Depression Symptoms and Self-Help

Depression is not a lengthy sadness. It’s a real illness, a type of mood disorder, and is quite common. Feeling down once in a while is a part of our life. However, depression affects the entire body, including appetite, sleep. It changes your feelings, the way of thinking, and your relation to everyday life, and the relation to life itself.

Being unhappy is not the same state as having depression. Sadness or grief is a natural feeling in some situations, like losing a loved one or your wealth or job. Sadness and depression have some common characteristics. However, they are also some significant differences in the symptoms. It may well be worth mentioning that, if one’s misery is not getting solace for a prolonged time, it may grow into depression.

How depression affects people

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) can quickly get in the way of one’s daily activities and rational functions. A cheerful person can turn into one who hates themselves, having no self-confidence, trying to isolate oneself from the world, and just not caring about living anymore. If the disorder is not getting addressed in due time, it also can lead to emotional and physical problems.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can strike at any time, but on average, it first emerges during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to encounter with depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. [1]

Many of them also have symptoms of anxiety. Before depression was universally accepted as an illness, sufferers were merely regarded as lazy in the early 70s and before. Fortunately, the science of psychiatry had enlightened since, and by today, we have many resources to combat this disabling condition.

What causes depression

To simply put: depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. But that sentence doesn’t describe how complex the disease is. Ongoing research in the disorder suggests that major depressive disorder doesn’t emerge from simply having too much or too little of certain chemicals in the brain. Rather, there are many possible causes of illness, including a fault in mood regulation by the brain, genetic heredity, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems. It’s believed that several of these forces interact to bring on the disorder. [2]

Depression is not being stressful or experiencing difficulties. It is a disorder with clear signs and symptoms that can persist for months or even years without recognizing or treating the condition. People tend to overlook the symptoms of this condition; even it’s right before their eyes.

Here are the common symptoms of depression:

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Endless pessimism
  • Feeling sorry for one’s self.
  • Feels like they have nothing to look forward to in their life
  • Negative about everything
  • Guilt-driven, loss of self-worth
  • Helplessness
  • Feels like doesn’t deserve happiness
  • Lack of interest which concerns the outside world
  • Loss of interest in taking pleasure
  • Abandoning hobbies as well as the other things that one used to enjoy
  • Fatigue, always tired
  • Lost whatever interest have in life that they had before
  • Lacking physical energy
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Bad memory
  • Indecisive
  • Unable to remember events that happened or what other people said
  • Lacking sleep
  • Sleeping much
  • Not caring about anything or anyone.
  • Decreased sexual interest
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overeating
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Talking about death, about wanting to die
  • Being restless and irritable
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Digestive disorders
  • Body pains

Symptoms must have been present at least two weeks for a diagnosis. Sometimes, the physical symptoms appear first, and because of that, our general practitioner may not recognize the underlying depressive disorder in time.
Talk with a Professional
Depressed people should start taking charge of their lives and beat this illness, as it is among the most treatable mental disorders.

Depressed people can be treated through talk therapy and medication. Cognitive-behavioral talk or interpersonal talk are just some of the available treatments given by psychiatrists — both able to produce positive results.

Doctors classify severe depression as a life-threatening condition because, without immediate treatment, the patient may either turn their despair against oneself or endanger their environment. If a patient is at risk of committing suicide or not self-sufficient or severely neglecting themself, it is worth considering hospitalization.

Self-help and coping:

Ensure enough sleep, but not too much, exercise, socialize, and eat healthy foods.

Exercise is a depression buster because your brain produces endorphins. Probably, you’ve heard that people call it the “happy hormone.”

Everyday activities, such as exercise, walk, and particularly team sports, or engaging in any activity that you would love to pursue, can considerably lift your spirit and mood.

Depressed people need lots of sunshine. Go out of your room and out of your house to the sunlight. Take regular walks or use a bicycle instead of driving your car. If you are lucky enough to live close to the sea, go down to the beach.

Studies have determined that people who own pets, including cats or dogs, live a happier and healthier life. The reason is pets provide companionship and unconditional love.

A hobby can beat depression.

Do the things you love. Find a hobby you can enjoy, divert your thoughts from your trouble, and keep you occupied mentally and physically. You’ll be more likely to overcome your depression if you are too busy to take notice of it. Live a life full of activities and inspiration.

Change your lifestyle

Connect with folks or find community activity that offers you personal enjoyment. Your friends and family are there to give you support. Therefore, spending time and engaging in activities with them could give you a very satisfying feeling. Nothing feels better than having group support.

Avoid alcohol. Many people rich out for alcohol to help them forget their troubles. Alcohol is just aggravating depression.

Take a break from your stressful workload and spend the weekend with just having fun with people you love.

Examine the cause of your mental state and try to remove it from your life. Whatever the reason for your depression, run and don’t look back, whether it is a job, school, or a relationship.

Related: Seasonal Depression

Trusted Sources:

  1. American Psychiatric Association.
  2. Harvard University.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only.  Anyone who may experience the symptoms of depression should consult a physician for a proper diagnosis.