Depression is serious; it’s more than just feeling sad for a few days. When a person is depressed, their feelings of sadness do not go away with time: they persist and interfere with daily life.
Often, depression begins in late teenage or early adulthood, and is much more common in women, who may also develop postpartum depression after having a baby.
Depression doesn’t happen only because of chemical imbalances in the brain. Stressful life events, genetic vulnerability, medical problems and medicines, poor mood regulation by the brain and many more factors may interact to trigger depression in both adults and children .
Signs & Indications
People with depression may not realise they need it. Grief and sadness are regular human emotions, or we may feel that our situation is not serious enough to seek help.
The fact is, people with depression have varying levels of functionality: just because a person is getting through their day doesn’t mean they aren’t depressed.
Here are some of the signs of depression:
- Feeling sad, anxious or ‘empty’ for weeks or even months
- Feeling pessimistic or hopeless
- Feeling guilty, worthless or helpless
- Being irritable or restless all the time
- Losing interest in activities or hobbies that you once enjoyed
- Feeling tired or lacking energy
- Finding it tough to concentrate, remember details or make decisions
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Thinking of, or attempting, suicide
Even if you don’t experience any other signs of depression, seek treatment immediately if you feel worthless or are thinking of ending your life.
It may be hard to believe when a person is depressed, but even the most severe depression can be treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.
The first step is to consult a physician or mental health specialist. A doctor may conduct physical examinations, interviews or lab tests to determine if a person has a physical condition that affects mental well-being. A mental health specialist may perform a psychological evaluation. Once diagnosed, treatment can begin.
The earlier treatment begins, the more effective it is.
Medical treatment doesn’t have to be lifelong. With a personalised treatment plan, people can recover from depression and take back control of their mental health.