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Understand And Overcome Depression
Most of us feel gloomy and sad one time or the other in our life. But don’t be depressed thinking that you have depression.
True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which these negative feelings interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer. According to World Health Organization, depression is a mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness and poor concentration.
Don’t think that depression is associated with sad conditions only. Major good events like marriage, new job, professional achievement or even any important responsibility can cause anxiety and depression.
There is no single cause for depression. It can be due to various triggers.
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Many central nervous system illnesses and injuries
- Certain medical conditions, including under-active thyroid, cancer
- Certain medications such as steroids, beta-blockers or reserpine
- Sleeping problems
- Stressful life events such as death of dear ones, conflict, relation problems, job stress, social isolation etc.
- Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- Delivery (postpartum depression)
- Restlessness or irritability
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
- Loss of self esteem
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Feelings of guilt
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- Thoughts of death or suicide and thoughts of harming yourself
- Psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions in severe cases.
Diagnosis is mainly based on clinical presentation. No specific blood test or scan is available to confirm depression. But at the same time some tests are used to rule out other medical conditions that may cause similar symptoms. That can be blood tests, CT, MRI or EEG.
In general, treatments for depression include:
Cases with mild depression need only one of these treatments. Severe depression usually need a combination of both treatments. Don’t expect a sudden cure from depression, but wait for a slow improvement.
If the patient has suicidal or self harming tendency, help of a trained and qualified councilor is needed.
Drugs used to treat depression are called antidepressants. Never take medicines with our consulting an expert Psychiatrist.
- Increased risk of associated health problems
Specialized treatment is needed only in advanced cases. Most cases can be successfully treated by a primary health care professional. Help of a councilor will improve the confidence of the patient.
Tips to prevent depression from ruling your life
Be confident: Low self-esteem will definitely put you down in every phase of your life. Be confident in your physical appearance and mental strength.
Find out what is the problem: In most cases what we hear people telling is’ I don’t know the reason, but am not feeling good’. Remember if you don’t have any problems, then you will never get worried. The fact is, you know what it is, but not ready to accept it. If you want to be happy, then take steps to solve your problem.
Connect with others: Involving in group activity is very important. If you find you are unhappy, don’t try to isolate yourself from others. Look forward for social connections that can uplift you.
Enjoy a hobby: Focusing on activities that keep you busy and entertained is very important. Engaging in something meaningful will make you energetic. It will help you dream about tomorrow.
Maintain a good sleeping habit: Let your body take rest and see how things will change with magical effect. Relaxing your mind and body is needed for a perfect healthy life.
Share your problem: Something you think difficult to solve will be simpler than anything else for another person. So don’t hesitate to share your problems with anyone you find caring for you. That can be a friend, partner, parents, teachers, siblings or relatives. But what if your problem itself is not having anybody to care you? Don’t worry. Contact a qualified and trained counselor.
Be positive: When you have all the freedom to think positive or negative about a situation, why not opting for positive thoughts? The situation is not what will change for you. The attitude that you have towards a situation should change. Accept the problem as it is and think positively to resolve it.
Success will not come in one day: Don’t think that you are useless in failures. It is just a part of game. Tomorrow is open for you to have your next trial. Learning from your past mistakes will help you make your success more colorful.
Don’t conclude before the beginning: Taking a negative conclusion before starting a task will never take you to success. This will lead you to depression and anxiety. Feel free to face life as it comes.
Study the situation: Don’t try to assume anything based on a particular situation. Wait and study what happened. Never think ‘I don’t deserve anything better’. Tell yourself that you are strong enough to handle the situation.
Leave your past and live today: Never allow mistakes that happened in the past to rule your present and the future. Learn from mistakes, take measures to correct it, leave it and be happy.
Regular exercise and yoga: Maintaining a healthy mind and body will not only help you beat depression, but increase inner peace and joy.
Be yourself: If you want to be confident, then you should stop worrying about what others will think about you. Realize nobody other than your family is too concerned about you. This itself will give you all the courage to face the life with confidence.
Be realistic: Don’t expect that miracles are about to happen in your life. Being in a dream world is more likely to take you to depression. Focus on realistic expectations and work hard for it.
Asha Das, M Sc MLT,