Even You may be Depressed
It is impossible to escape life’s ups and downs. Feeling unhappy or sad in response to disappointment, or loss, or frustration, or a medical condition is normal, but when sadness takes hold and won’t go away, it may well be depression. Depression is a psychological condition that affects one’s feelings, behavior and thoughts.
Signs and Symptoms
i. One feels ‘sad’ or ‘empty’ a lot of times. This feeling may come and go, but usually lasts for at least two weeks.
ii. Loss of interest in daily activities like hobbies, study, and social activities
iii. Appetite or weight changes; either one eats more or less. Consequently, there may be weight gain or loss.
iv. Sleep changes: insomnia or hypersomnia
v. Self-loathing: strong feeling of worthlessness or guilt, harsh criticisms of perceived faults and mistakes.
vi. Feeling of real irritation, anger, easy loss of temper.
vii. Difficulty to concentrate and make decisions.
i. Genetics: if one’s family members have had a depressive illness, one may have similar genes and therefore a greater likelihood to get depressed.
ii. Loneliness and lack of social support either from family, friends, or colleagues makes coping with stress more difficult
iii. Recent stressful or traumatic life experiences—anything that causes changes can be a stressful life experience whether it be good or bad eg. A wedding, childbirth, job promotion, loss of a dear one
iv. Alcohol and drugs especially during withdrawal
v. Financial strain and unemployment
vi. Health problems or chronic pain
vii. Many others
How to get Help
i. Ask for help and support: having a strong support system in place will speed your recovery. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to others even when you feel like being alone. Let your family and friends know what you are going through and how they could support you.
ii. Make healthy lifestyle changes: take a look at your lifestyle and see what changes are necessary to support recovery. Some self-help strategies include cultivating supportive relationships, regular exercise, adequate sleep, healthy mood-boosting diets, stress management and relaxation techniques, challenging negative thought patterns.
iii. Seek professional help: if positive lifestyle changes and support from family and friends aren’t enough, seek help from a mental health professional to create a person-specific treatment pattern.