I thought it was very important to touch on the topic of depression because there are so many people that are battling it or have battled it, it is more common than you think but I want to bring awareness to it and let anyone out there know you are not alone and you can overcome depression. Depression is very real and can make some feel like they are not worth anything, with some feeling so low that they have considered taking their own lives and in many cases have end their lives.
I feel that there are not enough talks about depression or any other form of mental health, even in family homes there should be conversations about mental health because in most cases a very depressed person feels as if there is no one they can talk to or that no one understand what they’re going through and I feel that people that have never been depressed or experienced the symptoms of depression, think that a depressed person is just sensitive, emotional, lazy or wants attention, when none of that is true. There is something inside of them that is really off balanced and making them feel helpless, sad, angry, withdrawn or suicidal, trust me a depressed person does not want to feel any of those things, they fight everyday to do even the most common daily things such as getting up out of the bed to start their day and that’s just one example out of many things a depressed person has to deal with on a daily basics.
If people in general will take the time to educate themselves to understand depression and any other forms of mental health issues people face, they would be able to help with family or friends that has a battle going on with their mental health, then lives can be saved and there can be more conversations and support for a depressed person to rely on in times that they feel down. Remember to not judge anyone because you don’t know what their state of mind may be in. There are many forms that depression comes in, from minor cases to very severe cases and there are many reasons behind what may have caused the depressed state that a person is in, either way they all should be token very seriously and handle very cautiously.
Let’s take some time to learn a little about depression, what can cause it and what to look for when dealing with the people we love and ways we can help. MOST RESEARCH BELOW IS CREDIT AND ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION, please do your own research to educate yourself further.
DEPRESSION– Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
WHAT CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION?– It is a serious illness caused by changes in brain chemistry. Research tells us that other factors contribute to the onset of depression, including genetics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical conditions, stress, grief or difficult life circumstances.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION?– Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression.
Also, medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression so it is important to rule out general medical causes.
POSSIBLE WAYS TO TREAT DEPRESSION– Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.Before a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and possibly a physical examination. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem. The evaluation is to identify specific symptoms, medical and family history, cultural factors and environmental factors to arrive at a diagnosis and plan a course of action. Some forms for treatment are Medication, Psychotherapy or Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
WAYS TO HELP SOMEONE WITH DEPRESSION-
- Recognize the symptoms.
- Convince the depressed person to get treatment or, in the case of a depressed child or adolescent, help the youngster get treatment.
- Tell the depressed person that he or she is loved, deserves to feel better, and will feel better with appropriate treatment.
- Recommend helping resources.
- If the depressed person is not functioning, accompany him or her to treatment until normal function returns.
- If the depressed person is too young or ill to provide needed information to the therapist, act as a go-between as long as needed.
- If the depressed person is suicidal or having hallucinations or delusions, arrange for hospitalization.
- If the depressed person is functional and refuses treatment, seek the assistance of others — friends, doctor, clergy, relatives — who might convince him or her that treatment is needed and will help.
- Don’t give up too soon — the depressed person may have to hear more than once and from several people that he or she deserves to feel better and can, with proper treatment.
- If all efforts to encourage the depressed person to seek treatment have failed, and the depressed person is having a demoralizing impact on those around, further action is needed:
- A supervisor might threaten personnel action unless the depressed employed gets treatment.
- A spouse, with the assistance of a mental health specialist, can explore separation from the depressed husband or wife who refuses treatment.
- Parents of a depressed adult can clarify, with the help of a mental health specialist, how much assistance to give their depressed offspring.
- Children, other relatives, friends, or doctors of a depressed older person can assist him or her to get help from a mental health specialist who has geriatric experience and who may be willing to reach out to the older person by telephone and home visits.
WAYS TO HELP YOURSELF IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED– There are a number of things people can do to help reduce the symptoms of depression. For many people, regular exercise helps create positive feeling and improve mood. Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol (a depressant) can also help reduce symptoms of depression.
Depression is a real illness and help is available. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the vast majority of people with depression will overcome it. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, a first step is to see your family physician or psychiatrist. Talk about your concerns and request a thorough evaluation. This is a start to addressing mental health needs.
LET’S GET THE CONVERSATIONS STARTED AND HELP IN THE FIGHT WITH MENTAL HEALTH AND DEPRESSION
For more information on Depression and other forms of mental health issues visit THE AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION
ONE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE