- Aging & Longevity
How to get rid of depression and stress
Understanding the basics of depression and anxiety
Depression is not just an emotion, of feeling sad or upset over something. It is an ongoing process of repeated sorrowful emotions and negative outlook of the surroundings. The prolong effect of being sad or negative, which are the symptoms of depression can be lethal. Today, we all are under some or other effects of depression. Depression is not necessarily treated all the time, unless it reaches a stage where a person has lost the ability to think positively and cope with the happenings of the surroundings in a well civilized manner. Sometimes, the symptoms of depression are so difficult to identify, that the sufferer not even know the onset of depression. Actually, today’s fast lifestyle and ignorance of the basics of happy life has made us all the victim of depression, more or less. The age factor is also responsible in case of depression. With age, we can understand the factors responsible for various diseases. But, the depression among teenagers is something which tells us to look into the whole paradigm of depression with a different view. Over anxiety for better performance in academics and life, has lead to alarmingly increasing rate of depression cases in teenagers. Here, the word is an associate of anxiety. Both the syndromes are sometimes so overlapping, that it becomes much difficult to distinguish between the two problems. It is also possible that one person can be suffering from both depression and anxiety. Before, starting about depression, it is now important to tell the basics of anxiety. Anxiety makes a person sometimes crazy to know the upcoming events, it gives worried thoughts of wrong things only. A person suffering from anxiety also have a feeling of running away from the society, to live in a lonely place due to fear of anything that the sufferer takes as risk. As you read this article, you will see the presence of a fine line which differentiates between anxiety and depression.
The World Health Organization defines depression as-“Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst depression can lead to suicide, a tragic fatality associated with the loss of about 850,000 lives each year.”
The above definition explains, what I said in the beginning about the depression. It is a very common but life threatening disease, if not taken care of properly. The progressive nature of the depression leads to the deadly effect of the initially normal disease. There are different types of depression; some are common and some major which needs advance care and treatment.
Types of Depression and Symptoms
Types of depression:-
(a) Major depressive disorder
(b) Manic depression (bipolar disorder)
(c) Dysthymic depression
(d) Situational depression
(e) Psychotic depression
(f) Endogenous depression
The first three types of depression falls in major category (common) of depression and the last three falls in some not common or rare types of depression. Now, the explanation of each of the above types of depression will tell you the difference and the symptoms and the effects of the depression.
(a) Major depressive disorder- Major depression is sometimes called major depressive disorder and one of the common types of depression. It is often called clinical depression, unipolar depression or just depression. Its treatment is sometimes difficult since the symptoms are both physical and mental. A person suffering from major depressive disorder is upset both mentally and physically which makes it difficult to identify. It is called clinical depression because of the long extended period of low mood and sad feeling which seems to be never ending. A doctor cannot simply prescribe medication in this case. There is no set medication in this type of depression. However, a doctor assesses and prescribes medicines based on the patient’s experience with the disease.
Identifying the major depressive disorder is a process which may take few weeks. The doctors and the psychiatrist have a guideline, based on which they distinguish the major depressive disorder with other types of depression. Major depressive episodes, is the one which defines the symptoms of this kind of depression. Major depressive episode is a continuous low mood or negative behavior extended to suicidal feelings and attempts that can last for two weeks or more. These episodes are disguised with a flash of happy mood and positive nature of the patient. Therefore, it becomes even more difficult to your normal doctor or physician to identify the root cause. You can take the service of a recognized psychiatrist, if you suffer from these episodes. The symptoms interfere with all spheres of life from office to home and from your grocery shop to your garden.
Sub types of Major Depressive Disorder
- Atypical depression
- Post partum depression
- Catatonic depression
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Melancholic depression
All the sub types have different symptoms and different treatment
- Atypical depression- This depression in a person makes the patient to believe inferior to others and the patient feels of social rejection. It is accompanied by weight gain and longer hours of sleep, with early tiredness. The patient feels rejected and prefers to be alone.
- Post partum depression- This kind of depression is often seen in women post or during pregnancy. It is also called antenatal and postnatal depression. The cause of this kind of depression is attributed to combined factors. Post pregnancy, some women feel ‘baby blues’ which is most common around 80% of women due to hormonal changes. Almost 10% of women suffer with this depression during pregnancy. The depression of this kind can lead to damaged relations of the mother with her partner, her baby and with other family members.
- Catatonic depression- This one is one of the extreme kind of depression which leaves the patients with no control over his body and the movements. Sometimes, the patient is unable to speak properly.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)- As the name itself suggests, this kind of disorder or depression is seasonal. The symptom of this disorder is almost same as the major depressive disorder. However, the reason behind this is still unknown. It is thought that change in the variation of light causes this disorder. It affects in certain seasons and sometimes takes years to identify the pattern to understand. It usually ends with the end of the season. People, suffering from seasonal affective disorder are identified with lack of energy, sleeping too much, gaining weight and crave for carbohydrates. Doctors suggest regular exercise especially in the sunlight and outdoor activities to combat seasonal affective disorder. It can be treated with mingling with the affected person in the individual's desired nature. It may get worse, if not taken proper care as it may advance to other higher level of depression.
- Melancholic depression- It is one of the most common depression, if taken its symptoms. The person suffering with this can be identified with loss of energy, loss of positive attitude, loss of weight, or loss of pleasure in almost everything.
(b) Manic depression or bipolar depression- Manic depression is also known as bipolar depression. It is called bipolar due the manic nature of the patient combined with episodes of depression. The patient suffering with this can be energetic, vocal and happy. But the manic episodes can give way to depressive episodes of shorter duration. It is also possible, that the sufferer may not experience the excessive symptoms of depression; therefore it is a depression in disguise of happiness. Bipolar disorder can be linked to family issues also. Sudden onset of conflict can set back the member into this type of depression and again after some time, the person returns to the normal state. This is the reason, why manic depression or bipolar depression goes undiagnosed sometimes or completely ignored.
(c) Dysthymic disorder- It is a less severe, low grade depression than major depressive disorder. It is closely as good as bipolar disorder, where a person fails to identify the symptoms. In this case also the person fails to identify the symptoms and take the symptoms as part of their personality and attitude. The symptoms of low mood, negative feeling and a feeling of inferiority, if last for two years or more is identified with dysthymic disorder. Some people can also experience the symptoms of major depressive disorder known as double depression.
(d) Situational disorder- Now this one can be said a part of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This kind of depression can be experienced in certain situations like going to a party or stage. Sometimes the sufferer experiences it at home also, when some guest comes at home or relatively more people in the home.
(e) Psychotic disorder- Psychotic disorder is identified with low mood accompanied with hallucinations. The person may feel the presence of things which are not actually present. The sufferer gets paranoid and feels all are going to do bad to him. Further, starts blaming own personality of all the bad things happening around.
(f) Endogenous depression- It comes with the normal day to day stress and worry sessions. Most of the factors of endogenous depression are internal.
General things about depression
Some of the common factors leading to depression:-
- Loneliness- It is one of the factors which push a person into depression. Loneliness gives a thought of inferiority combined with other negative feelings
- Lack of social support- Lack of social support lowers the confidence level of the person and degrades the mental fitness.
- Stressful life experience- Stressful life experience that comes with over working hours, staring longer hours on computer screen without any recreational activities leads to depression.
- Alcohol- Alcohol and drug addiction also causes the person to suffer from depression. This addiction alienates the sufferer from the rest of the society.
- Health problems- It is definitely one of the main causes of depression and has a large percentage of people falling in depression due to poor nutrition and health issues with chronic disease.
- Financial Strain- Financial strain can be worst, if not taken in a positive approach. The depression can be the most severe in this case and the sufferer can go to any extent.
- Family issues- Family issues cast a bearing on the social behavior and attitude of any person. Therefore, healthy family relations and environment is a must to be away from any kind of depression. Healthy family environment can even manage to treat depression
- Lifestyle- The abrupt changes in the lifestyle can sometimes be attributed to the symptoms of depression. Sometimes people cannot cope with the changes in their pattern of living and the changes in the surroundings.
The treatment of any kind of depression cannot be done through only medication. It requires the support of family, inclusion of society, professional help, building positive emotions, and desired changes in the lifestyle. Besides this, it is suggested to do regular exercises, making healthy relations with family members and society members, eating good that suits your body and according to the needs of your work profile.