Depression is characterized by a consistently disheartened or dejected perspective. This internal struggle is often displayed in detrimental ways, such as trouble sleeping, difficultly concentrating, abnormal weight gain or loss, and reluctance towards engaging in social or other motivating activities. These all share a root in the inability to derive pleasure from an otherwise enjoyable activity, which then directly impairs one’s ability to function properly in a social or work environment.
What causes the development of depression
Although it’s quite simple to determine what causes someone to become upset, depression is a much deeper-rooted issue. Specific causes of depression are largely debated, but there seem to be common indicators: psychological stress and medical illness. Research has shown that certain genetic traits and reactions to lifetime experiences can construct it over time. One theory describes depression as a “complex condition resulting from brain chemistry that negatively processes ordinary circumstances.”
People most at risk for depression are:
- Those experiencing severe stress from a traumatic event
- Those with a personal history of episodes of depression
- Those with a family history of depression, mood disorders, or substance abuse
What’s normal and what’s not … the difference between melancholy and misery
It’s important to determine the difference between undesirable mood fluctuations and persistently negative disposition. The first—such as temporary sadness or distress—is dependent mainly on external circumstances that change over time. The latter—a chronic state of depression—is a more serious internal battle, which causes long-term harm on the individual’s psyche.
Sadness is a normal reaction to life’s struggles or disappointments. However, depression plagues a victim with feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, apathy, anger, and emptiness. This unrelenting pressure is not normal, and when it becomes disabling, it’s time to seek help.
The effects of untreated depression are like an infection, growing from bad to worse. At first it proliferates internally, and then the social strain can lead to loss of family, friends, marriage, job, and ultimately even suicidal thoughts and actions. Another serious danger is substance abuse, resulting from one’s attempt to self-medicate and control the situation. Overall, depression can seriously complicate a person’s health.
For better or for worse, providing hope
People who are struggling with depression may do or say things they don’t mean, because they are burdened by an enormous amount of pressure. For whatever reason, they are battling despair, dejection, and anger, so be helpful and don’t criticize. Keep communicating with them, and keep your expectations realistic by encouraging them to exercise, eat healthily, and socialize occasionally.
It’s nearly impossible for victims to just ‘will’ these symptoms away, so by all means, lead them to a place for treatment. Although career changes, vacations, and exercise are all ways to trigger the release of endorphins and a renewed sense of purpose, the majority of sustainable, positive outcomes of depression deliverance have resulted from patients who sought and received treatment through psychotherapy.
Category: Mental Health