Depression causes so much turmoil in people’s lives these days. Research shows that over 18 million Americans suffer from depression annually. We all get depressed once in a while. Usually, it is when things aren’t working out as planned, we’re under a lot of pressure, cannot get something done, are consistently belittled by colleagues, staff or even family members, when you’re unable to pay your bills, when the salary isn’t paid on time, when you still have little or no money left after paying your bills and on and on.

When this happens, it is often mild and likely to blow over in a short while. Unfortunately, this is not the only type of depression.  There is clinical or major depression, seasonal depression, postpartum depression, manic depression or bipolar disorder, and dysthmia. Sadly, all of them are debilitating and crippling and have considerable negative impact on the sufferer.

How Do You Know You’re Suffering from Depression?

People suffering from depression often have intense feelings of worthlessness or emptiness, are consistently sad, have an overwhelming feeling of guilt, lose interest in hobbies and previously enjoyed activities, have little or no libido, fatigue, poor concentration and memory, excessive sleeping or insomnia, compulsive eating or a total loss of appetite, anger and irritability, overwhelming thoughts of death and committing suicide, and physical disorders that are persistent in spite of treatment e.g. migraines, constipation and intense pain.

Reasons People Suffer from Depression

Depression causes are many. People suffering from clinical or chronic depression often do so because of a chemical imbalance in their brain. A considerable number of those who have bipolar disorder inherit it. Other depression causes include sad and uncomfortable situations and circumstances, the loss of a loved one, emotional stress, poor eating habits, excessive weight gain, winter blues, hormonal imbalance and changes, morphine withdrawal,  low self esteem, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) among many others.

Danger and Side Effects- How Depression Affects Your Life, Relationships and Work

Depression causes a lot of harm to people. Sufferers and patients often tend to become sad, listless and morose; a combination which generally impedes on their productivity, relationships, work and health. In fact, the United States loses billions of dollars annually to the lack of productivity brought on by episodes of depression. Not just that, depression causes exposure to increased risk of coronary heart diseases, diabetes, stroke and has been indirectly tied to arthritis. Bottom line, it does nothing good for you.

Reasons Why You Should Treat Depression Even When You Don’t Feel Like it

When depressed, people are hardly in the mood to seek treatment and remedies. Well, the truth is that even when you don’t feel like it, you need to try to get some help. Because there are many factors involved in depression, there are many treatment options to choose from. It isn’t as cut and dried as we would like to think. What works for Mr Y, may not work for Mrs Z. Doctors usually treat patients using a combination of antidepressants and psychological evaluation. The general idea is to both treat the symptom and the root cause. People who suffer from seasonal depression such as winter depression are generally treated using light therapy. The UV light from the specialised lamp helps improve their moods while the antidepressants kick in. New mothers suffering from postpartum depression are either given mild antidepressants or counselled until the phase passes.

The most important thing however, is the support and involvement of loved ones and friends. They have a big role to play in helping the depressed overcome the ailment. Friends and loved ones should consistently offer words of encouragement, encourage the patient to become better, be supportive and empathetic.

The depressed have to be consistently monitored for improvements or worsening conditions. This way, the doctor will often be able to tell what is wrong or what can be done to help improve their overall well being. Also, lifestyle changes can help combat depression. If you have been living a sedentary life, try exercising, eating properly, reading a good book and learning to relax. A combination of all these will surely help make your life richer and more meaningful, thus helping you win the battle against depression.