Depression: A Real Problem Affecting the Mind and Body
| Jan 9th, 2018 |
Unhappiness, gloom, grief, melancholy are all normal, temporary feelings. But prolonged periods of exposure to these emotions, coupled with constancy in the situations leading up to them can cause severe depression. While depression is a phenomenon that may have existed since the conception of humankind, recognising and treating its symptoms came around only somewhere in the 19th century. And of course, with rapid urbanisation and constant change in lifestyle, more and more people around the world are suffering from melancholia. Don’t believe it? Here are a few concrete statistics:
5% of the world’s population is suffering from depression. That’s almost 350 million people.
3 in 20 women are highly likely to develop postpartum depression. That’s nearly 15% women of the world.
Basically, you are not alone. There are so many unreported, unaccounted cases of depression too, that don’t have a part in the stats presented above. So, there is nothing abnormal about suffering from depression. What is concerning, however, is a definite lack of openness in the society and a dearth of correct treatment practices.
Depression can be of several types. Diagnosing the exact type at an early stage can prevent further deterioration of mental health and establish an overall wellbeing. While self-diagnosis is absolutely not recommended, it is better to have a rough idea of what you’re going through– you can help your psychiatrist diagnose you better. Here are some of the common types of depression that people usually face:
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): In this case, the affected person’s moods vary with the intensity of sunlight. Thus, the bout of depression will be stronger, and probably, even longer in winters than in the summers.
Postpartum Depression: Baby blues is a phase new mothers usually go through due to drastic hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and intense care that has to be given to the baby. When these symptoms in tandem with exhaustion and anxiety prolong for a time more than the due period, it becomes a case of postpartum depression.
Persistent Depressive Disorder: Depression normally occurs as a spell, and can have recurring episodes. But if a spell lasts for two years or more, it is termed “persistent depression”. This is extremely serious since it implies a definite damage to the hormonal system and long term damage to the body.
Bipolar Disorder: This involves extreme mood swings, with alternating cycles of highs and lows.
Psychotic Depression: This is a result of bipolar depression intertwined with paranoia, delusions and/or hallucinations. Psychotic Depression comes under Major Depressive Disorder.
But what does being depressed really mean?
No, it doesn’t mean sulking in one corner of the room. It doesn’t mean crying your heart out. It isn’t even a feeling of sadness, typically. It is more centred on feelings of hopelessness and vulnerability. It dwells upon the restlessness of the mind, a constant sense of ineptness and feeling deprived of energy.
A bout of depression is usually followed by or even accompanied with excessive fatigue, so much so that one doesn’t even feel like getting out of bed for days, and in some cases, even weeks together. Your head feels clouded and either too cluttered with thoughts, or too blank. Depression is not a syndrome that may be easily described. After all, it’s not a physical ailment that can be directly examined and healed through ointments and surgeries.
Depression is only as strong as the power you give it. Take control and have a better tomorrow! #BounceBack