Depression is a mental disorder characterized by one feeling low, an overwhelming feeling of sadness, loss, or anger that disrupts their everyday life activities. It is quite a common symptom experienced by most people as per the reports collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, an estimated 18.5 American adults suffer from this condition. Some recovered while for some it became a chronic condition. Most often depression is confused with grief. Both are entirely different. A person experiences grief after experiencing the loss of someone dear to them or sadness after a traumatic event in their life while depression is most often associated with one’s self. They tend to lower their self-esteem and it usually involves self-loathing. When in grief, happy and positive memories of the other person involved provide a kind of comfort though one may feel the emotional pain and on the other hand, the feeling of sadness for depressed people is constant and never goes away.
It hardly allows a person to function efficiently. Intrusive thoughts and low energy levels affect their everyday work and decrease their productivity. It strains relationships and can cause health conditions also.
Causes of Depression:
Causes for this condition can range from biological to circumstantial. People experiencing this feeling have altered brain chemicals, an imbalance in those responsible for managing thoughts, moods, appetite, and behavior. Another reason contributing to depressed feeling is a change in hormone levels, especially in females where their estrogen and progesterone hormone during different periods such as menstrual cycle, postpartum, perimenopause, and menopause puts them at higher risks of experiencing this condition. Genetic factors are also a reason. Take a close look at your family members and see if there is a family history of this condition and if yes, then there is a more likely chance that you might experience it too. Trauma experienced during early childhood can also be a cause as it affects the way how one reacts to events and stressful situations around them. Biological causes include changes in the brain structure. There is a likely chance of depression in patients who have less active frontal lobe though there are no conclusive results to determine them strongly.
Symptoms of Depression:
The symptoms are not the same for everyone. In some their mental health goes down while for some their physical health goes down. It can be short term or the condition can be chronic. The following are the signs that are typically associated with the condition.
● Pessimist thoughts, hopelessness, and low self-esteem
● An overwhelming feeling of misery and void
● Bothered by even trivial matter, highly annoyed
● Crying often and a lot
● Low energy levels, feeling tired always
● Losing interest in activities that you once loved to do
● Talking, walking, and moving slowly
● Having trouble concentrating, memory issues, and inability to make proper decisions
● Unexpected weight changes
● Aches and pains in various parts of the body without explanation
● Changes in appetite
● Have sleep issues, either sleep too much or too little
● Intrusive thoughts of self-harm, suicide, and death
● Suicide attempts
If you feel any of these symptoms or if you see your loved one undergoing them alone, lend a helping hand. Consult a mental health practitioner to avoid the situation getting out of hand.