Depression is a common mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.
Depression causes a loss of interest in activities that one once enjoyed. The illness can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems which in return decreases a person’s ability to perform as expected.
According to the World Health Organization, close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. Some of the suicidal causes arise from depression.
Common Causes of Depression include but not limited to;
- Medical conditions. Some medical conditions may put one at a higher risk. These include conditions such as insomnia, chronic pain, chronic illness.
- Childhood trauma. Some people find themselves stuck with some bad memories of their upbringing. Such continuous thoughts affect the way your body reacts to fear and stressful situations.
- Social Isolation. Having no friends or family near you especially when life serves you bitter herbs can cause depression.
- Grief and Loss. Loss of a loved one in most cases is accompanied by grieve. This, in turn, leads to sleepless nights, poor appetite and poor eating habits, and a loss of pleasure or interest in activities. When these symptoms get worse, it may turn into depression.
- Stress. According to medical researchers, high levels of the hormone cortisol, may affect the neurotransmitter serotonin and contribute to depression. These hormones are secreted during periods of stress. Some of the stress triggers include toxic working environments, divorce or broken relationships, chronic illness, too much responsibility, long working hours with no rest, social discrimination, loss of a job, emotional problems such as low self-esteem among others.
- Family history. It believed that some people inherit depression from their family lineage.
Signs and Symptoms
Depression has a range of different signs and symptoms and varies from person to person.
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal attempts.
- Difficulty in concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
- Feelings and thoughts of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.
- Loss of interest and pleasure.
- Increased fatigue and sleep problems.
- Loss of appetite and weight.
- Uncontrollable emotions.
Sometimes, symptoms that appear to be related to depression may be indicators of another condition. Do not be too quick to judge and draw a conclusion, neither should you be ignorant of the signs and symptoms associated with depression.
The goal of any treatment is to help you feel more like yourself again so that you are able to enjoy the things you used to and stay better. To do so means finding the right treatment to address and alleviate all of your symptoms.
If there is no underlying medical cause for your symptoms of depression, talk therapy can be an extremely effective treatment. What you learn in therapy gives you skills and insight to feel better and help prevent depression from coming back. Therapy helps you step back and see what might be contributing to your depression and how you can make changes. Do not suffer or die in silence.
Having a loved one who is struggling with depression can be heartbreaking and – at times – challenging. Being there for them especially in such difficult moments of their life is a plus treatment to them.
Although medication can relieve the symptoms of depression, it is not usually suitable for long-term use. There are quite a number of ways that can help treat depression from therapy to medication to healthy lifestyle changes.
Food for thought: Lifestyle changes are simple but powerful tools in the treatment of depression. Sometimes they might be all you need.