What Depression Look Like? Get Treated, Know Cause
Depression is not a disease but is classified as a mood disorder, and is described as feelings of sadness, loss or anger that interfere with everyday activities of a person.
Depression is fairly common and according to a study 8.1 percent of American adults ages 20 and over had depression in any given 2 week period from 2013-2016.
There are many ways by which one can experience depression like it can interrupt in your daily work, resulting in lost time and lower productivity. Moreover, depression can also affect conditions like Arthritis, Asthma, Cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.
You need to consider the fact that feeling down at times is a normal part of life. Just like other emotions, being sad is totally okay. But feeling down and hopeless is not okay, it could be depression.
Depression could be a serious medical condition that can get worse without proper treatment. Seeking treatment can result in immediate improvement in symptoms.
Symptoms of depression
Being in depression can cause a variety of symptoms like it affects your mood and can even affect your body. It may also be ongoing, or come and go.
Also, the symptoms differ among men, women and children.
Symptoms in Men:
- Mood: Mood such as aggressiveness, anger, irritability, anxiousness and restlessness.
- Emotions Different kinds of emotions like feeling empty, sad, hopeless.
- Behaviour Behavioural symptoms could be dangerous like loss of interest in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicid +-e, consuming alcohol and drugs excessively or engaging in high-risk activities.
- Sexual interest Sexual desire reduction and lack of sexual performance could also be a sign of depression.
- Cognitive abilities This is one of the common symptoms of depression that includes inability to concentrate, difficulty in completing tasks, delayed responses during conversations.
- Physical well being This includes fatigue, pains, headache, digestive problems.
Common symptoms of depression in women includes :
- Mood : Moods such as irritability
- Emotions : Emotions in depression include feeling sad or empty, anxious or hopeless.
- Behaviour : Behavioural symptoms could be loss of interest in activities, stepping back from social engagements, thoughts of suicide,etc.
- Cognitive Abilities : Such abilities include thinking or talking more slowly
- Sleeping Patterns : Depression can cause difficulty in sleeping through the night, waking up early or sleeping too much.
- Physical well-being : Physical well-being could also get affected as a person can end with decreased energy, greater fatigue, changes in appetite, weight changes, aches, pains, headaches, increased cramps, etc.
Children can experience depression with following symptoms:
- Mood : Children’s mood may result in irritability, anger, mood swings, crying, etc.
- Emotional well being : Depression can affect children and can feel incompetence (like I can’t do anything right) or despair, crying, intense sadness
- Behavioural symptoms : This can really affect a child’s life as it may result in getting trouble into school, or refusing to go to school. Also, they might avoid friends or sibling and get thoughts of death or suicide.
- Cognitive abilities : cognitive abilities can lead to difficulty in concentrating or declining in school performance, also it can affect a child’s grades.
- Sleeping Patterns : Depression can lead to difficulty in sleep or sleeping too much.
- Physical well-being : The physical well-being could get affected by loss of energy, digestive problems, changes in appetite. They can also lose or gain weight in a short span of time.
What Causes Depression?
There are several reasons that can cause depression, varying from biological to circumstantial.
Following are some of the reason that can cause depression
1) Family history
One can be at higher risk for developing depression if they have a family history of depression or another mood disorder.
2) Early Childhood Trauma
The cause of depression also depends on how your body reacts to fear and stressful situations.
3) Brain structure
You are at higher risk of depression if the frontal lobe of your brain is less active. Though, it is unknown if this happens before or after the onset of depressive symptoms.
4) Medical conditions
Conditions including chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. can lead you at higher risk of depression.
Your risk of depression may get affected if there’s a history of drug or alcohol misuse.
According to a study, about 21% of people who have substance use problems also experience depression. Apart from this, other risk factors for depression includes
- Low Self-esteem or being self-critical
- Personal history of mental illness
- Certain medications
- Some mishappening, loss of loved one, economic problems, etc.
There are several factors that can influence feelings of depression, also who develops the condition and who doesn’t.
You cannot diagnose depression, but your healthcare provider can make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and psychological evaluation,
Mostly, they ask a series of questions regarding your
- Sleep Pattern
- Activity Level
Moreover, depression can also be linked to other health problems. Considering your health problems your health care provider may also conduct a physical examination and order blood work. Apart from this, thyroid problems or vitamin D deficiency can also trigger symptoms of depression.
You should not ignore symptoms of depression, and seek immediate medical help if your mood doesn’t improve or gets worse, as it is a serious mental health illness with the potential for complications.
If the depression is left untreated, the complications can include following
- weight gain or loss
- Physical pain
- substance use problems
- Panic attacks
- Relationship Problems
- Social isolation
- Thoughts of suicide
Types of Depression
Depression cannot be diagnosed but can be broken down into categories on the basis of severity of symptoms. Some may witness mild and temporary episodes, whereas some experience severe and ongoing depressive episodes.
Depression can be classified into two major types
1) Major Depressive Disorder
This particular type is a more severe form of depression. This can further be categorized by persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, worthlessness that don’t go away on their own.
If you feel like being diagnosed with clinical depression, you must experience 5 or more of the following symptoms over a 2-week period
- Feeling depressed most of the time
- Losing interest in regular activities
- Losing or gaining weight in a short span of time.
- Not being able to sleep or sleeping a lot
- Slow thinking or movement
- Feeling low energy or fatigue most days
- Feeling of worthlessness or guilt
- Lack of concentration or indecisiveness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
2) Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
This is another type of Depression which used to be called dysthymia. It’s a lighter, but chronic form of depression.
For diagnosis, symptoms must last for at least 2 years. This particular type of disorder can affect your life more than major depression because it lasts for a longer period.
The common symptoms for people with PDD:
- losing interest in normal daily activities
- feeling hopeless
- Lack of productivity
- feeling Low self-esteem
Depression is a serious mental disorder but can be treated successfully. However, it is necessary to stick to your treatment plan.