Facts About Depression You Should Know
There are times when you feel hopeless and extreme sadness that prevents you from living your best life. This feeling of hopelessness can also be a symptom of depression. Depression, though a treatable condition, is serious and very real. Due to many misconceptions about this illness, the stigma surrounding depression continues to be an obstacle that prevents people from seeking treatment.
Untreated depression can lead to thoughts of suicide and self-harm. On the other hand, understanding the symptoms and causes of depression and bringing them in light of others can be life-saving.
Some common facts about depression that you should know and understand are:
1. Depression Is Real and Serious
If someone says they are depressed or are feeling the symptoms of depression, doesn’t mean they are weak or crazy. According to various researches, depression is a real disease and is caused by certain chemical imbalances in the brain. Low levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine (chemicals that help regulate emotions, feelings, and stress responses) can also contribute to being depressed.
2. Depression Doesn’t Need A Reason
Actor Jared Padalecki in an interview with Variety said, “I was 25 years old. I had my TV show. I had dogs I loved and tons of friends and I was getting adoration from fans and I was happy with my work, but I couldn’t figure out what it was; it doesn’t always make sense is my point. It’s not just people who can’t find a job or can’t fit in the society that struggles with depression sometimes.”
There is no reason for depression. Sometimes the chemicals in your brain may be responsible for how you feel or sometimes the circumstances in your life may make you feel sad and hopeless. There is no good reason why people feel depressed.
3. There Are Many Factors That Cause Depression
Maybe your parent was diagnosed with clinical depression or maybe you’re too stressed or anxious. There are many different factors that can trigger the symptoms of depression. Genetics and family history are said to increase the risk of depression in a person. Substance abuse, a chemical imbalance in the brain, or even seasonal changes can cause depression.
4. There Is A Significant Difference Between Sadness And Depression
Sadness is an emotion that we all feel at some point in our lives. It is a pretty common reaction to painful situations. Having said that, sadness can turn into depression. Depression is a mental health condition that causes:
- Changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and mood
- Feelings of anxiousness and hopelessness
- Feelings of restlessness
- Extreme sadness
- Loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Low energy or fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
- Physical symptoms such as body aches, headaches, etc.
5. Childhood Depression Is Real
Many myths about depression state that children can’t be depressed or feel symptoms of depression. While adults have different reasons and factors that can cause depression, children are not immune to this illness either. Bullying, peer-pressure, struggling to fit in – along with other factors can cause depressive moods in children.
6. There Are Treatments For Depression
Many people believe that the treatments of depression are limited to medications only. In fact, there are several treatments of depression available including psychotherapy, changes in lifestyle, and medications. Although, the best treatment option depends on a person’s symptoms.
Treatment options for depression are:
- Therapy – behavioural therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy, group therapy, and supportive counseling among others.
- Lifestyle changes – changes in diet, exercises, meditation, and breathing exercises.
- Medications – antidepressants such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), natural supplements among others.
Note: Consult your doctor or mental healthcare provider before taking any medications. Always ask your physician for side-effects of the medications before taking them.
7. Untreated Depression Can Be Harmful
Proper diagnosis and treatment are very important. Untreated and undiagnosed depression can lead to thoughts of suicide or actions of self-harm. If you or someone you care about displays signs of depression, reach out to a professional healthcare provider immediately.
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.” – Stephen Fry
Depression is a real and serious mental health condition that should never be left untreated. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatments of depression are important as well as the misconceptions and facts.
The stigma around mental health disorders prevents many people from seeking the desired and much-needed treatment. Uncovering the real and true facts about depression is the first step in helping yourself or someone you love to find the right care and treatment.
Reaching out for help to a trusted and licensed mental healthcare professional is not something you should shy away from. Ask for the support you need and get the help you seek.
It is normal to feel depressed but prolonged depression can be unhealthy for your mind and body.
Remember, you are not alone. You are strong. You are enough.
Always keep fighting!