes, medication, and professional help.
If you are experiencing most of the above-listed symptoms for more than six months, it’s a severe stage of depression. It can cause serious troubles in relationships, careers, and studies. It can make the symptoms worse resulting in self-worth problems. Severely depressed people are at higher risk of getting self-damaging thoughts. Severe depression treatment can be long as it can be done through medication and professional help along with lifestyle alterations. A life coach or a psychiatrist can help you improve symptoms and know your worth.
Risk Factors for Depression:
Everybody feels sad in their lifetime. But depression is triggered by traumatic events. Challenging events may change your outlook on self-worth or cause unwanted stress. Disturbing and upsetting episodes such as
- Devastating illness
- Serious injury
- Chronic health problems
- Losing job
- Conflicts in relationships
- Family issues
- Death of a beloved person
You cannot control the happening of such events and how you feel after that but getting the right treatment for your problem is completely your call. There is nothing like feeling shameful about depression; it is an illness just like other diseases.
I have seen many young individuals ignoring symptoms and hesitating for getting treatment. Trust me it can make your problem worse and ruin your life. You should look for youth counseling services to understand your condition and get proper solutions before it becomes disastrous.
Daily Life Consequences of Depression:
Depression can distress every facet of your life directly or indirectly. Starting from how you eat, sleep, your career, education, concentration, relationships, and overall health. Undiagnosed and untreated depression may cause uncompromised and terrible complications in your daily life as well as your professional and personal life.
- Feelings of guiltiness
- Difficult mornings
- Not being able to express your feelings
- Bad eating habits
- Inability to focus on anything
- Feeling like not doing anything
Treatment For Depression:
It can be extremely challenging to live with depression. Being a life coach, I have observed that different people hold different assumptions about depression treatment. Some people are not aware of depression, some feel it’s just a sad feeling that will go away itself, some are not able to diagnose even after months, some feel there is no treatment for this and some feel embarrassed to get treatment, etc.
I remember, some time ago, a young child came to me as he realized that he was encountering a mental health problem. He told me that he thought it was just a sad phase, so he was neglecting it. During our conversation, I came to know that the problem was sourced due to the pressure caused by his parents.
Same typical problem, where parents pressured him to opt for science for higher studies. The child was not interested in the science stream as he was passionate about music and wanted to make his career in the same. Parents have their typical beliefs, there is no future in music and all.
The boy agreed with his parents and ended up taking science. As a consequence, his mental condition started to deteriorate. Because he was forced to do that, he was not able to understand the concepts. He spoke to his mother but his father ignored him.
During the exams, his mental health got worse as he was not understanding things. He was also worried about meeting his parent’s expectations. That child was not able to handle the situation, he was feeling like running away from the circumstances and getting suicidal thoughts. He got a panic attack when he sat in the examination hall for his first exam. He fainted as he was blank and not able to cope with the condition.
After that incident, his parents realized they had been neglecting the anxiety and symptoms their child was suffering with. Finally, they decided to consider counseling so they visited me. After a few sessions, the boy started to improve as he was in the early phase of depression. Now, the boy is pursuing a career in music.
Let’s see what are the different treatment options to cure depression.
Medication for depression includes antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs. These can support you deal with circumstances without having depressed feelings. Just like any medication, these also have benefits as well as possible side effects so it’s very important to follow your doctor’s prescriptions carefully and appropriately.
I have seen some people who consult a doctor and start taking prescribed medications believing that it will be enough to manage depression. Trust me, medication is not adequate to get rid of depression. Counseling and therapy are extremely vital to treat depression so do not ignore them.
Different types of therapy can help you manage depression and its symptoms. Psychotherapy or talk therapy is known to be highly effective for depression. A therapist can help you learn about the triggers, how you can avoid them to diminish depressive episodes and how to deal with depression.
Cognitive behavior therapy can help you learn skills to better handle your moods. I know the importance of talking, when a sufferer talks about his experiences and feelings, I can better comprehend the problem. I always try to plan a tailored treatment plan for them for a speedy recovery and better outcomes.
Other than that, group sessions also help people efficiently cope with depression. This way they get a chance to communicate with people who are facing similar problems. They can discuss their symptoms, their feelings, and coping strategies that are working for them. It makes the sufferer feel that they are not alone, anybody may experience depression.
Someone visited me for therapy and she asked mam, I swiftly want to be as I was earlier. She assumed that therapy would treat her depression within a few days. I want you to understand that depression is not a fever or headache. You will have a tablet and it will disappear. No doctor or therapist can treat depression overnight. You need to be positive and patient, you will see gradual amendments, and trust me these improvements and satisfaction will help you for a lifetime.
Moreover, there are more chances that if an approach worked for someone may not work for you. So, you need to keep that in mind. When you work thoroughly with the service provider, you will find what suits you best. Other than that youth counseling services can help avert the chances of developing depression as counseling makes them aware of the problem.
Considerable Tips from The Best Life Coach in India Which Will Help You Take Care of Yourself and Combat Depression Effectively:
A healthy and inspiring lifestyle is most important to manage depression along with counseling, therapy, and medication. I know it’s tough to focus on your lifestyle when you are depressed but you have to do it for yourself, to get rid of these miserable feelings. You can try out these steps to revitalize your mood.
- At least 30 minutes of exercise or any physical activity every day. It works like an antidepressant.
- Avoid smoking, substance use, and alcohol as these can make the symptoms unmanageable.
- Set boundaries in your personal and professional life, and you will feel better.
- Maintain a health-friendly bedtime routine, wake up early in the morning and sleep on time.
- Take good care of yourself and maintain distance from negative people.
- Eat healthy to get the required dose of vitamins, it will help ease symptoms.
- Socialize, talk and express your feelings to people whom you trust, who love you and care for you.
- Spend some time with nature. Mother nature can make you feel happier and reduce depression.
- Try meditation, it helps you calm your mind and engage in the present self.
- Talk therapy from a skilled professional can help you deal with depression. It can give you wonderful results.
Once you start the appropriate treatment, gradually you can see the improvements. Make sure you don’t treat yourself harshly during the process. Don’t blame yourself for anything and be compassionate to yourself.
How To Help People You Love, if They Are Depressed?
If your friend, family member, or someone you know experiences depression, you can help them feel better. First, encourage them to seek help from a therapist. You can also consider youth counseling services for better knowledge of depression and how to manage it. Other than that
- Be supportive towards them and make them feel that it’s normal, they will be fine.
- Make them realize that you understand them and they should be patient.
- Go for walks, meditation camps, outings, and other refreshing activities.
- Make them feel valued to help them know their worth.
- Encourage and help them stay on track regarding treatment, therapy, and medication.
The Closing Words:
Feeling blue or miserable is ok but if it remains for more than a few months, it’s time to consider professional help. Getting depression is not your mistake so don’t feel guilty about that. It’s possible to cure depression with professional help and simple routine changes. Never restrict yourself from getting appropriate help and support. Don’t worry you will be back stronger once you fight the depression.