Depression does not fade away overnight. For some, it's like a black
curtain of despair in their lives. They don't have the energy to focus
and concentrate at all. For severe cases, some have stopped doing
activities. They are already skipping school and work. The symptoms may
vary from person to person, but if you feel down for more than two weeks
already and these feelings are already interfering with one's life, then
you may be clinically suffering from depression.|
Those who have suffered depression at before will most likely experience another episode of depression. One may feel the symptoms of depression weeks before a full-blown event occurs. Most people who are experiencing depression do not seek medical help at all since most of them think that it is not treatable.
What Causes It?
Depression has no single cause; it is always a result of a combination of factors. However, it is not only a state of mind but is also related to physical changes in the brain. An imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters is often believed to be the cause of depression. These neurotransmitters carry signals in the brain and nerves.
Family history of depression is also seen as a cause. Trauma and stress like financial problems, breakup of a relationship, or death of a loved one are also precipitating factors. Changes in one's life such as starting a new job or getting married may also trigger depression. Those who have low self-esteem and a negative outlook in life may be at risk of becoming depressed as well.
Those with serious and chronic physical conditions like heart disease, cancer, and HIV are also prone to depression. This is because of stress and physical weakness. Depression can also make these chronic illnesses worse since depression can also weaken the immune system.
Who Is at Risk?
While depression can affect anyone, its effect varies depending on gender and age. Women are more likely to get depressed than men. This may be caused by fluctuating hormonal changes in puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Men, on the other hand, are most likely to mask their depression with alcoholism and violence. Old people are also at risk in experiencing depression.
How Does One Deal with It?
In dealing with depression, it is better to talk about it to a friend or family member first. Maybe all you need is somebody to listen to you. However, if you still feel lonely after talking things over with someone, then the next best option would be to seek medical help. A doctor can prescribe you some medications and schedule you for a counselor's visit.
Now, if you are taking prescription drugs for your depression, take it and be consistent in doing so. Do not stop taking the medication just because you are already feeling better. Take it the same time every day too and don't forget a dose. You need the drug to treat the chemical imbalances in your brain.
Writing one's feelings and thoughts can also help. You can keep a journal. You may be able to use it to can write down all the negative thoughts. You can also track your own progress in battling depression by simply writing and reading your entries.