Depression is a long-term health problem that can last for months or even years if left untreated. You may suffer from depression if you have difficulty functioning in your daily life or if you experience frequent negative emotions, whether you know the cause or not. Depression affects everyone differently, so don’t assume that you have to have all of the symptoms listed. Read this entire article to learn as much as you can about depression. If you later feel that you are suffering from depression, read the last section for information on how to deal with this problem and how to treat depression.
Understand the relationship between depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Most people with depression or anxiety disorders have symptoms of both disorders, but the main problem needs to be identified for treatment. Bipolar disorder, on the other hand, is a completely different disorder that requires a certain type of treatment. Please read the following description carefully before proceeding:
Depression is a health problem characterized by strong negative emotions or a lack of emotion that lasts longer than normal sadness and interferes with the patient’s life. If left untreated, depression can appear in mild to moderate years (dysthymia) or in severe attacks lasting about six months (severe depression).
People suffering from anxiety are overcome with fear and anxiety. You can tell if it is depression or anxiety from the symptoms listed below. Panic attacks, cold and sweaty hands, or obsessions are symptoms of anxiety, not depression. If you suffer from both conditions, read the last section of the article, which is about treating depression.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by major depression lasting weeks or more, gradually progressing to a manic phase characterized by thoughtless behavior, accelerated thinking, and abundant energy. If these cycles alternate, you should seek professional help immediately. Bipolar disorder is not treated with antidepressants.
Think about your frequent moods. Depression is a health problem that makes the brain unable to regulate emotions. Everyone feels sad sometimes, but people suffering from depression often experience some or a combination of the following symptoms.
Sadness. Do you always feel sad?
Emptiness and lack of emotion. Do you feel like you have no emotions or that you have a problem feeling things?
Hopelessness. Do you feel like you have to give up everything or do you think your situation will never get better? Have you been feeling pessimistic since your condition started to change?
If these are your most common mood states, or if these mood states are interfering with your daily life, you may have depression that requires treatment.
If you are trying to diagnose someone else, be aware that they may be hiding their symptoms from you or even from themselves. In this case, it is worth paying more attention to the obvious symptoms, especially pronounced mood swings and irritability.
Think about your thoughts about death, self-harm, or suicide. Depression or anxiety often causes people to have thoughts of death or unnatural fantasies, but these symptoms are different for each patient. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek professional help immediately and start treating your depression.
You wish you died
Do you think the world would be a better place without you?
You intentionally hurt yourself.
Did you dream of suicide or are you planning to kill yourself? People who suffer from anxiety sometimes share the same symptoms, imagining death they fear or fear will harm themselves.
Make a list of activities you left out or enjoyed. People who are depressed often stop pursuing hobbies and spending time with friends, or lose interest in sex. When friends stop inviting you to events, they may respond to your disinterest and apathy and repeated rejection. .
If you are unsure whether you have any of these symptoms, make a list of activities you did regularly before your condition worsened and rate how often you did them. Always write down when you do this activity over the next few weeks and make sure you don’t lose interest in it.
Watch for further changes in your energy levels and mood swings. Depression can affect everyone differently. Are you restless, unable to concentrate and very irritable? Or are you tired, unable to perform simple tasks and avoiding any activity?
Are you dating people or fighting unnecessarily? Explosion is another symptom of mood swings sometimes caused by depression, especially in young men and teens.
Pay attention to how often you cry and if your appetite changes. Weight loss or sudden weight loss can be a symptom of many health problems, but even if it’s not depression, you should see a doctor. Frequent crying associated with the symptoms listed above can mean depression, especially if you’re not sure why you’re crying.
Consider whether you suffer from excessive feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. It’s hard to judge your own emotions objectively, but try to compare your behavior with those of those around you. Do you suffer from intense feelings of guilt over the little things or do you blame yourself for the things you can’t do or can’t control? Do you feel that your daily life makes you feel inferior?
If you answered yes to any of these questions but have no symptoms, you should see your doctor and discuss the possibility that you have an anxiety disorder.
Get a diagnosis with specific pain. If you often suffer from headaches and other body parts, you should consult a doctor. Examinations can determine whether you are to blame for depression or if you have another illness. If you are a teenager or young person, unexplained pain can be a symptom of depression.
If you’re still unsure, watch for other symptoms. If you still don’t know if you have depression, focus on the following issues that can help you figure it out. However, this problem can have many different causes. So if you have only mild symptoms, or have no other symptoms, you need not worry too much:
Difficulty sleeping, waking up early, especially related to restlessness and irritability.
Excessive need for sleep, especially related to lack of energy and avoidance of any activity.
Difficulty making decisions, especially when you feel that making decisions is unnecessary or too difficult. It can also manifest as an inability to concentrate long enough to make a decision.
How to find the cause of depression
Find out about the most common causes of depression. Depression is a complex medical condition and there is no simple test that a doctor can use to determine if you have depression. However, if something on this list applies to you, this information may help you, your friend, or your therapist:
Trauma and Grief: Harassment or other violent experiences can lead to depression, either past or recent. Grief after the death of a loved one or other traumatic event can lead to severe depression in a person.
Stressful Events: Sudden changes, even positive ones, such as a marriage or a new job, can lead to depression. Constant stress, such as caring for a sick person or an uncomfortable divorce, is also a common trigger for depression.
Health Problems: Chronic pain, thyroid disease, and many other health problems can lead to depression, especially if you are battling a serious illness.
Drugs and Substances: Read the list of side effects for all the medications you are taking. Avoid alcohol and other drugs and see if your symptoms improve. Depressed people often turn to drugs, which exacerbates their problems.
Genetics: If a member of your family has experienced depression, you are also at a higher risk of developing depression.
Find out how different groups of people typically respond to depression. Certain demographic groups are at higher risk of depression than others and have different symptoms. Find out how depression affects different groups of people, especially if you want to find out if someone close to you has depression and you can only check for external symptoms:
Women are twice as likely to develop depression as men, mainly because they suffer from more hormonal changes. Write down your symptoms and find out if they are related to menstruation, menopause, pregnancy or childbirth.
Men have a lower risk of depression but a higher risk of suicide. In many cultures, men are persuaded not to express their feelings and may be diagnosed with depression because of other symptoms, particularly irritability and violent behavior, substance abuse, and trouble sleeping.
Adolescents are also reluctant to admit that they suffer from severe grief. They often respond to depression with anger, irritability, and/or substance abuse.
Older people often complain more about physical than mental and emotional problems, so depression can stay hidden from them for a long time. Pay attention to all the physical changes, death of friends, and loss of independence that often lead to depression in parents.
If you are a woman who has just given birth, think about when your depression started. New mothers often experience mood swings, irritability, and other symptoms that can be mild to very severe. If your depression started after delivery or in the next few months, it may be postpartum depression.
Most new moms only experience “birth pain” for a few days and then it goes away on its own, possibly due to the stress of childbirth and hormonal changes.
If you have suicidal thoughts or are unable to care for your child because of depression, or if your symptoms last more than a week or two, seek professional help immediately.
Postpartum psychosis is a rare condition that occurs in the first two weeks after birth. If your symptoms are very severe and are accompanied by extreme mood swings, thoughts that harm your child, or hallucinations, go to the hospital immediately.
Find out if your depression is related to fall or winter. If your symptoms occur as the days are getting shorter and it’s getting dark outside, you may be suffering from seasonal depression caused by a lack of sunlight. Try exercising outside during the day to see if your symptoms improve, or see a doctor who can prescribe light therapy.
Not all transient depression is seasonal affective disorder. Many people experience depression every few weeks, months, or years.
If you are very manic when you are not depressed, tell your doctor that you may have bipolar disorder.
Don’t relieve your depression even if you don’t have any of the causes above. Many depressions are primarily due to biological or hormonal causes or their causes are elusive. However, that does not mean this problem is not too serious. Depression is a real disease that needs to be treated. You shouldn’t feel ashamed of him just because you think you have no reason to be sad.
Seeking help. Realize that your feelings of hopelessness are part of your distraction and not reality. Also remember that isolation makes these feelings worse. Friends and family can help by listening to you, encouraging you to seek professional help, and supporting you through the worst of times.
If you’re having a hard time getting active and getting out, tell your friends you’re depressed and ask them to invite you over more often and do different activities than you do, even if you don’t always get to do it.
Maintain good relations. If you don’t have people in your life to support you, learn to make friends. If someone around you is stressing you out or making you sad, avoid that person.
Finding a support group is important, so you should start as soon as possible. When you wake up and feel like better days are waiting for you, cancel all your plans and head to a social event or catch up with old friends.
Try joining a club or find a common hobby. You can also try something you’ve never been interested in before. Regular gatherings such as dance parties or book clubs can help you develop healthy social habits.
If you’re shy about talking to strangers at social events, smile and look them in the eye — sometimes that’s enough for a conversation. If you suffer from severe social anxiety, find a small group of people who make you feel more comfortable.
Change your lifestyle. Regular restful sleep, regular exercise and a healthy diet are essential for reducing the effects of stress and maintaining a healthy emotional state. Try meditation, massage, or other relaxation techniques.
Take advantage of your support network. Ask your gym for advice, discuss relaxation techniques with your pastor, or ask a friend to help you create and follow a solid exercise and relaxation program.
Start addressing the root cause of your depression. When you find out why you feel this way in the depression section, try to deal with it head-on. If you address the cause of your depression, you can get rid of depression yourself.
When you are grieving, talk to your friends or family and your mentor. If necessary, consult a psychotherapist.
If you recently made a major change, try to identify what aspect of the change made you unhappy and try to undo it. If you move to a new city where you don’t know anyone, call your old friends, try to make new friends, or return to a place where you know more people. If you think you want change and you don’t know why you’re responding, talk to a mental health professional.
If you think your depression is related to your menstrual cycle or menopause, tell your doctor and start medication.
If you have a chronic illness or are on medication, talk to your doctor or mental health professional and find a support group.
Get your diagnosis – once or twice. Be open and honest with your doctor about all your symptoms and let them know right away if your condition changes. If your doctor prescribes medication for you to treat depression, it’s a good idea to see another doctor, especially if you feel your doctor is upset or isn’t spending enough time with you.
It is not a rule that your doctor will prescribe medication for you. If they think your depression has a specific cause, they will likely advise you to make lifestyle changes and address the problem. Doctors also often recommend psychotherapy, which doesn’t mean they think you’re crazy.
If your depression lasts only a few weeks and gradually alternates with periods of headless energy, ask your doctor if you may have bipolar disorder. Don’t take any medication for depression.
Start psychotherapy. There are many different types of therapists and counselors who can help you in your recovery. If you don’t have a therapist or your therapist isn’t helping you, try finding a psychologist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy or ask your doctor to recommend one for you. This type of therapy has the best proven effect in treating depression.
Try to ignore the stigma that comes with therapy. Psychotherapy is an effective method of treating depression – it is by no means a sign of weakness.
Cognitive behavioral therapists work with clients to help them understand their thought processes and the behaviors that cause their depression. This process can take some time, but if you are willing to work with a therapist, it won’t take long and will be very effective.
Take antidepressants. If you believe you have depression and are starting to work on the problem, ask your doctor about taking antidepressants. Your doctor may also prescribe antidepressants if you have an anxiety disorder because these medications are effective in treating the disorder.
Wait for the antidepressants to work. If you don’t notice any change after a few weeks, or if you experience severe side effects, ask your doctor to prescribe another medication for you.