- Mental Health
Several Tips on Depression
What is depression? It is described on Miriam Webster as: “A state of feeling sad; dejection.” Perhaps it is this over-simplification that causes the many misconceptions about depression nowadays. To get to the root of depression we must be able to fully comprehend the problem itself- what is depression? Depression is not to be confused with being or feeling depressed, we all have those days when we are down or feeling blue, or even long periods of time when we have consistently bad mood, but that is as far as it will go-a bad mood. Depression stretch far beyond that, being a psychological and physical disorder, rather than simply an emotion; it may even be considered a disease or illness.
About one out of every ten people of the US population are affected by this disease, and with more counting. So what exactly causes depression? As for the psychological side, it’s extremely complex to come up with a substantial system depicting the reason for this disease, since everyone is affected by events differently, though it is worth mentioning that chronic stress is one of the most common reasons. Many people suffer from depression from not one reason alone, but a bundle of reasons and experiences mixed together that they do not even realize at times; the traumatizing events may simply lurk in your subconscious causing you all this pain while you brain depicts it to be a more current and deserving reason, say unemployment. Many common psychological signs of depression are a lack of interest in things you would usually enjoy, sudden loss or gain in appetite, drastic weight changes, whether it be loss or gain, and recurring thoughts of suicide. Be aware though, even if you have those signs, it does not point directly and solely to depression, and you should inquire with a psychiatrist to be certain.
Physically speaking, depression has significant effects on the body and brain all together. Researches have shown that people who suffer from depression have:
- a smaller frontal lobe, and hippocampus volume. The abnormal transmission or depletion of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
- Abnormal sleep cycles, insomnia or hypersomnia.
- Deregulation of thyroid hormones.
Researcher have yet been unable to find a direct cause of depression, only to depict its cause as a complex reaction of one’s genetics and the environment. Since many of the symptoms of depression are intangible, it is very hard to spot someone who has depression. Those who usually appear fine in everyday life may secretly suffering from crippling depression.
Are you currently suffering from depression?
How do we get rid of depression? Therapy and medication do complement each other, though it is truly you who have to do the work. Depression is not easy to get rid of, it is recurring and some people may suffer from it for many years before seeking help. Although medications do help, they are simply numbing your senses towards depression rather than solving the problem itself. Therapy helps you figure out why exactly you have depression, but not exactly help cure it. Help do you cure depression? You can try by setting a stable environment for your life, which would bring feelings of security. Consistent exercising also helps since it gives off endorphins, a chemical that gives people a positive feeling, which is much needed when dealing with depression. Sleep deprivation contributes greatly to depression, which is why we must avoid doing so. Record your sleeping cycle and stick to it, losing a night or two of sleep may be alright, but a consistent low in sufficient rest can have staggering effects on the body and mind altogether. Most importantly of all, find a purpose. To be frank, the main reason religion is often recommended as a remedy for depression is because it gives people a sense of belonging, worthiness, and purpose. Religion, is not, however, the only method which one may find purpose in life. Get a hobby, even little things help, like finishing a challenging 1000 pieces puzzle. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish in the year, month, or week, and strive to finish them.
If you SUSPECT that you are suffering from depression, or is CURRENTLY struggling with it, please make a psychiatric appointment for an evaluation. Tips like the ones given here DO help, but it is best to get to the root of the problem by seeking help from a professional.
A crucial thing about depression is that YOU are the key to solving the problem. You must have a strong will and is determined to fight this illness, and trust me, it is not an easy battle. You may seek comfort or encouragements from you peers and loved ones, but in the end, you are the one who have to fight this tough war. Even psychotherapists have agreed that treatment does not go smoothly on those who are not determined to get rid of it. So again I say this: It is YOUR battle, YOU are the key to curing YOUR depression, and only YOU can truly get to the root of the problem, and help YOURSELF.