What Is Depression?
Depression is a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, unimportant and is often unable to live a normal life. In this article, we will be covering the many symptoms of depression.
Medically, depression is a mood disorder that causes neurological changes to happen within the brain, it is a disability that affects over 350 million people of all age groups worldwide.
Depression is a very serious illness that if left untreated can be life threatening. There are several types of depression, depending on the symptoms it is categorized as mild, moderate or severe. According to the world health organization, almost 800.000 global deaths occurr each year due to this disorder.
Types Of Depression
- There are different types of depression, some of which are persistent and can last anywhere between 6-8 months or 1-2 years.
- Clinical Depression – a type of depression that is severe enough to be considered as abnormal, it usually has no environmental cause and could be a reaction to an unfortunate event, it is more intense or prolonged than would generally be expected.
- Major Depression– known also as major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mental disorder characterized by a pervasive and persistent low mood that is accompanied by low self esteem and loss of interest in normal activities.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder– also called dysthymia is a chronic ongoing type of depression in which a person’s mood is regularly low but it’s symptoms are not as severe as major depression.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder– (PMDD) is a condition that affects women and has severe depression symptoms which are different from premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Psychotic Depression– a depression accompanied by psychosis which involves delusions, detachment from reality or hallucinations ( sensing or seeing things that do not exist).
- Postpartum Depression– a type of depression that women often experience after childbirth, also known as post natal depression, it is severe and affects 1 in every 10 women worldwide.
Causes Of Depression
Depression is known to affect people of all ages, children, adults and elderly may experience any Form of depression at some point of their lives. Certain factors can trigger the onset of depression such as stress, sudden loss, or grief but most studies seem to conclude that depression is usually a genetic or a biological condition.
Other common causes includes;
- Alcohol / drug abuse
- Social isolation
- Medical conditions;
- Childhood trauma
- Long term Chronic pain
- Brain tumor
- Vitamin defficiency
Symptoms Of Depression
- Feeling sad / low
- Less interest in everyday activities
- Weight loss/ gain / low appetite without dieting.
- Difficulty sleeping/ sleeping too much
- Slow movements / slurred speech
- Feelings of guilt
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Fatigue/ low energy
- Confusion/ frustration
- Suicidal thoughts/ death
People that are depressed usually show the following signs;
- Miserable / tearful eyes
- Furrowed brows
- Down turned corners of the mouth
- Slump posture
- Unable to make eye contact
- Gloomy / humorless/ passive/ confused
- Words of worthlessness
- Consistent complaints
If you or someone you know are experiencing signs and symptoms of depression, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately.
Foods that help reduce symptoms
- Omega 3 fatty acids – walnuts and fish ( sardines, trout and salmon) are natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids, if added to your diet at least 3 times a week can greatly reduce th symptoms of depression.
- Lean protein
- Turkey contains high levels of tryptophan chemical which stimulates serotonin a chemical that makes you feel happy.
- Green tea– contains an amino acid called theanine which is great in helping to fight depression.
- Dark chocolate is another great source of lowering depression symptoms because dark chocolate releases serotonin and relaxes the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system.
Facts About Depression
- Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression then men.
- More then 15% of people with severe depression commits suicide.
- Almost 80% of people living with depression are not getting medical treatment.
- Middle aged men are at higher risk of depression due to decrease levels of testosterone.
- Depression can be treated successfuly if recognized and diagnosed early.
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