What you need to know about Depression?

Depression is a term we hear day in and day out. We’ve very conveniently made it a synonym of “sadness” “I feel depressed for having spent on such a boring movie” “Dhoni retired man! I’m going to be depressed for a while”. What you need to know, and it’s imperative that you do is that depression does not equal to sadness. Sadness is only one symptom.Depression is a clinical disorder that interferes with your life in a way that you’re unable to do even those things that once brought you great pleasure. According to WHO depression is the major cause of disability globally. So what “exactly” is depression? There are various types, most common is Major depressive disorder. Clinicians define depression as, “a severely depressed mood that lasts 2 or more weeks and is accompanied by feelings of worthless and lack of pleasure, lethargy, and sleep and appetite disturbances without any reasonable cause” The average length of a depressive episode is 12 weeks according to Prof. Paul Bloom of Yale. Depression can also be fatal. We may have observed that more women seem to be depressed as compared to men. This is, in fact, true according to WHO. One of the reasons for this could be that women tend to ruminate over their sadness which then turns into major depression. Another fact that you may not know about depression is that it is genetic. Which means it can be passed on by your parents to you. Now you may wonder how? It so happens that the chances of you having depression are always present due to your genes and then an event occurs tipping the scale completely resulting in you becoming clinically depressed. “How do I know if I am depressed?” Excellent and a very important question. There are many symptoms of depression such as. 1. Depressed mood 2. Reduced interests /pleasure 3. Weight loss/gain 4. Inability to sleep or oversleeping 5. Increased acing or wringing hands, slowing of thoughts or movement. 6. Fatigue 7. Feeling of worthlessness or guilt 8. Lowered ability to think or concentrate 9. Recurrent thoughts of death or self-harm If a person has any 5 of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks they’re more likely to be depressed.However, it is always best to consult a professional. Warning: NEVER PRESCRIBE YOURSELF A DOSE OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS. IT COULD BE DANGEROUS. Treatment of depression includes various methods like psychotherapy, CBT, RECBT, art, movement, etc. and medication. A combination of these can also be used. Recovery is not magic. It is a long and continuous process that empowers you to be in control of your mind. In severe cases, professionals might recommend Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) to stimulate the neurons in the brain. It induces a small seizure in the brain. Contrary to popular beliefs it is a controlled and non-fatal procedure performed under the supervision of an expert. A healthy diet and regular exercise also feel relaxing and can aid in improving your condition. It can however not be used as an alternative to therapy. Releasing your emotions in a safe space and reflecting on them consciously with some guidance has proved to be one of the most effective treatments of depression. Let’s talk about medication. Are you going to be addicted to the tablets prescribed to you? No. Are you going to have to take them for a lifetime? Probably not. Do I have to continue taking them even if I don’t see results? No. Talk to the professional who prescribed them. Therapy is not one size fits all. What exactly are those tablets? More often than not they’ve controlled doses of serotonin. The amine in your brain that becomes deficient due to depression. Can I prescribe them for myself? NO! Professionals analyze your situation and prescribe a particular amount. Excess of which could also be troublesome. You would go take chemo on your own if you start showing superficial signs of cancer will you? Depression sounds like everyone has it figured out but have you really? Did you know depression has like any other mental illness physical manifestations? Though the belief is prevalent that mental illnesses are “invisible” they really aren’t. A person with depression sees a significant reduction in the size of the hippocampus and frontal lobe when scans are taken of their brain, according to Prof. Bloom.A WHO report has also shown the linkage of depression to cardiovascular diseases. A person having a cardiovascular disease might develop depression and vice versa is also true. Another really important thing that every person needs to know is, why is it important to know all these facts about depression? Depression is the most common mental illness and most of us are depressed at some point in our lives. Empowering yourself with information that can be used when you or a loved one is suffering is always a smart move. A little support, a small act of kindness, and proper guidance can go a long way. You may even save a life. Either yours or theirs. What to do when you see signs of depression? It is wise to seek professional help when you see the first signs of depression irrespective of the stigma around. Because in the end it’s you who has to permanently reside in your brain and the consequences of a messy home could be catastrophic! Hope this article helped you understand what depression is and why it is not something we can take casually like a common cold. Drop a comment about what you think and if you have any questions. If you think you or someone you care about might need professional help or just want to take an opinion you can always DM us at @maevetherapy or drop an email at maevetherapy@gmail.com

Happy to help!


By Natasha Ambre

Founder Maeve Therapy

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