We all go through ups and downs in our mood. Sadness is a normal reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness. It is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, or problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions; and may contemplate or attempt suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may be present.
Depressed people have a major risk factor for suicide. The negative feelings that they have in their mind can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. People who have entered this stage, should never be left alone and should be accompanied by an attender all the time.
Symptoms of Depression
- insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
- Lack of concentration.
- Difficulty in handling tasks which were easy to handle previously.
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
- Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Negative thoughts
- An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
- Significant weight loss or gaining weight
- Lost appetite or overeating.
- Irritated, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
- Some people turn alcoholic
- Swings in moods
- Suicidable moods
Causes of Depression
- Lack of social support
- Painful life experiences
- Marital or relationship problems
- Financial problems
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Unemployment or underemployment
- Health problems or chronic pain
Prevention of Depression
- Healthy and balanced diet
- Proper exercise
- Proper relaxation
- Avoid overworking
- Indulge in activities which you enjoy the most
- Have healthy sleep patterns
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Seek treatment right away
Treatment of Depression
- Learn as much as you can about your depression
- Don’t rely on medications alone
- Get social support
- Treatment takes time and commitment
- For medication, you need to consult a proper psychiatrist
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