When life gives pain and agony you delve deep into it and find solutions to many unanswered questions. There are so many causes of depression but my story is quite elusive to describe and astonishing. I was befooled by my own thoughts. Life hurts when some significant people leave you whom you care. Sometimes your care and loyalty for them leads to depression because of misunderstanding. You feel you are in a trustworthy company but it ends with separation and consolation. Today let me discuss how depression affects you mentally as well as physically because I was also badly affected by this disorder. It is one of the biggest hurdles for a person who wants to grow. I wonder no other person in my society gets affected by this disorder. So let’s know what actually depression is and how it ruins a life. Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. It usually occurs as a result of adverse life events, such as: losses of a significant person, object, relationship or health, but can also occur due to no apparent cause. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her every day responsibilities. Currently, depression is included in the category of mood disorders, which is divided into bipolar depression, unipolar depression and dysthymic disorders. The relationship between psychological stress, adverse life events, and the onset of depressive episodes remains unclear. The distinction between these conditions and anxiety disorders (general anxiety disorder, panic, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and obsessive–compulsive disorder), has no physio-pathological support. They usually present together in clinical practice. Certainly, adverse life events can precipitate and contribute to depression, but depression itself can also be the source of stressful experiences. Depression, as a disorder, usually starts in early adulthood, with likely recurrences. An episode may be characterized by sadness, indifference or apathy, or irritability. It is usually associated with change in a number of neuro vegetative functions, including sleep patterns and appetite and weight, motor agitation or retardation, fatigue, impaired concentration and decision-making, feelings of shame or guilt, and thoughts of death or dying.A small proportion of patients will experience psychotic symptoms. The duration of an untreated crisis ranges from 9 months to several years. Fifty to sixty per cent of patients will have at least one more episode in their lifetime. The nature of depression is such that affected persons are unlikely to realize that they are depressed and therefore unlikely to seek help for themselves. They are also incapable of appropriately taking their treatment as directed by health care professionals. In all chronic conditions, the concurrence of depression, highly affects the quality of care provided by themselves and received by others. When present with other chronic conditions, outcomes are usually poorer and health care considerably more expensive than expected. One of the types of depression is Major Depression. It is diagnosed when depressed mood or anhedonia (lack of ability to enjoy or experience pleasure) has been present for more than 2 weeks and is associated with at least five of the following symptoms: loss of interest, fatigue or loss of energy, insomnia or hypersomnia, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, decreased concentration, significant weight loss or gain, and recurrent suicidal ideation. It is treatable. Medication and psychotherapy is used for its treatment.
Persistent depressive disorder is the other type of depression. Also known as dysthymia, persistent depressive disorder causes symptoms that last for at least 2 years. A person living with this disorder may have episodes of major depression as well as milder symptoms that do not meet the criteria for major depressive disorder. Postpartum Depression is one more type of depression. After giving birth, some people experience a brief period of sadness or heightened emotions that some people call the “baby blues.” This usually goes away in a few days to a few weeks. Postpartum Depression or postnatal depression is more severe. There is no single cause for this type of depression, and it can persist for months or years. Anyone who experiences ongoing depression after delivery should seek medical attention.
Major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern is the last but not least type of depression. Previously known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), this type of depression usually occurs during the winter and fall months, when there is less daylight. Less commonly, it may follow other seasonal patterns.It lifts during the rest of the year and in response to light therapy. This condition seems to particularly affect people who live in countries with long or severe winters.
While there is no cure for depression, there are effective treatments that help with recovery. The earlier that treatment starts, the more successful it may be. Some people may never experience depression again after a single period of it. Others will continue to have relapses. Many people experiencing depression recover after a treatment plan. Even with effective treatment, however, a relapse may occur. About half of people do not initially respond to treatment. To prevent relapse, people who take medication for depression should continue with treatment even after symptoms improve or go away for as long as their doctor advises.
It is clear that depression is a condition that affects the quality of life. From an individual perspective, depression might lead to social underperformance, violence, drug abuse and suicidal thoughts. People cannot think their way out of depression early may increase the chances of recovery. Because depression can be challenging to treat. Depression is a sign of weakness. It is treatable, and seeking treatment early may increase the chances of recovery, it is important for a person to see a doctor with expertise in depression and to be willing to try several different treatments. Often, a combination of therapy and medication offers the best results. Your mind, Teachers, religious scholars and mentors can also play a vital role to save a person from life threatening disorder what we call as depression.
(The author is a student at Department of Tourism, University of Kashmir. Views are his own)