What is depression?
Depression comes from the Latin word de primere that means pressing down. I would say that depression is the opposite of aggression, because a depressed person avoids being connected, is withdrawn from his own feelings and the environment. Depression is not a weakness or a personality trait. Depression is a mental disorder, disruption of mental and physical functioning. The most asked question probably is what is depression? When we speak about mental disorders it’s very hard to give a precise definition. Depression is a condition that occurs for various reasons and it is very important to identify where it began. Usually, it is a matter of changes in brain chemistry and occurring changes in hormonal levels, often after grief, stress and/or significant life changes.
Depression is a common mood disorder that can occur in every one of us, regardless of age and gender. Unfortunately, the number of cases of depression increases, but fortunately, the ways of dealing with her and the awareness of its existence are increasing too.
It is nice to know that you are not alone if you are diagnosed with depression.
Signs and symptoms of Depression
There are a lot of signs and symptoms of depression. But it is important to know that one alone is not a sign of depression. Also, it is very important to know that there are different types of depression so, the following signs are the most common. In this article, I won’t write about the different types and it is very important to get an appointment with your physician, psychiatrist, and psychologist to be sure of the type and origin of your depression. Something I realized when in contact with people with depression is that they “disappear”. That means that sometimes it’s very hard to recognize it in your loved ones.
The most common signs and symptoms are:
(Every one of us sometimes feels depressed. It is important to remember that depressed mood it’s not a depression! Women usually feel depressed in PMS. I feel depressed on a rainy day etc. When in depression, the person almost always feels depressed, even on a sunny day, birthdays, celebrations, big happy life events etc.)
Lack of interest in activities
(While young, we tend to choose and found out what we love. We lose interest in activities, but we found new ones. When depressed, the person tends to “do nothing”. He doesn’t enjoy the morning coffee anymore, daily walks in the park, or with his pet, he doesn’t enjoy going out with friends, family dinner etc.)
Weight loss or weight gaining
(It is very common for depression to lose or gain weight. Food disorder is very common and a person can stop eat and lose his appetite or, vise versa, he can start to eat too much, maybe sugar, to somehow “Feed his empty soul”).
Slow motor movements
(Also mental. A depressed person is slow in speech, in movements, in thinking etc. And sometimes a person can be agitated).
Lack of energy/fatigue
(Insomnia or too much sleep is a common sign of depression. So a depressed person would feel a lack of energy and fatigue even after a good night sleep).
Low self-esteem/ feeling of guilt
(This is something a depressed one would feel and live. Low self-esteem doesn’t mean you have depression but in combination with 4 other criteria it is a big possibility).
Reduced concentration/ indecision/ can’t make decisions
(Suddenly, you don’t know what to eat, where to go, what to dress, what to do with your life. You don’t know or you don’t care).
(This is a red warning!)
To diagnose the major depressive disorder, a person must have at least 5 of these criteria.
What to do if you are depressed?
It is very important to consult with your doctor about treatments etc. I think that psychotherapy is a must, just to stay in contact with yourself and your feelings.
Here is some advice that can help you through depression:
- Do not isolate yourself, stay in contact with your loved ones, parents, friends, coworkers.
- Talk to someone about your condition. There is nothing to feel ashamed. This will not change your condition but it is good to talk with someone close to you about your feelings, treatment etc. Reaching out for help and support is the first step in treating depression.
- Do not rush with decisions. This is not a good time for that. You feel that you can’t decide now anything and that is OK! You have plenty of time, give yourself time to process.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep!!! 8 hours of sleep, no more, no less. Try to go early in bed at night and wake up in the morning to catch the sun.
- Eat well. Eat plenty of fruit and veggies. Don’t eat too much, but cook your favorite dishes and go to your favorite restaurants. A balanced diet is very important.
- Avoid alcohol! Alcohol will make you feel worse about yourself. If you take medications than it is dangerous.
- Exercise! Maybe you won’t have the energy to go to the gym, but you can go for a long walk in the park. It’s also good to find a friend for support.
- Take care of a pet. A dog will always be your best friend. If you don’t feel comfortable with your friends you can always go for a walk with your dog, cuddle with and take care off. A pet will bring happiness into your life.
Check out more articles from psychology:
- Stress Symptoms
- Natural Depression Treatments
- How to Help A Friend With Depression
- Help Your Child Deal With Exam Stress