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While it may be a common practice these days to refer to a negative feeling inside you as ‘being depressed,' the repercussions and the effects of a person who is suffering from depression are often ignored, sidelined or worse, they go unnoticed! It can affect the way you feel about yourself which, in turn, will make it very difficult and ‘depressing’ to get through your day-to-day chores.
It is time to take a step towards a journey that will lead you to a depression-free life.
The first and most obvious step is to understand depression and accept the fact that depression is a real illness.
What is Depression?
Depression or Major Depressive Disorder or clinical depression is a serious but prevalent medical illness that has adverse effects on the way you feel about yourself and others, the way you think, and how you act. There may have been a time when going to a particular place would make you happy from the inside, irrespective of what your mood or emotional state was. The very same place might fail to cheer you up when you feel depressed.
Depression doesn’t only change the way you feel about a person or a place; it has the potential to affect you physically and drastically reduce your ability to carry out the most basic functions – be it at home, school or at work. Sleeping, eating and working can become tasks that you will not enjoy let alone get through in the usual manner.
Types of Depressions:
Like every other medical condition out there, there are various kinds of depression that develop under unique and varied circumstances. The most common ones are – Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia), Perinatal Depression, Psychotic Depression, Seasonal affective disorder and Bipolar Disorder. It is fundamental to remember that the types are purely subjective to the person and may vary from person to person.
1. Persistent Depressive Disorder
2. Perinatal Depression
3. Psychotic Depression
4. Seasonal Affective Disorder
Psychological and Physiological Effects of Depression
It has been established that depression is a real problem and needs to be treated like one. We know that depression is a mental disorder. However, the side effects it has on the physique cannot be ignored. The physical symptoms may be the first ones to become evident when it comes to mental illness.
Physical effects of Depression
It is very common to exhibit physical symptoms when you are suffering from depression. Vague aches and pains are commonly exhibited symptoms. These include chronic pain in the joints, the limbs start to ache accompanied by back pain. Gastrointestinal problems and sleep deprivation, psychomotor activity changes, tiredness and fatigue, and gradual or even a sudden drop in appetite are not uncommon.
Psychological effects of Depression
Yes, depression ruins everything and it starts with your mood. This, in turn, is one of the biggest factors when it comes to getting a task done. Will you be able to make that perfect morning coffee if you are not in the ‘mood’ for it? The mood dictates most of our actions and reactions. When you are in the most agitated of moods, the likelihood of you enjoying it is very minimal.
A lot of people don’t seem to grasp the depth and intensity of the control depression has over their thought processes, emotions, feelings, and their general overall wellbeing. As mentioned earlier, people go to their primary care clinic with complaints of only physical symptoms takes us back to the point of the body and mind being more connected than we perceive it to be. Due to the effects depression has psychologically, the performance of day-to-day work, social interactions, and educational tasks seem overwhelming. It is usually clouded with the sense of emptiness, sadness, and the feeling of hopelessness.
The Science and Statistics of Depression
One of the common ways you experience depression is through a particular manner of thinking; of overthinking or sometimes thinking too little. In fact, one of the most described symptoms is the feeling of “over-analysis and worrying more than necessary” about everything and feel as if they were stuck in circles of negative thoughts.
The Science of Depression:
Depression has an array of misguided stigmas. As much as people are unaware of the details of depression, there are always those who constantly challenge and criticize the diagnosis of depression.
Some perceive depression to be just a prolonged bad mood or see a depressed person as someone who has a negative outlook on life in general. Science has broken down the types of depression and has proven to the cynics that it is much more than just a phase of bad moods or a factor of outlook and perception.
Statistics for Depression
India, China and the USA are some of the top countries that the World Health Organization classifies as “depressed countries of the world.” The trio also shares the top of the table when WHO compiled a list of countries largely affected by recorded cases of anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults in the US experiences some form of mental illness each year - out of which only 41% received mental health care in the year 2015. In the statistics recorded by WHO, it was shocking to learn that the 45% of the world’s population lives in a country where psychiatrist was available to serve a hundred thousand people at best.
Interesting statistics that can change your perception of how serious depression is.
● Some form of depression globally affects 350,000,000 people.
● At the age of 18, 11% of adolescents have a depressive disorder.
● According to a postpartum depression study of 2013, 14% of women were prone to depressive disorders within four to six weeks of giving birth.
● 16,000,000 is the number of adults in the US that have been victims of at least one form of depression, as per the study in 2012.
● Women are found 70% more likely to be prone to depression than men.
● The annual cost of $80,000,000,000 has been estimated as hours lost in the US due to low productivity and improper health care.
● 50% of Americans with major depression do not realize or seek assistance for their depression.
● Depression can affect anyone at any age, although it is most common between the ages 15 and 45.
11 Myths About Depression
The sooner we eradicate the myths behind depression, the sooner depression will be understood by the masses.
1. Depression is yet another fancy word for sadness
2. You have depression? You must be a mentally weak person!
3. You have not had a traumatic incident in your life. You can’t be depressed!
4. It is just depression; it is not a real illness
5. Oh, it is all in your head
6. Real men do not get depressed!
7. Talking about it only makes it worse
8. All you need is an anti-depressant!
9. You are now stuck with medications for life!
10. You will be perpetually unhappy if you are depressed!
11. Depression is a life sentence to misery!
How To Battle Your Worst Depression?
Understandably, when you or your loved ones go through depression, it becomes hard to muster that extra energy to look after yourself. Taking an active role in your improvement and taking steps to help you cope with depression goes a long way. Here are a few things you can try along with the advice of medical professionals.
● Practice caring for yourself
● Keep yourself active
● Connect with people