Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the US. It affects over 14 million people each year, and it’s important to understand depression so you can take care of yourself or help others struggling with this mental illness. People experience depression differently, but some things work for many people, like exercise, socializing more, better sleep hygiene, and eating foods that can help stabilize people’s moods.
In the past, many people developed depression but were never able to get treatment for it. This is because of the stigma that surrounds mental health problems. There are even some people who do not believe that depression is a real health problem.
At present, society has become more supportive of people suffering from mental health problems like depression. It has also become easier to deal with this mental health problem than ever before. For example, using cognitive behavior therapy has helped many people with depression deal with its symptoms and help them get back on track with their lives.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mental health problem that has been known to be the cause of much suffering in people. Individuals who have depression often feel sad and hopeless most of the time, making it difficult for them to deal with their problems. Below are the symptoms of depression:
Not having enough energy to function properly every day
People who have depression hardly have the energy to function and do their daily tasks. They often feel exhausted and drained, making it difficult to perform even simple activities such as getting out of bed or showering.
Having no interest in things that used to be interesting
People who suffer from depression usually lose interest in doing things they once enjoyed, like watching TV, reading books, and even hanging out with friends.
Overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and guilt
Individuals experiencing depression feel that they have no control over their lives which makes taking the necessary steps towards positive change seem impossible. They often experience feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and even despair which can make them lose hope for a better future.
Harboring thoughts of self-harm
People who have depression are more likely to contemplate or commit suicide. This is because depression can be so overwhelming that it is too difficult to deal with. People who are depressed might not feel like they have the strength or support to cope and would rather pass away than continue living with their depression which makes them believe that death is better than life itself.
What Causes Depression?
There are a lot of things that can contribute to depression, such as:
Genetics plays a big role in depression. In fact, depression can run through families, and if one of your parents suffered from depression or another mental illness, you are more likely to develop depression as well.
Altered brain chemistry is also linked to depression, and it can cause changes in moods that interfere with the normal processing of emotions.
Stressful life events such as the death of a loved one, depression in others, or financial problems can trigger depression. In fact, depression can also be caused by medical conditions and certain medications. Hence, it is important to consult your doctor if you think that something might be wrong with your health before anything else.
Using drugs and alcohol excessively can also contribute to depression as they affect the chemicals in our brain, which causes depression. People who consume too much of these substances are more likely to feel depressed because of the chemical changes that happen in their brains.
Depression also comes with other mental health problems, such as anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. It means they often happen together, making it harder for people who experience both depression and other mental health problems to cope with life.
How to Help People with Depression
To help people with depression, it is important to be patient with them. People who are depressed have a hard time doing things that they used to do easily because depression has made their lives difficult and exhausting.
It is also important for people with depression not to lose hope in themselves or others around them, even if it feels like depression will never end. Acknowledging that depression is a mental illness and that it will take time to recover can help people with depression in their recovery process.
Dealing with Depression Properly
As long as depression is addressed as soon as possible, people have better chances of recovering. Therefore, depression should not be ignored, and depression should always be treated as a serious illness.