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Depression: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

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Get up and live it up!

Yes, now is the time to pick up yourself, dust the shackles of depression and get braced up for better achievements and happiness. Sometimes, real happiness could seem like just far-fetched and unrealistic.It is not impossible.
Depression according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is the most common illness worldwide and the leading cause of disability. They estimate that 350 million people are affected by depression, globally.
Over the years, the rate of people suffering from depression has greatly skyrocketed, and shot up so high on a scale of 7/10. Studies have shown Youths and Adults are most likely affected by depression.
Nigeria is a good case study, over 1.5 million Nigerians suffer from depression yearly. Depression goes far beyond feeling down, or having mood swings. It is in effect a mood disorder or basically mental condition, which if not properly maintained or dealt with could plunge a person into eternal moment of Sadness, Anger, Loneliness, Self worthlessness and self destructive thoughts. Depression can get in the way of a person’s personal and interpersonal life. An individual suffering from depression won’t enjoy a lasting relationship with people. Getting by everyday through social and secular life would pose a great challenge. At the same time, it may lead to less productively and even more chronic health disorder. Shocking right, Yes! Depression could trigger and worsen health conditions like but not limited to High Blood Pressure, Asthma, Obesity, Cancer, Diabetes and Ulcer. It is important to understand that it is normal to feel down at some point in life, and this could be due to life challenges, or the upsetting turnout of events in our lives. However, if feeling miserable and hopeless becomes a regular routine, it is a sign that you may be suffering from depression. It is therefore advisable that you book an appointment with a psychologist. Depression is a mental condition that could get out of hand if not properly managed and treated. Most people suffer from depression unknowingly.

LOOK OUT FOR THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL.

As earlier stated, Depression is real and is no doubt a matter that calls for urgent attention. It is higher than mood swings or constant state of sadness. Surprisingly, Depression cut across ages, Men, Women and Children can be affected by depression. Trust me, I know how frustrating it can get when dealing depression without enough knowledge of how to identify and properly manage it. It is important to be able to identify the symptoms of depression before it gets out of hand. The following are the symptoms to watch out for;

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION IN MEN.

1. Mood: Anger, Aggressiveness, Irritation, Anxiety, Restlessness

2. Emotional: Feeling empty, useless, sad, unhappy, and Hopeless.

3. Behavioural: Loss of interest, Loss of interest in favourite activities, Tiredness, Suicidal and self-destructive thoughts, excessive intake of Alcohol and Abuse of drugs.

4. Sexual: Reduced sexual desire, Lack of sexual performance.

5. Cognitive: Inability to concentrate, Difficulty completing simple tasks, Delayed responses during conversation

6. Sleep: Insomnia, Excessive sleepiness, etc.

7. Physical: Fatigue, Pains, Headache, etc.

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION IN WOMEN.

1. Mood: Irritation, Constant Nagging, Bouts of Anger.

2. Emotional: Feeling sad or Empty, Anxiousness or Hopelessness.

3. Behavioral: Restlessness, Loss of interest in activities, withdrawing from social engagements, suicidal thoughts.

4. Cognitive: Thinking or talking more slowly.

5. Sleep; difficulty sleeping through the night, waking too early, sleeping too much.

6. Physical: Decreased Energy, Greater Fatigue, changes in appetite, Weight changes, Pain, Headache, Increased Cramps.

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN.

1. Mood; constant irritation, Anger, Tantrums, Mood Swings, Crying.

2. Emotional; feeling intense sadness, regrets, worry (I can’t do anything right, why me.)

3. Behavioral; getting into trouble at school, refusing to go to school, Avoiding friends or siblings too much.

4. Physical: Loss of energy, digestive problems, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain.


Summarily, Depression symptoms could be summed up into three (3).

However, they vary according to Individuals;

1. Fatigue or Constant lower Energy levels most days.

2. Decreased Pain Tolerance

3. Back Pain or Aching muscles all over.

4. Headaches

5. Eye problems or decreasing vision

6. Stomach pain or uneasiness in the abdomen

7. Digestive problems or irregular bowel schedules

8. Loss of concentration/Indecisiveness

9. Recurring thoughts of deaths/suicide

10. Feelings of worthlessness/guilt

11. Slowed thinking or movement

12. Excessive sleep or inability to sleep

13. Significant height loss/gain

CAUSES OF DEPRESSION.

Common depression ranges from biological to Circumstantial factors, some individuals with depression do not know the underlying cause.
Common causes include;

1. Family history; one is at a higher risk for developing depression, if it is genetical, is there anyone in the family who once had or presently suffering from it. Maybe, your Father, aunt or sister had it, it is most likely you inherit the depression gene, this form of depression is called Clinical depression.
2. Early childhood trauma/personal problems; emotionally a whole lot of people are weak, and at some point in their childhood, they lived through fear and stress which later culminates into depression in their adulthood. It could be economic problems, loss of a loved one, Divorce, these said factors could trigger Depression in an individual.
3. Medical conditions; personal history of mental illness certain medical conditions, places an individual in high risk for depression, such as chronic illness, Insomnia, Chronic pain, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
4. Drug use; abuse of Drugs/Alcohol triggers depression as well.

MEDICAL TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION

  1. Medications; antidepressants/Anti-anxiety or Anti psychotic medications, could be prescribed.
  2. Psychotherapy; you could see a Therapist to learn new set of skills to cope with negative feelings.
  3. Light Therapy; exposure to doses of white light can help regulate mood and improve symptoms of depression.

HELP YOURSELF (BATTLE YOUR BATTLE).

As funny as my tautological caption is, it really is the truth, no one can help you fight/ward off depression, but yourself.
The following are ways you can deal with depression;
1. Socialize; Learn socializing skills, go out, meet new people, be open-minded, engage in profiting activities, build and cherish relationships, and value the precious gift of life.
2. Exercise regularly; you could try jogging, running, yoga exercises or you could register at the gym.
3. Follow a strict balanced diet routine, take good care of your health, eat plenty of fruits and Vegetables; drink lots of water. Never skip meals and get plenty of Rest. Do not overwork yourself.


4. Include vitamins and Supplements in your diet, and Omega-3 Fatty acid is a very good antidepressant which is important to neurological development and brain health, Vitamin C is also good; drink milk, Eat a lot of chocolates, Vitamin B -12 and B-6, are brain health Vitalist, vitamin D is also good for the brain, heart and bone.
5. Do not bottle up your emotion; Learn to speak your mind, yes, out burst of anger is bad, but at the same, bottling up your negative feelings, is also bad for your health, learn to speak out whatever is bothering in a most Civil way, avoid toxic relationship or an activity that constantly leaves you feeling in the lowest web or someone who arbitrarily makes you feel demoralised, useless /hopeless. Yes, now is the time to get away from such ones, because you are unique and you deserve better. Little wander, a popular Nigerian artiste sang that “Bad Energy should stay far away.” Yeah, you don’t need bad energy (ies) in your life.
6. Learn how to say No; Feeling overwhelmed can worsen anxiety and depression symptoms. Setting boundaries in your professional and personal life can help you feel better.
7. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs; Drinking alcohol or using drugs make you feel better, Hell yeah! But trust, they are temporal. The pain still comes back in the long run, do not run away from your problems, face them. You need to understand that defeat is part of life, and that whatever is not yours was never meant to be yours.
Untreated depression symptoms could aggravate into;

1. Weight loss or gain

2. Physical pain

3. Substance use problems

4. Panic attacks

5. Relationship problems

6. Social Isolation

7. Suicidal thoughts.

8. Self-mutilation.
It is therefore necessary to perform self-evaluation in order to examine and assess yourself to know if you are currently having symptoms of Depression. If you have actually been diagnosed by a medical personnel, you could try the above-mentioned tips to get past your depression.

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