Health Guides

Depression: A Mental Disorder

Depressed and feeling lost? 

Depression is a common illness globally. The WHO states that it is a leading cause of disability and can also lead to suicide. Around 280 million people suffer from depression. Being depressed is not an unusual thing to happen. It has different intensities ranging from mild to severe and could lead to serious health conditions. So there are precautions needed to avoid the worst-case scenario. Let us talk about how depression happens. 

What happened? Symptoms and categories of depression

Before jumping to conclusions, we should look for the facts first. Keeping in mind that depression is not just an ordinary mood swing. It does not happen for no apparent reason. Mental and emotional trauma can cause depression and is most likely the main reason for such illness. 

How would you know if you are depressed? What are the symptoms and patterns? Depressed people commonly show the following signs:

  • Feeling sad, empty, and irritated
  • Sudden loss of interest in activities
  • Poor concentration
  • Excessive guilt and suicidal thoughts
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Changes in appetite and feeling tired
  • Low self-worth and hopelessness about the future
  • Physical symptoms like pain, fatigue, and weakness, but not caused by an existing health condition. 

People having depression undergoes different categories of depressive episodes known as mild, moderate, and severe. Studies also proved that they experience significant difficulties in their personal, social, educational, professional, and other functions. 

What to do? Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment

It is hard to heal a broken heart. However, a broken mind, body, and personality are on another different level. Before anything else, depression can happen to anyone. That is why precautions are set to prevent it. Biological, social, psychological, and other factors and people who have experienced adverse life events are very vulnerable to depression.

 Here are some ways to prevent it:

  • School-based programs to enhance the children and adolescents’ pattern of positive coping with their problems. 
  • Interventions for parents of children with high risks of depression. 
  • Exercise programs for the elderly can also be effective prevention.

But sometimes, not everything will go according to your plan. There is no perfect prevention against depression. Some people will suffer despite the efforts to avoid it. It depends on the severity of the illness, diagnosis, and treatments offered by healthcare providers. 

For severe cases of depression, doctors prescribe antidepressant medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). For example, bipolar disorder, a severe category of depressive episode, uses different kinds of medications.

But these are not the first line of treatment for adolescents suffering mild symptoms of depression. And regardless of its severity, antidepressant medications are not recommended for children. 

Mild to moderate depression can be easier to handle. It is a known solution that anyone who suffers from depression must not be left alone. Remember, there is always a way to find happiness inside. Just try to look for it, and you will find it. Try these to help you recover:

  • Meet yourself where you are – accept who you are and try to love yourself. Remember that depression is common, and you are not the only one experiencing it. 
  • Let yourself feel the emotion, but do it constructively –suppressing emotions is very unhealthy, but sometimes it can help. If you are feeling down, it is okay to be sad. But never stay down. Use it as motivation to climb up!
  • Spend time with loved ones – you may be lonely, but you are not alone. Some people care for you, and that goes both ways. Depression will tempt you to isolate yourself. Hence, you can always resist it!
  • Take care of yourself – it is not just your mind, but also your body. Sleep well, eat right, and be alright. Do some exercise to boost endorphins. 
  • Seek professional help – if things get a little too hard to handle, meeting a therapist is an option. A little talk with someone who knows what you are dealing with will help a lot. 
  • Set a goal – find something to look forward. It will inspire you to keep on moving. 
  • Remain positive – depression is a treatable illness, do not dwell on it. There is no reason to suffer and wait for the worst. Be strong and hope for the best. 
  • Take on responsibilities – feeling depressed and tired? Stay focused and be responsible. It can give you a sense of accomplishment that will help you counter depression. 
  • Try to have fun – enjoy the little things. If nothing seems to be fun anymore, it is depression taking place. Fight it!

Living a long, happy life is worth it. People should look at it that way. Unexpected problems happen, and we have to deal with them whenever they hit us. Do not let them pull you down. 

What is WHO’s response to depression?

Depression is one of the priority conditions covered by the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP). World Health Organization (WHO) aims to help countries continue to increase their mental and neurological services.

Their Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030 shows the requirements to support people under these mental conditions, including depression. Depression may be a common illness, but even great experts in medicine are taking it seriously.

Janine Flores

My name is Janine Flores, hailing from the North Star State of Minnesota, and I’m the strong woman behind Get Fit Life!

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