2 weeks ago · Admin · 0 comments
Depression is a diagnosis given to someone who is experiencing a low mood and who finds it hard or impossible to have fun or enjoy their lives. Depression can make it tough to enjoy life, especially when feelings of despair and hopelessness always persist.
We don’t talk about it as much as we talk about other diseases, but you’ll be shocked to know that 300 million people worldwide are suffering from depression. Depression and bad mental health have been ignored as a serious issue since ages. But, do you know, depression can also lead to death if it gets worst?
The number of people with common mental disorders globally is going up, particularly in a country like ours, where mental illness is confused with ‘madness’ and considered a taboo topic. That is one reason why, cases of depression, anxiety and other serious mental disorders go largely unreported in a country like ours.
Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to global disability. It is also the major contributor to suicide deaths. A recent WHO report provides evidence about the same. India is the most depressed country in the world, leaving USA and China behind. Of course, you can’t actually ‘see’ depression and anxiety the way you might do a physical ailment on the body.
What is depression?
Depression is not the same as being sad or experiencing grief, although it can be triggered by specific events. Many people will talk about not knowing why they feel the way they do, or not having any idea how to feel better. They will have been feeling like this for a long time, to the extent that it is interfering with their everyday life and stopping them doing things they would do normally.
To describe what living with depression and anxiety is like to anyone who doesn’t understand or hasn’t experienced it before is to imagine a heavy weight pulling your body down, so heavy that every-day you have to summon up the strength to push against it and to lighten the impact.
A doctor will diagnose someone with depression by asking questions about whether they have certain thoughts and feelings, and how often.
A diagnosis is not a label. It is simply a tool to help professionals decide what types of treatment and support to offer. Diagnoses may also change over the course of someone’s lifetime.
How common is depression?
Depression is one of the most common mental health problems. It is hard to say how common, as people often talk about it differently and some will never receive an official diagnosis, but it is estimated around 3 in 100 people will be experiencing depression in any given week. 8 out of 100 people will be experiencing a mixture of anxiety and depression.
This will be many more of us over a course of a lifetime and the likelihood of you knowing someone who has or has had depression is very high.
How does depression affect people?
Someone who is experiencing depression will often describe feeling down, hopeless or empty. They can feel like they don’t have any motivation and that it’s impossible to enjoy anything anymore.
Everyone responds to depression in different ways. But some common behaviours that people with depression and their friends and family describe are:
- Cancelling plans with friends, or giving up hobbies they normally enjoy
- Staying in bed for long periods of time
- Changes in appetite
- Using drink or drugs more often
- Snapping at family and friends
- Avoiding or calling in sick to work, school or university.
There’s no easy cure for depression but support and therapy are one of the most effective cures for depression. Often confused with sadness and pessimism, it is easy to mistake this mental disorder for just a “low point” in life. People experiencing depression can undergo intense emotions of anxiety, hopelessness, negativity and helplessness. Loved ones, caring for someone with depression, should get alert if they notice signs of severe depression, such as alcohol or drug abuse, sleep disturbance, thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts.
When to see a doctor?
If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. Depression often gets worse if it isn’t treated. Untreated depression can lead to other mental and physical health problems or troubles in other areas of your life. Feelings of depression can also lead to suicide.
If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, or someone else you trust.
With treatment and support, most individuals with depression can fully recover.