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Depression - What you should know and How you should act

Updated on March 13, 2016

Yesterday I received news of death of one of my friends. I was shocked. I had known him for a number of years. He was healthy, had a good job, had many friends and led a good social life. But to my surprise, his death was his own making. He had committed suicide and according to the doctors he was suffering from depression. Despite being associated with the fortunate stuff in his life and money at his disposal, none of his near and dear ones could identify his dreaded mental condition. Depression had taken its toll on my friend’s life.

What is Depression?

I’m pretty sure that it is not your first such encounter of this scary sickness. We have to acknowledge that depression in the form of a disease is not something new. In the current competitive world, even the medical fraternity is not showing surprise about it. This illness is usually associated with feelings of severe dejection, loss of self-confidence, melancholy and despondency.

Facts about Depression

As psychiatrists have studied many cases, some interesting statistics have been unearthed. The research is still continuing in this field as there is realization regarding its importance. Let us look us at some of them to gain a better understanding.

1. The gender bias

Incredible but true! Seems women folk are 70 % more likely to get affected by depression than men. The doctors have pointed out hormones as one of the causes. Females are likely to get depressed during and after pregnancy due to hormonal changes. The new age woman having bigger responsibilities at both work and family is bound to hit the depression threshold more intensely than males.

2. Responsiveness

In the current modern world everyone requires instant results. If the result is not seen, we think we are treading the wrong path! Unfortunately an estimated 50 % of people diagnosed with major depression don't get better with their initial treatment. Studies also suggest that women are more likely to speak about their condition to their doctors and seek timely help. However doctors feel that “treatment-resistant depression” has something to do with genes.

3. The game of genes

Psychiatrists believe that a major cause that amounts to about 50 % of depression is genetics. They suspect that it might be a combination of genes which results in this illness. If one has an immediate relative suffering from depression, that person carries a risk thrice greater than it is for someone without such a family history to suffer from this disease.

4. Hallucinations

About 20 % of people with major depression report symptoms of hallucinations. They seem to hear, see and experience things that are not real.

Depression kills

Even though there is no definitive cause identified yet for occurrence of such a mental illness that eats away one’s life, the fact remains that it is dangerous. If not treated and handled with utmost care, depression becomes fatal. The mental agony is such that the person affected would suffer within and make preparations of the deathbed. It might be late before others start noticing the ill effects and before they realize the person would have surrendered to death much like my friend.

How to deal with it?

So now that we know the seriousness of this illness let us look at some of the techniques that can be used in order to effectively deal with it.


  1. Become more social – Engage yourself in social activities. Mingle more with friends. Participate in organizations that help the needy and work towards betterment of underprivileged persons. Extend a helping hand to others. Consciously start feeling that however puny your role maybe you have a role to play in the world.
  2. Move your muscles – Chart out an exercise schedule. Go for a walk in the nearby park. Get fresh air, breathe deeply. Cultivate a feeling of being blessed with such a surrounding. If not possible to get even a small patch of greenery, pack your bags and visit the countryside for a day or two.
  3. Start a new hobby – Get involved in something which interests you and that you have been longing to do for a while. Engage consciously in activities that make you happy and give you a sense of satisfaction.
  4. Eat healthy & Think positive – Give importance to your food intake. Don’t skip breakfast and lunch. Eat fresh food and make vegetables and fruits part of your diet. Imbibe positive thoughts in yourself. Keep reading positive quotes and biographies of eminent persons.
  5. Get help from professionals – It is not wrong at all to get a professional help you in such a situation. Counseling would assist you in getting into the right track quickly and systematically.

Conclusion

Above all, don’t think you are alone in the journey. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon to get into a state of depression. Realize that almost every person in the world has gone through this phase. Seek a fresh life by exploring the opportunities that were dormant so far. Go out and live your life! Believe in yourself. Success awaits you.

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      ceeva 17 months ago

      Getting the appropriate medication at the right time is really necessary. It is quite disappointing that people are losing their lives because of lack of such treatments.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 17 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I, too, have suffered from depression for many years. Yes, it is difficult, and I don't that that "phase" is the proper word for it. One does not just grow out of depression. For me, it took going into the mental health unit and getting on medication, then undergoing intensive therapy to get my life back. Now, I have the knowledge to recognize when I am depressed, and the tools to deal with it. There are many who are not as fortunate. I have relatives who tried for years to get help for their daughter, but to no avail. She eventually took her own life. It is heartbreaking!

    • profile image
      Author

      ceeva 17 months ago

      I do agree with you. It's often tough to recognize & take appropriate action at the right time particularly when not having access to treatment. However as counselors, I guess, we should try infusing the positive aspects into the person's life who is go through a rough phase.

    • Michaela Osiecki profile image

      Michaela 17 months ago from USA

      It's one thing to have a bout of depression (a lot of people deal with that during the winter months) and its entirely different to have a clinical depression diagnosis. For some us, we've been living with depression for YEARS. Some of us have access to treatment, some do not. Some of us can pull ourselves out of a funk and carry on, some cannot.

      It's really hard to exercise, socialize, pick up a hobby, etc when you DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING ANYMORE. Because ultimately that's what depression does to you. You can't care. You can't feel. You just want to sleep all the time or stare at walls. Nothing is interesting. Everything feels pointless.

      It's mental purgatory and many of us have found that so unbearable we're willing to die to escape it. Really though, it's not so easy as to just think positive and you'll get better. That's like telling someone with asthma to 'just breathe and you'll be fine'.