5 FACTS ABOUT DEPRESSION

depression

1. Depression Is More Than Ordinary Sadness

Sadness is a part of being human, a natural reaction to painful circumstances. All of us will experience sadness at some point in our lives. Depression, however, is an illness with many more symptoms than an unhappy mood.

When sadness turns into depression, there are some tell tale signs, including: 

  • Changes in appetite, weight, and sleep patterns
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Feeling anxious, hopeless, or helpless
  • Feeling irritable and restless
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or an “empty” mood
  • Physical symptoms (such as headaches, digestive issues, body aches, and pain) that don’t subside with treatment
  • Loss of interested in activities you once enjoyed
  • Low energy or feelings of fatigue
  • Trouble with concentration, memory, and decision-making

Unfortunately, you can’t just snap yourself out of depression. If you recognize these signs, seek help from a mental health professional.

2. Children Are Not Immune to Depression

A myth exists that childhood is always a joyful, carefree time in our lives. While children don’t experience the same problems that adults do, like work-related stress or financial pressures, this doesn’t mean that they can’t become depressed. Childhood brings its own unique set of stresses, such as bullying and the struggle for peer acceptance.

3. Depression Is a Real Illness

You are not weak or crazy. Depression is a real illness that researchers believe is caused mainly by imbalances in certain chemicals within your brain called neurotransmitters. Some experts are even starting to frame depression as a systemic disease.

The following neurotransmitters play an important role in regulating your mood as well as being involved in many other functions throughout your body:

  • Norepinephrine: What makes your heart rate and blood pressure sore during a “fight or flight” response or stressful time
  • Dopamine: Helps regulate emotion, memory, thinking, motivation, and reward
  • Serotonin: The “feel-good” chemical that helps regulate your mood and plays a role in your overall sense of well-being

Researchers are continuing to learn more about what causes these imbalances as well as other neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, GABA, and glutamate, which may also play a role in depression.

4. Depression Is Treatable

There are several very effective treatment options available for depression, including medications and psychotherapy. In addition, there are new treatments being developed all the time that are proving to be effective in cases where other treatments have failed.

While your treatment should be tailored to best suit your symptoms and overall health, a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes is often used to help alleviate symptoms of depression.

Therapy

Depending on your unique situations, you may participate in individual, group, family, or couples psychotherapy. While there are many types of therapeutic approaches, the following have been study-proven to treat depression:

  • Behavioral activation
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Problem-solving therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Social skills therapy
  • Supportive counseling

5. Untreated Depression Is a Common Cause of Suicide

The proper diagnosis and treatment of depression is very important in preventing suicides. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a American source, 45% of those who commit suicide are suffering from some sort of mental illness. And this includes people with undiagnosed, untreated, or under-treated depression.

If You or Someone You Love Has Depression

If you or someone you love is showing signs of depression, you may wonder what steps to take. You may want to begin by learning more about depression, including symptoms and treatment as well as myths, misunderstandings, and stigma. This can provide a better picture of what to expect and make you a more well-informed patient or caregiver.

You should also set an appointment with your primary care physician who will give a physical exam, run any blood tests to rule out any medical conditions that mimic depression, and provide a referral to a mental health professional for further treatment. During the visit, you can also ask for some recommendations of reputable sources of information and support.

Please note that regular First Aid and CPR Training is the best way to make sure that you’re prepare in the case of an emergency. Book a course with us!

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