Spread the love

 

Depression is a struggle for a lot of people. It has negative effects to our professional and personal lives. Depression can be mild or severe, chronic or short lived, depending on what triggered it. It may be genetic or environmental.

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

Depression is a common and serious medical illness that is characterized by persistently depressed mood or lack of interest in activities, causing significant negative impact in daily life.   It negatively affects the way you think, feel and act.

DEPRESSION AND THE CAUSES

Depression can be triggered by loss, substance abuse, birth of a baby, change of season, underestimation of effort and committing to unrealistic deadline, performance improvement plan when a person is already “on the edge”, hostile environment, desire for recognition of efforts but constantly criticised or prejudiced. 

WHAT’RE THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

  • Decreased energy and chronic fatigue.
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions or recalling.
  • Pain, aches, cramps or gastrointestinal problems without any clear cause.
  • Changes in appetite or weight.
  • Difficulty sleeping, waking up early or oversleeping.
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies.
  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety or emptiness.
  • Feeling hopeless.
  • Anger, irritability or restlessness.
  • Feeling guilty or experiencing feelings of worthlessness or helplessness.
  • Thought of death or suicide.

TYPES OF DEPRESSION

There are different types of depressions which includes

  • Major or Clinical Depression which has two types, namely Atypical Depression and Melancholic Depression.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Substance Induced Mood Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder, and there’s Bipolar I and Bipolar II.
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Peripartum Depression
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • Situational Depression
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder

MAJOR OR CLINICAL DEPRESSION

ATYPICAL DEPRESSION

Symptoms of Atypical Depression include increased appetite, sleeping more than usual, heavy arms and legs, emotionally reactive and very anxious.  It is common amongst young adults.  Your mood can be temporarily improved by a positive event.  It can be treated by antidepressants.

MELANCHOLIC DEPRESSION

Symptoms include trouble sleeping, and tend to ruminate over guilt-ridden thoughts.  It is common amongst the seniors.

Major depression persists for two weeks or  longer.  Sometimes people with major depression do not respond to some antidepressants.  Treatment is done thorough counseling to identify the cause, and determine dosage and duration of the treatment.

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER

This major depression happens during winter months when you get less sunlight. It can be treated through light therapy and antidepressants.

SUBSTANCE INDUCED MOOD DISORDER

Substances that can lead to this type of depression include alcohol (excessive drinking of alcohol), sedating drugs, opioid painkillers which act on central nervous system.  Marijuana can also lead to depression, depending on the amount of drug used, age at first use, and genetic vulnerability.  Treatment includes counseling sessions with psychiatrist, and medication.  Treatment can continue over a longer period.

BIPOLAR

A person with bipolar disorder has moods episodes ranging from extremely high energy mood to low depressive depression. They can be mild or extreme, and is prevalent to teenagers and young adults with family history of mood disorder or psychiatric problems.

BIPOLAR I

Moods swings between extreme states of depression and intense mania. With mania a person might be abnormally happy, not sleeping, playing loud music, very talkative, have hallucinations, psychosis, delusions, and paranoid.  Irritability may be hostile.  Hospitalization and medication is required.

BIPOLAR II

In this case a person has depression but with a lesser form of elation called hypomania.

PSYCHOTIC DEPRESSIVE DISORDER

This is a severe depressive illness which includes hallucinations and delusions.  A person with this kind of depression may think that others are trying to harm him, may think he is possessed by evil spirits.  A person get angry over absolutely nothing, sleep during the day and awake at night neglect himself, and say things that make no sense. It requires hospitalization.

PERIPARTUM DEPRESSION

This is a depression experienced by some women during pregnancy or after childbirth.  Traditional antidepressants may help.

PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER

Women with PMDD have depression and other symptoms at the start of their period.  Besides depression one may experience change in appetite or sleep habits, feeling overwhelmed.  Antidepressant medication or oral contraceptives can treat PMDD.

SITUATIONAL DEPRESSION

It is sometimes difficult to manage a stressful event in your life, such as death of a loved one, a divorce, loosing a job or valuable property.  Psychotherapy can help you get through this period.

PERSISTENT DEPRESSIVE ORDER

This is a chronic form of depression.  It comes and goes over a period of years.  A person lose interest in normal daily activities, feel hopeless, less productive, experience low self esteem, and feel inadequate. It interferes with relationships, work or school performance.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU BELIEVE A DEPRESSED PERSON IS AT RISK OF HURTING HIMSELF OR OTHERS

  • Call your local emergency number.
  • Don’t leave the person alone.
  • Don’t try to drive the person to hospital yourself.  Rather call an ambulance and police.
  • Remove anything that may cause harm.
  • Listen, don’t argue nor judge, don’t threaten nor yell.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SHOW SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

See a doctor when you see symptoms of depression.   A physician will diagnose and refer you to a psychiatrist.

TREATMENT PROCESS

It is important to identify the cause of your depression.  The treatment process begin with medical diagnosis.  You will be asked questions about your symptoms, what types of symptoms you have, how long you have had them, and how severe they are.

Your doctor will assess your symptoms, explore possible physiological factors that might contribute to depression.   After you being diagnosed of major depressive disorder your doctor will determine the right thing to do depending upon your symptoms and what he believes is causing your depression.

He must rule out the medical causes.   Chronic illnesses, thyroid conditions, certain medications, and substance use can cause or contribute to symptoms of depression.

The underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can contribute to depression.   So your doctor will conduct blood tests, and if the blood tests reveal that you have underactive thyroid he may prescribe antidepressants, which work by

balancing the chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters which include serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, and have an effect on emotions and moods.

Your depressiom treatment will involve a combination of antidepressants medication and psychotherapy.  It may take time to find the medication and treatment approach that is right for you.   Psychotherapy can include talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, pyschodynamic therapy, and individual counseling.

TALK THERAPY

Talk therapy involves discussing issues that contribute to your depression symptoms.   Your family members may also be interviewed.  

COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY 

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the underlying negative thought patterns that contribute to symptoms of depression. 

Just like medication based approach, psychotherapy depression treatment may take time.   Therapist help you develop coping skills that help you manage your stress, deal with negative thoughts, emotions, and manage your fears.  Treatment can last several months or even a year or longer. 

SIDE EFFECTS 

You may experience side effects which vary upon the type of antidepressants you are taking.   These may include headaches, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, insomnia, constipation and restlessness.   You must continue using your antidepressants until your doctor tells you to stop.  Stopping to use them without your doctor’s approval may worsen your symptoms. 

NATURAL TECHNIQUES 

Lifestyle changes that can help you manage depression include avoiding stress, exercise, diet, sleep, meditation, avoiding alcohol and drugs.

AVOID STRESS 

 

It can be difficult to avoid stress, but you must try.  There’s variety of factors that can cause stress, which include family life, work, relationship and money. 

EXERCISE 

Exercise relieve depression by producing the feel-good neurotransmitters along with endorphins which creates a mood stirring effect which aids in reducing stress, and thus the prevalence of depression. 

DIET

Disorders of carbohydrate metabolism all affect the central nervous system.  You must increase intake of Omega 3 through diet or supplements.   Eat fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grain. 

You need to drink six to eight glasses of water.  Water facilitates the signaling pathway and nutrients delivery to the brain, remove toxins and inflammatory markers and provides energy sources for brain, and thereby improves brain functioning. 

SLEEP 

Try to improve your sleeping patterns.   

MEDITATION 

Mindfulness meditation, which involves breathing exercise, is essential for psychological therapy.   Meditation creates emotional balance and promotes confidence and awareness.   It facilitates greater sense of calmness, empathy, and acceptance of self and others.

AVOID ALCOHOL AND DRUGS 

There’s a chance that a person who have depression also have an alcohol or drug disorder.   Alcohol or drug use can make the depression symptoms worse.

 

12 Comments

  1. I use to go through so many depression stages in the past. I had some of the symptom depressions listed above and I had no control over it. I thought I would stay depressed forever. This only changed weeks after I gave birth to my first child. My son is the one that cured this somehow.

    I never knew all these things involving depression until I read your post. I can see that you want to help people going through this. Everyone going through depression needs help and guidance, but depressed people like to be alone and not to be bothered, so that is something to consider when helping someone that’s going through this.

    Thank you for your post on this and all the best.

    1. Hi  Aabidah,

      Thank you for reading this article.   I highly appreciate your time and comments.   I ‘m sorry to hear that you suffered from Peripartum depression.   But happy that you did overcome it.  The desire to be alone and not bothered is one of the symptoms of depression.   I’m glad you learned something from the article. 

      Be blessed. 

      Sandikazi 

  2. I had no idea that there were so many variations of depression. Your article was very enlightening and useful not only to recognize the types of depression that people experience but also the steps to treat the depression that is out there was useful. 

    Most people have bouts of less than optimal feelings, but depression goes beyond this, crossing the threshold into the state being harmful or even deadly for some people. This is why I really read carefully all of the information and I feel better prepared now to offer assistance if needed.

    Many of the treatments must be carried out by a professional, but there are some things that we can do on our own to treat or prevent depression. The ones that I felt most comfortable with to anyone that is suffering are those treatments. For anything more serious, I would refer them to a professional. Thanks for the great overview of depression…I think you may have helped a lot of people with this post

    1. Hi Dave,

      Thank you for reading this article.   I highly appreciate your time and comments.  I realized the need to spread awareness as people often confuse depression with laziness and bad behavior, and react inappropriately.  Some people don’t understand the treatment process, like interviews – families not availing themselves for interviews and delaying treatment. 

      All the best. 

      Sandikazi

  3. This is a really great post on depression and the types… I had a depressive experience while I was a bit younger, then I had a friend who I ran a babysitting business with, we spent most of the time together and got so used to one another until she died. I stopped running the business and stopped being friends with any of my remaining friends. Worse of all, I stopped talking to everyone, I blamed myself even though her death had nothing to do with me. My mum helped me through the whole process. I had talk therapy and I took some drugs too… I learnt to release the pain and not blame myself. This is a really great post. I’m happy I read through.

    1. Hi Kenny,

      Thank you for stopping by.   I highly appreciate your time and comments.   I’m very sorry about your loss and your experience.   But happy to hear that you received treatment and support from your mother.   Support is very important. 

      Keep well. 

      Sandikazi 

  4. Hello

    Thank you for your useful and resourceful topic.

    In our days, financial difficulties, interpersonal relationships, health and other problems make people are too anxious and depressed. This must be fought. People must ask for help from a doctor, as sometimes the family and friendly environment can not help. 

    Your information about the symptoms and modes of treatment is very helpful and comprehensive.

    Thanks, Thodoris.

    1. Hi Thodoris,

      Thank you for stopping by.   I highly appreciate your time and comments. I can’t agree with you more on fighting depression, we must raise awareness. 

      All the best. 

      Sandikazi 

  5. I had a very stressful week where I had to stay awake for two continuous days because there was a deadline to meet. I was so stressed out to the extent that I couldn’t enjoy my normal sleep after that week. Although I didn’t use any drug during that stressful week I lost the energy to work the following week. I felt so worn out and my system was really down but I never wanted to accept it’s depression or whatever. 

    To be of myself, I listened to my favourite songs, played the guitar and did some short exercises. Reading your article has given me more insight about this topic so thank you.

    1. Hi,

      Thank you for stopping by.   I  highly appreciate your time.   You must try to improve your estimation of the effort before committing yourself to a deadline.   A lot of stress in the workplace is caused by poor estimation of the effort to complete a task.  Managers or principals, or even the shareholders are often not realistic, therefore you must speak out, don’t commit yourself to an unrealistic deadline. 

      But I’m happy to hear that you have a way of managing your depression.  Music does relieve stress, and exercise is one of the natural techniques to manage stress that is always recommended by therapists.  It aids to relieve stress by  producing the feel-good neurotransmitters along with endorphins which helps in mood regulation. 

      Keep exercising.   All the best. 

      Sandikazi 

  6. I’ve been talking about depression with my best friend a few days back and we kinda realized that most people must be going through some kind of depression at some point in their lives.

    Maybe it’s the jobs or the environment people grow up to but truth is that only a handful of people really know how to deal with their feelings and not let them ruin their lives.

    What’s your take on that?

    1. Hi Harry,

      Thank for reading this article.   I  highly appreciate your time.   Indeed depression has a lot to do with the environment, even the treatment process begin with asking questions about your environment, in trying to determine the cause of your symptoms.   

      Awareness about depression is very low, both within the society and workplace.  Also there’s a stigma attached to this illness which makes it difficult for people to act and get therapy.  There’s always a denial of the feelings associated with concern for reputation.  The truth is if you don’t avoid what triggers your depression you’re putting your life at risk.   Depression is a risk factor for chronic heart disease. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *