Depression: When To Seek Help, Symptoms & Treatment

Just because you are sad for a moment doesn’t mean you are depressed. Depression is a state of mind – that lasts long. It could be defined by various reasons that interfere with an individual’s emotional well-being, making him or her sad (depressed) to the extent that leading a healthy life becomes impossible. Depression is indeed a mental disorder that needs medical intervention. 

Symptoms associated with depression 

You will be experiencing one or all the symptoms together persistently when you are in a depressed state of mind:

  • Emotional turmoil- Crying incessantly, extreme sadness, feeling hopeless, lack of self-esteem, constant negative thinking
  • Confusion, anxiety, restlessness, irritation, and anger 
  • Self-isolation – withdrawal from any social activity, friends, and family 
  • Lack of interest towards anything in life 
  • Loss of appetite or obsessive eating 
  • Excessive sleeping or no sleep at all 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Suicidal thoughts 

What causes depression?

Some reasons and circumstances that lead to the development of mental changes in human beings are:

  • Extreme emotional grief from the loss of a loved one 
  • Trouble in personal life – relationship issues with a spouse or any other family members, domestic violence 
  • Job loss or loss in business – inability to take care of self and family for a long time 
  • Drug abuse 
  • History of mental disorder 
  • Side effects of certain medications 

Many women experience a temporary phase of depression during

  • the onset of pregnancy -prenatal depression
  • after childbirth – postpartum depression
  • premenstrual dysphoric disorder – a severe form of PMS.

Risk factors for depression

It has been found out that women get affected by clinical depression more than men. The most significant risk of depression remains untreated is committing suicide or even harming others. 

It’s important to know that children, teens, and young adults can also suffer from depression. Physical abuse, bullying in school, fights among friends, abuse from teachers, parental and peer pressure, excessive academic burden, etc. are some situations that might lead your child into depression. So, do carefully observe their behavioral changes, emotions, and physical activities.

Medical Diagnosis of depression

Your psychotherapist will begin the diagnosis by understanding your situation first. He or she will ask you questions about the circumstances that you are going through and the symptoms that you are experiencing and then let you know the type of depression that you are suffering. 

It could be a major depressive disorder where emotional symptoms last for two weeks or more. When depression persists for a longer duration like two years or more, then it would be categorized as persistent depressive disorder or chronic depression. 

Another form of depression is a bipolar disorder characterized by maniac behavior – high and low phases of depressive mood. 

Treatment of depression

After a thorough medical diagnosis, your therapist would develop a holistic support system that would help improve the symptoms and help you recover gradually. 

Medications: Doctors will prescribe antidepressant drugs as per your requirement. It’s essential to make yourself aware of their side effects and the precautions needed while taking antidepressants. 

Therapy: Your therapist will conduct one on one session to help you get out of depression. Some techniques implied during these “talk sessions” could be cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapy, and interpersonal therapy. 

Self Care: Despite the treatment advised by your doctor, you need to help yourself the most. Follow your doctor’s advice, make a routine for yourself, perform self-analysis, focus on your diet, and sleep and indulge in activities that make you happy. 

To end on a positive note, many people who have suffered from clinical depression have been cured and are now leading a normal life. So, do not keep the darkness locked inside you, talk to your loved ones about your feelings, seek therapy, and look forward to bring back the positivity in your life.