Wednesday, 20 March 2019

DEPRESSION: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Depression is a really broad topic, but I would try and cover the basics.
Everyone feels upset or unmotivated from time to time, but depression is more serious than that, it is more than just feeling sad. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness and loss of
interest in daily activities. It is quite unfortunate that depression is usually ignored or untreated, the condition often prevents people from taking steps to help themselves. This is quite unfortunate as effective help is available. In severe cases, depression can be life threatening, with suicide as a possible outcome.

Signs/Symptoms
Individuals who suffer depression may generally experience:
  •           Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  •          Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  •          Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  •          Feelings of fatigue or lack of energy
  •          Difficulty with concentration or memory
  •          A change in sleep pattern, with either too much or too little sleep.
  •          An increase or decrease in appetite, with a corresponding change in weight
  •          Feelings of worthlessness and self-blame or exaggerated feelings of guilt
  •          Unrealistic ideas and worries (e.g., believing no one like them or that they have a terminal          illness when there is no supporting proof)
  •          Thoughts of suicide
  •          Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  •          Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
But wait!!! Before you assume you suffer depression, you must be experiencing at least 5 or more of the following conditions according to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic Statistical Manual) during the same 2-week period

The DSM-5 outlines the following criterion to make a diagnosis of depression:
1.      Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
2.      Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
3.      Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
4.      A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
5.      Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
6.      Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
7.      Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
8.      Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
If these symptoms persist for a period of at least two weeks, it is considered a depressive episode.
To receive a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms must cause the individual clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The symptoms must also not be a result of substance abuse or another medical condition. Symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in day-to-day activities, such as work, school or social activities.
Clinical depression can affect people of any age, including children. However, clinical depression symptoms, even if severe, usually improve with psychological counseling, antidepressant medications or a combination of the two.
As there is no one cause for depression, also there is not one type of depression. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders lists nine distinct types, but here are 3:
·        Major Depression: as we discussed, is the most common type of depression. Often, people with major depression experience recurrent episodes throughout their lives.
·        Dysthymia: is a persistent low mood over a long period of time, even a year or more. It could be described as feeling like you’re living on autopilot
·        Postpartum Depression: occurs after giving birth. Mothers may feel disconnected from their new baby or fear that they will hurt their child.
TREATMENT
While there's no one size fits all, there's also no one treatment that fits all. Therapy with anyone from a guidance counselor to a certified therapist can work wonders, and many may prefer therapy over the medication route. Situational depression especially can be relieved by having a way to get everything off your chest and receive practical advice.

There is no shame in taking medication to manage your depression. People routinely take medication for physical ailments, and a mental illness isn’t any different. If you’re worried about the possible side effects, call your doctor to discuss them. Any medication can be tapered down or ceased, and there are different types available to suit your individual needs and chemistry.

Remember that recovery is a journey, not a destination. Bad days will still come, but with well-targeted treatment, you should be able to overcome extreme lows. While science has yet to find a cure for mental disorders such as depression, it is entirely possible to live a happy and fulfilling life in spite of it.

 So before you say "I'm depressed, or I feel depressed " Please think again!
Written by Sandra Anyahaebi 
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Follow me on Instagram @sandybrownx


Psychcentral.

Psycom.

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