Sadness is not another word for depression as people think. Depression is much more serious with more severe outcomes.
Everyone gets downhearted and upset from time to time. It is a normal human emotion. But what happens when these negative emotions take longer than usual? How much is too much sadness to be considered depression? How can one tell the difference between being sad or being in a state of depression?
Here is what we need to know. Depression entails more than just the ups and downs of everyday. It does not only affect one’s feelings, but a person’s behavior, physical health and appearance, academic performance and ability to make decisions. Actually, it is one of the most common mental illnesses and slightly more common in women than men ( 8.7% versus 5.3%). Depression does not discriminate. It can affect anyone irrespective of their age, sex or race.
Interestingly, the root cause of depression is not known .However, it has been found that a number of factors could lead to depression. For a start , constant stressful events such as financial hurdles, unemployment, childbirth or loss of someone important could lead to depression. Physical illness or medication can also be a cause of depression. Alcohol, birth control pills, and diseases like influenza, hepatitis and diabetes are known to cause depression symptoms.
The features of depression include:
• Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
• Slowed or inefficient thinking with poor concentration, leading to difficulties sorting out problems or making plans or decisions
• Recurring unpleasant thoughts, particularly about being guilty, being a bad and unworthy person.
• Suicidal or self harm thoughts
• Loss of appetite with excessive loss of weight,
• Loss of interest in sex.
• Inability to sleep despite feeling exhausted or restless and unsatisfying sleep characterized by early morning awakening. Some people, however, may actually sleep a lot more than usual.
Depression drains ones energy, hope and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help one to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things an individual should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action. The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something that’s difficult and something impossible.
Even though recovery may seem difficult, one actually has more control than he or she realizes.
¥ TIP 1: Reach out and stay connected. Reaching out and getting support is essential for overcoming depression. Depression can not be battled singlehandedly. However, depressed people have the tendency to isolate themselves from everyone around them. It is really important to stay connected with loved ones and people who truly are concerned about the condition.
¥ TIP 2: Do things that make you feel good
In order to overcome depression, things that relax and energize the individual needs to be done. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, learning how to better manage stress, setting limits on what one is able to do, and scheduling fun activities into the day. Taking a walk or getting up to dance to music can substantially boost one’s mood and energy for several hours, long enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as arranging to meet a friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, a heavy fog of depression will be lifted.
¥ TIP 3: Reduce intake of foods that increase depression hormones
The food one consumes has a direct impact on how he or she feels. By reducing the intake of foods such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones (like red meats) can really contribute in overcoming depression.
¥ TIP 4: Challenge negative thinking
Do you feel like nothing you attempt to accomplish will work in your favor? That your situation is hopeless? Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your future expectations. When these thoughts become overwhelming, it’s important to remember that this is a symptom of depression and these irrational, pessimistic attitudes known as cognitive distortions are not realistic. The trick to tackle this issue is to identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression, and replace them with a more balanced way of thinking.
Depression is a much more serious situation than many people perceive. It is a growing mental epidemic which needs to halt. It is also important that everyone is educated about depression and it’s effects on individuals. Nobody should take depression lightly. Professional help is also available for people who feel like they can’t deal with the depression naturally. Counselors in school, psychologists and psychiatrists in hospitals may be of great help to people battling with depression.