Being sad or reacting to a sad event is a normal human emotion or reaction. We all have these feelings at a point in time but it goes away after few hours or days. Depression however, which is the leading cause of suicide, is an over exaggeration of this feeling which lasts more than the usual few days. You should begin to suspect depression if this feeling of sadness starts to interfere with your work or school, relationships with others, and your ability to just enjoy life and have fun.
Depression is a condition diagnosed and classified as a mood disorder that brings about long lasting symptoms such as low energy, overwhelming sadness, anorexia or loss of appetite and anhedonia or lack of interest in pleasurable things. Sadly, many have died out of depression mainly because of two things in my opinion; that is, you not knowing you’re depressed or you not recognizing someone is depressed. It’s for this reason, this article will expose some of the things to look out for and what to do when someone is going through the world’s leading cause of disability(according to WHO), depression.
The WHO estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is most common in ages 18 to 25 (10.9 percent. Also, women are twice as likely as men to have had a depressive episode, according to the NIMH and the World Health Organization (WHO). From 2013 to 2016, 10.4 percent of women were found to have depression, compared with 5.5 percent of men, according to reports.
Causes and Risk factors
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression can often start off as higher levels of anxiety in children. But today, the causes of depression still remain largely unknown with no single cause identified. Some predisposing factors and causes are:
physical or sexual abuse
alcohol or drug use disorders
family history of depression
anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder
chronic diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or cancer
certain prescription medications
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms include the majority of the following experienced for a period of two or more weeks: a persistent feeling of loneliness or sadness; lack of energy; feelings of hopelessness; sleeping difficulties; difficulties with eating; difficulties with concentration or attention; total loss of interest in enjoyable activities or socializing; feelings of guilt and worthlessness; and/or thoughts of death or suicide.
The good news is, depression is treatable. If left untreated, it can lead to wide range of serious health complications and most importantly suicide. Treatment options include talk therapy, antidepressants or both. If you have the above symptoms or you know someone who does, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your health care provider.
In conclusion, depression is a very serious and life threatening condition. You’re not depressed if you feel sad for few days, you’re depressed if the feeling is prolong for about two weeks and interferes with your normal activities. Fortunately, it is treatable, so see your doctor if you suspect a trait of depression. As always said early detection makes the prognosis better.
World Health Organization (WHO
NIMH: National Institute of Mental Health
John M. Grohol, Psy.D.