The Complete Guide to Depression and How It is Affecting Your Mental Health

Depression is an authentic condition that can take many forms. Depression is a severe illness that can take a tremendous toll on your life, including your work and relationships. When you are depressed, it’s hard to think about anything other than your condition and how stressed you are. Living with depression can be highly distressing and make it even harder to get out of bed each morning. It is tough to know what to do or how to do it.

What Is Depression?

As defined by the American Psychological Association, depression is the feeling of sadness or unhappiness that is often accompanied by feelings of worthlessness, guilt, hopelessness, and tiredness.

Depression is a severe illness that affects people of all ages, races, and cultures. It causes feelings of sadness and hopelessness to last for more than two weeks. Depression can be a more severe disorder that affects the body, causing physical problems such as fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, health problems, and even death.

Depression is different from grief or sadness. Grief and sadness are normal emotions after a significant loss or change in life, but they usually do not last long; however, they can trigger the Risk of Depression. Depression is different because it prevents someone from leading an everyday life for more than two weeks.

 

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Depression?

The most common symptoms of depression

  • Loss of interest in things the person used to enjoy
  • Loss of energy or persistent fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Appetite and Sleep problems (too much sleep, too little sleep)

What Are The Leading Causes Of Depression?

Depression can be triggered by various factors such as:

  • Biological: 5–10% of people with depression have a family history of the condition
  • Abuse or loss: Some people develop depression as a result of their environment, such as constant bullying or losing a loved one
  • Complex life events: Some people develop Depression as they go through events in their life, such as job loss, moving to live far away from loved ones (migrating), or divorce.
  • Long-term Illness: Some people develop Depression because of chronic pain or other health problems.
  • Age: As people grow old, they become more isolated, resulting in a risk of Depression.

Depression and Suicide Risk Factors 

Suicide was among the leading causes of death for people aged 15 and 44 years old in Australia in 2017 (Australian Bureau of Statistics). More than 90% of suicide victims had been identified as having depression as a risk factor. The statistics are startling that we must not let slide. Fortunately, with the covid pandemic, the statistics have slowly decreased as of 2021 but are still very significant.  Many people don’t know that they can play an essential role in helping with this issue, and it starts with awareness and open conversations about the topic. We can all do our part in preventing suicide by taking small steps every day. As we raise awareness and educate ourselves on what suicide looks like and how to prevent it, we can help those struggling to find hope for themselves and their lives.

So, what can we do to reduce the rates of suicide and Depression?

There is no one answer or approach to reducing the rates of suicide and Depression. The most important thing we can do is to be there for those who need us. From boosting social support networks to enabling those in need to access mental health services, we can make a difference in someone’s life today.

We need to be more aware and start talking and learning about Depression and how we can overcome it and live a life with meaning. We also need to be aware of the role of social media in influencing these factors; Social media plays an enormous role in society today, which is why we must know precisely the impact on our psychology these platforms have had. It’s not just about who we follow or who follows us, but also how much time we spend on these platforms every day. Social media enables us to make connections with people worldwide and interact with them more than ever before. The problem is that this form of communication can challenge our self-esteem as most times, the lives we perceive others are living through social media are not real. 

How You Can Manage Symptoms of Depression Effectively

Depression is an illness when the symptoms are not only mental but physical as well. There is no one-size-fits-all in managing symptoms of depression, but there are some practical ways. Staying healthy is important, but it’s often hard to know what to do about your physical symptoms. One important step is to learn how to manage the symptoms of depression. These tips can help you do that. 

  • Talk therapy
  • Medication treatment
  • Exercising daily
  • Finding enjoyable activities  to do on a daily basis
  • Doing things that make you happy including spending time with people you enjoy, reading, or doing activities you enjoy.
  • Being mindful of your moods throughout the day

The two most effective treatments for Depression are talk therapy and medication treatments. These treatments can control depression symptoms in the long term, but they don’t work for everyone. In addition, there can be adverse effects from medication or complications from talk therapy that make it difficult to take steps to get better. In these cases, alternative therapies may help manage symptoms of depression more effectively.

Recovering from Depression Feels Possible With the Right Treatment

Depressed individuals feel like they are in a dark tunnel with no light at the end of it. It’s common to feel hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, and an inability to think clearly. It is crucial to realize that you are not alone in this battle. There are always options for treatment that can help you through your Depression. The most effective treatments for depression include medications or psychotherapy, or both together. People who want to recover from Depression need constant support and encouragement from their family members and friends who will be there for them when things get tough.

In conclusion, there are many different types of Depression that people confront. There are many different causes of Depression. There are many different treatments for Depression. It’s essential to stick with your treatment and to try to stay as active as possible. As a society, we need to help people suffering from Depression get the medical and emotional support they need. As an individual, reach out to others, be gentle with yourself, and don’t be afraid to seek professional help.

Grace Healthcare- YCYW’s Support Services help individuals and families affected by depression overcome their symptoms and live healthy, meaningful lives. We assist by providing Short Term Accommodation/ Respite care to caregivers to allow them to take a break from the strain that comes with taking care of their loved ones. We ensure they get the support you need. We have properties well equipped all across Australia. We have professional staff on location who will make sure all their support needs are met. We can also assist with access to Supported independent living services that meet the required needs of you or your loved one.

 

 

Sources:

‘Causes of Death’, 27 Sep 2017, Australian Bureau of Statistics, http://www.abs.gov.au/Causes-of-Death

How Depression Can Affect Your Health 2021. https://depressionhelpmobile.com/how-depression-can-affect-your-health/

Depression and Social Media | Applied Social Psychology (ASP). https://sites.psu.edu/aspsy/2018/04/24/depression-and-social-media/

https://www.aihw.gov.au/suicide-self-harm-monitoring/data/suspected-deaths-by-suicide/data-from-suicide-registers

 

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