Depression has become one of the most common mental health conditions in the world, affecting around 3.8% of the entire population, according to WHO.
This alarming percentage has concerned mental health professionals and others. So what exactly does it mean to have depression? Can it explain why you don’t feel good about myself?
What do you think goes inside a person experiencing depression? You may have, like others, experienced sadness. However with time, sadness fades away, and you feel better. Depression, meanwhile, can have a long-lasting effect.
Depression goes beyond typical sadness, and it can become an all-encompassing disorder. How do you spot it you or your friend are suffering from this disorder? Depression symptoms can begin with neglect of friends and hobbies. The things you enjoyed before, like going out on lunch with your friends may not interest you any more. That reflects a loss of pleasure from activities that would usually be fun.
Why Looking Out for Depression is Necessary
All emotions, positive or negative, serve a purpose. If you think you can escape negative emotions to feel better, that might not be the case. Avoiding negative emotions doesn’t reflect resilience but rather a dissociation from reality.
You may have all the money in the world or be a famous pop singer, but that may not protect your mental health. Keeping an eye open for depression and other mental health concerns should be at the top of your priority list. Unfortunately, we overestimate our ability to recover from depression, which can often lead to long-term consequences.
On that note, here's a look at five reasons why depression should not be ignored:
1) It's Insidious
Popular depictions of depression in movies, novels and social media are often dramatic and may not represent what you're going through.
Symptoms of depression may begin gradually. It means you may stop enjoying leisure activities that were previously fun. For others, depression may look like partying with friends and feel absolutely hopeless from within.
2) Affects Daily Functioning
Sleep patterns are very important to our mental health, and often changes to our sleep patterns are one of the signs that we are suffering mentally. This is particularly important, as an irregular sleep pattern can make depression worse. Disturbed sleep patterns are also indicative of depression, leading to a vicious cycle.
Eating too much or too little? If you notice that your appetite has changed drastically, that might be a sign you're suffering from depression. Significant changes in all areas of your life can make you question your worthiness. If you feel like there’s nothing positive about you, or you always tend to put yourself down, it could be due to depression.
Feeling depressed can also take a toll on your hygiene. You may not even feel like brushing your teeth or taking a bath, as everything seems to be very exhausting. That may get on your nerves, and your mood would generally remain irritable.
3) Makes You Feel Like a Burden
Like physical concerns, there are obvious costs associated with depression. If you are diagnosed with clinical depression, there's an increased likelihood of medication.
Visiting costs to a mental health professional and lowering performance at work may make you feel like a burden to your loved ones. Although that's something we can all experience, depression is like any other health illness and can be treated.
4) Can Affect You at Neuronal Level
Researchers are exploring how mental health conditions like depression can make changes at the neuronal level.
Evidence suggests there can be changes in your brain structure, like the reduction of certain brain regions crucial to our well being. Seeking treatment for depression can then become crucial, as not doing so can create more damage over time. The good news is that psychotherapy and medication help monitor these changes and often reduce the damage as well.
5) Can Lead to Other Concerns
Depression can lead to psychological effects, like lower self-esteem, demotivation, apathy or frustration.
It can also create a loop between physical and mental concerns. As the body is almost always in a stressful state, it can lower our immunity, making us more vulnerable to infections. In some cases, depression has also been linked with higher occurrences of cardiovascular disease and substance abuse.
Sometimes, managing our emotions is easy. However, at other times, negative emotions warrant the need for external support. That means we can't ignore the signs and should be on the look out if our loved ones are experiencing these emotions. Fortunately, recovery from depression is possible, and help is widely available.
You may feel confused and scared right now, but you don't have to feel alone. Thousands of professionals have worked for decades to find the best forms of treatment for depression.
Many factors determine the treatment process, and it's very likely depression can go away. You can choose to work with a therapist or psychiatrist, but try to make a choice as soon as possible if you have depression.