Depression: Important Things you should Know

Depression is not just about feeling unhappy. Everybody goes through a spell of being down but when it’s depression, there is a persistent feeling of sadness for weeks or months. Some people think that depression is not a disease; however, it is important to note that depression is a medically acknowledged illness with its symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of depression

Depression symptoms and signs vary from one individual to another. There are, however, some common signs and symptoms that manifest in most cases. Some of those include:depression

1. Sleep changes

There can be a change of sleep pattern in an individual going through depression. A patient can be oversleeping or, on the contrary, having severe insomnia. The latter happens more often.

2. Weight loss

A significant weight loss is also one of the signs of depression. A sudden change of body weight without a person undergoing any weight loss program can be an indication of depression or some other serious disease.

3. The feeling of hopelessness and helplessness

Those feeling habitually go along with a constantly impaired mood.

4. Loss of energy

Feeling fatigued, physically drained and sluggish are very common during depression. Many patients find it hard to get up in the morning at all.

5. Concentration problems

Having trouble making decisions, focusing, and remembering things are also very frequent symptoms of depression.

6. Feeling of worthlessness

Most people suffering from depression have very low self-esteem.

7. Anger and irritability

A patient can feel irritated and even violent for no reason.

Depression symptoms can also vary from men and women. Men are likely to complain of a feeling of fatigue, loss of interest in hobbies and work. Men are more likely to display anger, aggression, and violent behavior than women are. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to have a feeling of guilt, weight gain, excessive sleeping.

Causes and risk factors

While most diseases have direct causes, depression has no straightforward ones. It is caused by a combination of psychological, biological and social factors. There are, however, factors that can increase the chances of a person to develop depression:

- Lack of social support

- Isolation and loneliness

- A stressful life in general

- A history of mental problems in the family

- Relationship/marital problems

- Financial problems

- Unemployment

- Health problems.

Treatment and management

Treatment of depression involves medical options (antidepressants), psychological treatment (visiting a psychologist individually or in a group) or a combination of the two. Some of the recommendation a doctor might give depending on the type of depression include:

- Physical exercise

- Attending a self-help group

- Talking therapy

- Traveling/visiting new places.