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DEPRESSION- A COMMON MENTAL PROBLEM

DEPRESSION- A COMMON MENTAL PROBLEM

Depression can happen to anybody at any time. Nobody is above depression; it is a serious mental condition but unfortunately a common one. It is a few steps away from every normal human being. Watch out, when a friend, a relation, a spouse etc starts staying on his or her own, that is, being withdrawn, seeing everybody as an enemy that is attacking him or her, making unnecessary troubles, etc, know it that trouble is around the corner. Some may call it spiritual problem or any other illness. In that case, the problem becomes more complicated because it will be neglected. Depression is a mental illness which should be treated as such and on time.

According to a Scholar, Depression does not discriminate: men and women of every age, educational level, social and economic background suffer from depression. There is no area of life that does not suffer when depression is present. Marriage, parenting, friendship, career, finance – every aspect of daily living is affected by this disease. Once an episode of depression occurs, it is also quite likely that it will recur periodically. Impact of depression can be even more severe when it occurs in combination with other medical illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, or cardiovascular disease, or with related disorders such as anxiety or substance abuse.

Experts maintain that, Depression is an illness that affects the brain that is why people call it madness. Anyone suffering from depression will tell you, it’s not imaginary or “all in your head.” Depression is more than just feeling “down.” It is a serious illness caused by changes in brain chemistry. Research tells us that other factors contribute to the onset of depression, including genetics that is when it is transferred from parents to offspring, changes in hormone levels, certain medical conditions, stress, grief or difficult life circumstance, heart break etc. Any of these factors alone or in combination can precipitate changes in brain chemistry that lead/ to depressions . For instance, nursing mothers who find themselves in stress can get depression

The World Health Organization (WHO) characterizes depression as one of the most disabling disorders in the world, affecting roughly one in five women and one in ten men at some point in their lifetime.

The problems caused by depression are made worse by the fact that most people suffering from the disease are never diagnosed, let alone treated because people most times see it as a Spiritual problem like Ogbanje. The good news is that when depression is promptly identified and treated, its symptoms are manageable and there are many effective strategies for living with the disease. Depression and bipolar disorder are both treated most effectively in their earliest stages when symptoms are less severe.

Causes of depression

Although scientists agree that depression is a brain disorder, the debate continues about exact causes. Many factors may contribute to the onset of depression, including genetic characteristics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical illnesses, stress, grief, or substance or drug abuse. Any of these factors alone or in combination can bring about the specific changes in brain chemistry that lead to the many symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder and related conditions.

HOW TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE IN DANGER

Depression commonly affects your thoughts, your emotions, your behaviors and your overall physical health. Here are some of the most common symptoms that point to the presence of depression:

Feelings: The person begins to have the following feeling

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt
  • Moodiness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Loss of interest in friends, family and favorite activities, including sex
  • Thoughts: The person finds it difficult to concentrate
  • Make decisions, remember things
  • Always thinks of harming him/herself
  • Thoughts of harming yourself
  • Delusions and/or hallucinations can also occur in cases of severe depression

Behaviors:

  • Withdrawing from people- the person always stays alone not happy interacting with others.
  • Substance abuse- the person tends to abuse things like cocaine, cannabis, heroine etc.
  • Missing work, school or other commitments
  • Attempts to harm yourself

Physical problems include:

  • Tiredness or lack of energy
  • Unexplained aches and pains in the body
  • Changes in appetite- either he/she starts eating too much or not eating at all
  • Change in body weight- he/she either loses weight or gains too much weight.
  • Changes in sleep – sleeping too little or too much. In the case of sleeplessness/their sleep is disturbed by strange feeling of strange things around. Example the thought that there are snakes on the bed..

Sexual problems

Of course, all of us can expect to experience one or more of these symptoms occasionally. An occurrence of any one of these symptoms on its own does not constitute depression. When healthcare professionals suspect depression, they commonly look for clusters of these symptoms occurring regularly for two weeks or longer, and impacting functional aspects of the person’s life.

Together with a healthcare provider, you can find out whether what you are experiencing is depression or bipolar disorder, and chart a course to feeling and functioning better.

Prior to engaging your doctor or healthcare provider, you may find it helpful to know more about how depression and bipolar disorder are diagnosed. Experts commonly employ a series of questions called a screening tool to identify depression.

There are several strategies for treating depression. Depending upon each individual’s characteristics and symptoms, healthcare professionals (psychiatrists) may employ one or more types of psychotherapy that rely upon a sequence of interpersonal treatment sessions with a trained professional. In addition, clinicians may suggest that a patient try one of a number of different medications. Lifestyle changes, including improvements in sleeping and eating habits, physical activity and stress reduction have also proven very helpful in managing symptoms.

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