Nozaina: Depression is a common mental disorder that adversely affects the way you think, how you act, and how you feel. It can lead to a variety of mental and physical problems. Depression affects your ability to perform at work or home. You lose your interest in activities that you once enjoyed. According to World Health Organization,
Nozaina: Depression is a common mental disorder that adversely affects the way you think, how you act, and how you feel. It can lead to a variety of mental and physical problems. Depression affects your ability to perform at work or home. You lose your interest in activities that you once enjoyed. According to World Health Organization, approximately 3.8% population experience depression, including 5% of adults (6% among women and 4% among men), and 5.7% of adults above 60 years also have depression. Depression is more common among women than men. Worldwide, about 280 million people have depression, and more than 10% of women who have just given birth and pregnant women experience depression. Every year 700,000 people die due to suicide. Suicide is the fourth main leading reason of death in 15-29 years old.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression can cause major life disruption and distress for 70% of teens and more than 63% of adults with this disorder.
Sign and Symptoms
The sign and symptoms vary from mild to severe. Depression is different from regular mood fluctuation. Depressive episodes may range from six months to eight months based on the person. Some people may struggle with depression on and off and some have depression that fades with time.
*Thoughts of suicide
*Change in appetite
*Hopelessness about the future
*Loss of interest in activities
*Increase in purposeless activities
Depression can cause problems in all aspects of life in the community, at work, at school, or at home. Based on the severity and number of the symptoms, depressive episodes can be categorized as moderate, mild, and severe.
*Single-episode depressive disorder means a person’s first episode of depression.
*In recurrent episode depressive disorder, a person has a history of two depressive episodes.
*Bipolar depressive disorder causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, concentration, activity level, and energy, which make it difficult to carry out day-to-day activities.
Causes and Risk Factors
Researchers suspect that there are many causes of depression. Depression can result from a multifaceted interaction of biological, social, and psychological factors. People who face adverse life events are at a greater risk of developing depression. Depression does not have a single cause many factors, such as genetics, stress, poor nutrition, drug use, and certain medical conditions can also contribute to depression.
*A person who has a family history of depression is more likely to experience depression in life. Depression is 40% determined by genetics. Studies show that having a grandparent and parent with depression doubles the risk of this problem. Family studies have related genetics to depression.
*The depression rate is also higher in people who have certain medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. The body and mind are linked, if you experience physical health issues, you may notice changes in your mental health. The stress of having an illness may trigger episodes of major depression or certain illnesses may cause depression symptoms.
*A poor diet may contribute to depression in several ways. A high sugar diet and severe deficiency of vitamins and minerals cause the symptoms of depression. It has been revealed by several studies that a diet with an imbalanced ratio of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids and a low omega-3 fatty acids diet is related to depression.
*Stress full life events can be a cause of depression. Researchers suspect that a high level of cortisol hormone is secreted during stress, which affects the neurotransmitter serotonin and causes depression.
*People who lose their loved ones also experience the symptoms of depression such as poor appetite, trouble sleeping, and loss of interest in activities that they enjoyed before.
*Alcohol and drug consumption contributes to depression but some prescription drugs also contribute. Stimulants, statins, corticosteroids, anticonvulsant, and beta-blockers. If you feel depressed after taking prescribed medicines, you should have to consult with your doctor.
*Work is a central point in life. It not only provides money, but it also offers socialization, a sense of belonging, and purpose. Unemployment cause depression. People who lose their job fall into a problematic behavior pattern and thinking, that results in negative mental health including depression. Mental health gets better in those people who move from unemployment to employment.
Psychological treatment and medication are effective for depression. Seek help from a medical professional if you have symptoms. Medicines are not needed in the case of mild depression. Psychological treatment can be combined with medications in the case of moderate and severe depression. Effective psychological treatments for depression are problem-solving therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, behavioral activation, and interpersonal psychotherapy. Psychological treatments are the first treatment for depression that teaches a new way of thinking. Anti-depressant medicines should not be used for treating depression in children and also not as a first-line treatment for adolescents. If it’s necessary to use must use it with caution.
Self-care plays an important role in promoting overall well-being and managing the symptoms of depression.
*Minimize screen time
*Cut down or avoid alcohol
*Make a habit of exercise
*Stay connected with your loved ones
*Seek help from a healthcare provider
*Include healthy food in your diet
*Stay away from negative people
*Follow regular sleeping and eating habits
*Spend time with your family and friends
*Involve yourself in activities you used to enjoy
*Do not use illegal drugs, these drugs can make depression worse
*Build a strong relationship with those people who have a positive mindset
*Challenge negative thoughts and try to replace them with positive ones
*If any suicidal thoughts come into your mind talk to your doctor
Preventive programs are found to be helpful to reduce depression. Above 75% of people in low and middle-income countries receive no treatment due to the lack of trained health professionals and lack of investment in mental health care. Exercise programs are very effective in managing depression in older people. School-based programs to enhance positive coping in adolescence and children. Preventive programs for parents with behavior problems reduce the symptoms of depression and also improve outcomes for their children.