Introduction: Somedays one might be going through a long drawn-out daze all day or struggling to get things done. While on other days one might feel like they are not performing to the best of their ability. In such circumstances asking for help is the wisest yet strongest thing one can do. Depression is not a sign of weakness or something that needs to be tackled alone. For added care, enrolling in Depression clinical trials might provide the therapy required to manage your condition.
In addition, most people often mask symptoms of depression because of the fear of being judged and stigmatized or maybe because they don’t want to worry their loved ones to worry. In comparison to the past, mental illness is much better understood nowadays.
To find out more about the vulnerable feelings individuals suffering from depression deal with in everyday life, continue reading the blog.
Do People Who Suffer From Depression Look Different?
Depression manifests itself differently in every individual depending on the severity of the circumstances they are dealing with. As a result, some of them have what is called smiling or hidden depression. Individuals suffering from depression possess 2 sides to their personality, one that comes across to others as happy and productive, and the other one that unfolds when they are struggling alone with their doomy and gloomy thoughts. Some other inward symptoms individuals fight back silently are sadness, low self-esteem, and loss of interest in things that were once important. Unfortunately, majority of the people might not be able to comprehend depression signs. On the contrary, those aware of their condition might be working hard to keep their illness a secret.
DSM-5 Criteria for Major Depressive Disorder
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest
- Weight loss or gain
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation
- Feeling worthless or inappropriate guilt
- Decreased concentration
Causes of Depression
Depression is not always elicited in response to grievances or bereavement. Many people experience bouts of depression even when life is treating them fine. One can have more than one reason behind the onset of depression. In addition to structural, physiological, and biochemical changes that occur in the brain, the most common causes of ignition of depressive bouts are:
- Dysfunction in the brain’s mood regulation mechanism
- Genetic vulnerability
- Physical health problems
- Stress or negative life events
- Medication side effects
- Various triggers
Other than the above-mentioned causes, some alarming risk factors are also capable of triggering depression mentioned below.
Also read: What is Endogenous Depression
Although, handling grief is a personal experience. The ability to manage depends on the individual’s age, life experience, personality, state of mind, and grieving situation. In addition, grief can manifest itself in both, physical and mental symptoms.
By identifying warning triggers, individuals can stay alert to signs of depression manifesting in themselves and others. The commonly recognized triggers are:
- Loss of job or loved one
- Lack of Sleep
- Money Problems
- Life Transitions
In particular, psychological stress is a major cause of depression alongside its physical impact on the body and brain. As a result, stress induces hormonal changes that are observed in the vast majority of depressed people.
Moreover; psychological stress activates the immune system releasing immune system chemicals (cytokines) that are associated with depression. These chemicals actively play their role in brain tissue, including the hippocampus, contributing to the production of symptoms of mental illness.
Symptoms of Depression
Many of us hear depression as a nagging voice in the back of our minds that fixates on all negative things and constantly reminds us of previous failures and flaws. No wonder when depression rears its ugly head, one cannot help feeling defeated or worthless over a relatively minor event. Even the smallest perceived failures such as burning a toast multiply a hundredfold. Listed below are some of the other commonly reported symptoms of depression:
- Continuous feelings of sadness, pessimism, and emptiness
- Fatigue (lack of energy)
- Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or sleeping above normal
- Feeling worthless
- Lack of interest in any activity
- Appetite changes
- Foggy thinking
- Trouble focusing
- Vague body aches, headaches, joint pains, and digestive problems
- Suicidal thoughts
Suffering from such thoughts can be frustrating and require a definitive diagnosis of the mental condition.
Diagnostic Criteria for Clinical Depression
A diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) means feeling sad, guilty, or worthless along with accompanying symptoms such as angry outbursts, frustration, etc for certain periods, lasting from a few days to at least two weeks.
Mentioned below is a DSM-5 criterion used by many mental health professionals for diagnosing major depressive disorder (MDD). The criteria for identifying depression using the DSM-5 scale is such that if >5 depressive symptoms persist for the same two-week period but are different from previous symptoms. Depression confirms.
Dealing with MDD Alone Can Be Difficult
Isolation transforms the brain into echo chambers for negative thoughts predisposing to the continuous circulation of negative, suicidal thoughts as with other mental illnesses or clinical depression. Unfortunately, trying to tackle major depressive disorder (MDD) thoughts by yourself can make it even worse. When such circumstances persist, it is crucial to be surrounded by a support structure of people including friends, family, or anyone you feel safe to talk to and can chip on their shoulder when needed.
Therefore; consider following a few tips to eradicate negative thoughts for a better mental state:
- Talk to others in times of crisis and rough spells, this makes it more manageable
- Focus on self-care
- Set realistic goals and gradually level up
- Spot patterns of depressive signs to understand the triggers of the condition
- Get enough sleep
Sometimes, the last person we expect to be unhappy is the one who needs the most help. Therefore, it is our responsibility to check on our friends and loved ones. To ask them how is life treating them, and to let them know it is okay to not feel okay. It is high time to battle depression as a society and consider holding mental health conversations a norm.
In addition, seeking therapy not only provides individuals with benefits, instead, it also motivates others to overcome fear to seek therapy and share their experiences with others. Unfortunately; we still find it hard to ask for help if needed in a sensitive area like mental health.
Self- Learning To Tackle Negativity
In addition to seeking therapy, self-learning to tackle negative thoughts is important. The best way to do so is to acknowledge the feelings. This includes focusing on the positives of life, journaling on a black document, and understanding the process of getting over depression one step at a time. However, practically it is not possible to turn it off with a snap of the fingers.
Keeping those feelings bottled up out of shame or fear of judgment will only make them worse. This is why counseling sessions can be helpful in regulating thoughts.
Outlook: Life transitions including both positive and negative ones, and experiencing grief are all part of the life- cycle. Unfortunately, many people are poorly equipped for handling it, especially when it is a new experience for them.
People are creatures of habit. Therefore; undergoing normal life transitions such as losing a loved one, or shifting jobs may become a stressful and steep learning curve. These transitioning effects precipitate depression, regardless of the positive events happening.
Individuals should start anticipating the stressors of normal life changes and be prepared for them. Especially, those who find it difficult to cope should consider engaging with their loved ones for support, or maybe exploring better alternatives through various clinical research organizations can help.