Every year approximately 9.5 per cent of the American population suffers from depression. Depression is a grave illness that affects day to day life and destroys families. It is a disorder that controls the mind and its functions causing loss of appetite, sleeplessness, mood swings, and a deep sense of despair.
The symptoms of depression are varied and the severity changes with time. And, according to experts depression can be an inherited disorder, or caused by life threatening illnesses, or stress. Other causes are certain diseases, medicines, drugs, alcohol, or mental illnesses. Women are seen to experience depression more than men and this is attributed to hormonal swings, menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, pre-menopause, and post-menopause.
Common symptoms are:
1. An unshakeable sadness, anxiety, or emptiness.
2. Overwhelming hopelessness accompanied by pessimistic feelings.
3. Extreme guilt, feelings of helplessness, and no sense of self worth.
4. Loss of energy, a slowing down of metabolism, and activity levels. Being plagued by constant fatigue.
5. A sense of helplessness along with an increasing inability to focus and indecisiveness.
6. Loss of sound sleep and development of extreme insomnia.
7. Inexplicable weight loss or weight gain. Triggered by loss of appetite or eating binges.
8. Brooding and suicidal inclinations.
9. Irritability, short temper, as well as restlessness.
10. Physical afflictions like headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain for no particular reason.
If you experience any of the above along with a marked change in behavior do consult your doctor. He will give you a thorough examination to rule out physical causes for depression as well as any underlying medical problems. Then if required he will recommend that you consult a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Take matters in hand and try and erase negativity from your mind. Cut out from you life terms like exhaustion, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Change your life by setting yourself a few goals. Try and relax, meditate, and enjoy music. Start new activities that absorb your time as well as interests. Go out and meet people and participate in group activities. Avoid the company of negative people. Make up your mind to enjoy a movie, ballgame, family outing, picnic, or trek. Be positive, self confident, and have faith in yourself. Faith is itself a great healer. Decide to change your world for the better. However do follow the doctor’s advice. Treatment can include: anti-depressant medicines, psychotherapy, as well as lifestyle changes. In extreme cases electroconvulsive therapy or light therapy are prescribed.
If your depression escalates or you are suicidal seek help from your family physician or health care provider. Do call a local health department, a community mental health center, or hospital or clinic. Someone will extend a helping hand and talk you through the crisis.
Can Depression Be A Sign Of Something More?
Have you taken more than one antidepressant but are still feeling depressed? Are you frustrated that your depression keeps coming back? You are not alone. Many people are first told that they have depression or anxiety when, in fact, they actually have a different medical condition. Of these people, one in two will first be told they have depression, one in four will be told they have anxiety.
Why Does Your Depression Keep Coming Back?
There are a number of reasons why symptoms of depression may persist despite taking medication. One of these reasons may be because patients don’t always remember to tell their doctors about all the symptoms they’re experiencing. For example, patients may talk to their doctors when they feel down or depressed and are looking for relief. They may not talk about the times when they’ve felt really good or energetic. In fact, patients often think about these times as their “good times” or “normal times.” This is important information that can help your doctor make a correct diagnosis and provide treatment that may help you feel better.
Help Your Doctor Help You
Getting a correct diagnosis is the first step to finding a treatment that is right for you. Bipolar depression is a form of depression that requires a different kind of treatment. If you have questions about bipolar depression, be sure to talk with your doctor. Several treatments, including some new medications, along with support from your doctor, can help people manage their symptoms over time.
What Is Bipolar Depression?
Bipolar depression is one part of bipolar disorder, a chronic-but treatable-illness. Sufferers usually have episodes of depression (“lows”) and episodes of increased energy, racing thoughts or anxiety (“highs”). Untreated bipolar depression can affect an individual’s ability to function at work, participate in social activities and maintain relationships. Getting an accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment can help patients with bipolar depression manage their symptoms and lead productive lives.