Every person goes through ups and downs of his mood. A persistently low mood and the lack of interest in activities are major signs for paying the attention to the mental health. All people go through periods of sorrow and despondency in their lives, but not all of them can cope with them. Depression is a common mental disorder that causes disturbances in emotions, thoughts, appetite, sleep and behavior. Therefore, a depressive disorder can affect an individual of any age, ability, gender or social class.
Depression varies from person to person, but some symptoms are common. The common symptoms are the loss of interest in life activities, problems with the concentration, loss of appetite, energy and weight, disturbed sleep or insomnia, unexplained pains and fatigue. Anger or irritability, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, reckless behavior, unexpected crying jags, feelings of worthlessness, and self-loathing are also frequent signs of depression. A sleep deprivation reinforces sadness, irritability and fatigue. Physical symptoms, such as often headaches, chest pains and palpitations, are developed, in addition to common symptoms of depression. Some people with severe depression have hallucinations and delusions.
However, depression is caused by different psychological, biological and social factors. Socially and economically disadvantaged people are the main categories affected by depression. Such social needs as marriage and friendship are vital for people. Loneliness, marital or relationship problems, lack of social support makes people depressed. Such risk factors of depression as financial problems and unemployment are obliged to the economic instability, frequent financial crises, political disorder, terrorist attacks, etc. Poverty is often associated with this mental illness, due to a constant struggle of poor people to survive in difficult life conditions.
Depression may also be triggered by certain lifestyle choices, namely the alcohol or drug abuse. In addition, an early childhood trauma may cause a mental disorder. Depression is a response to different health problems (for example, HIV and AIDS) or chronic pains, recent stressful life experience. At last, a depressed condition may be defined as an inherited genetically mental disorder.
As a matter of fact, children and teenagers develop depression frequently. It may be caused by the loss of parents or lone parent family, unemployment of a parent, family with low income and parents, who have no educational qualifications. Another reason of the depressive disorder is hormonal changes during puberty. Some scientists suggest that culture and ethnicity have their influence on young people`s depression. The social position at school has also a substantial impact on the child`s mental health and behavior.
Women suffer from depression more often than men. The menopause and after childbirth (postnatal depression) are common periods for women to be depressed. Women, who feel a lack of love and close relationships, are more vulnerable to depression. Depressed people may feel empty, frustrated, lifeless and apathetic, or men particularly may even feel aggressive, angry and restless. That`s why such people are at a high risk of suicide. Suicide may be evaluated by a depressed person as the only way to escape the hopelessness, despair and pain.
Depression is not only a mental disorder, it is a treatable illness. It can be treated with medication, combined with psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral and coping techniques. Facing such mental problem as depression, it is essential for a person to admit this problem in order to start the recovery and cope with it. Effective life changes can have a considerable impact on depression. Providing health lifestyle, eating nourishing food, getting regular sleep and sport, practicing relaxation techniques, a person gains both physical and mental health.
Nutrition is very important because well-balanced meals keep an individual full of energy and minimize his or her mood swings. A lot of people lack skills needed to balance emotions and manage stress. Building such skills gives a person the ability to go through a stressful situation “uninjured”, recover from loss or trauma, bounce back from aggression and adversity. Challenging and avoiding negative thoughts and emotion leads to a successful recovery.
A person should realize that the development of supportive relations catalyzes the process of recovery. Love, care and support of surrounding people help a depressed person to feel the strength for struggle with the disorder. Isolation and loneliness just fuel depression. Strong social networks, regular contacts with friends and relatives reduce isolation. The key to soon recovery is not to reject a proposed help.
The effective treatment of this mental illness often includes the help of a mental health professional. A professional treats an individual, using different measures of therapy and medication. However, depression is not just about a chemical disproportion in the brain. As a fact, antidepressant medication may help relieve some of the symptoms of a severe condition, but it does not cure the main problem, and it is usually a short-term solution. The talk therapy is an effective treatment for depression, when a person is able to share some sensitive information with a professional. As a rule, during the therapy, a doctor teaches a patient how to reframe negative thinking, combat depression and prevent it in the future. A therapist also helps a person to increase social activities and disposes him on more positive ways to handle different life’s challenges and problems.
Thus, the combination of all the abovementioned treatment options cures a depressive disorder. Understanding depression is the first step to overcome it. A person should program himself or herself on recovery, staying in a constant social contact, taking on responsibilities and, at the same time, having a valuable rest to rehabilitate human functions. One should enjoy the life entirely, having fun, being involved in different activities, doing something new. Setting the life goals and values helps people not to lose a life sense and interest. Positive thinking, smiling, stress managing, healthy and active lifestyle prevent depression in the future.
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