Facts about depression, you need to know “NOW” – Part 1
Let me tell you that this is not a “7 things you need to know about depression” kind of quick read. This article can be slightly longer than usual. The topic which we are going to talk about needs an elaborate address and discussion to understand it without promoting any confusion or misleading information. You might find it a little heavy while reading.
In case you are a busy person, you can either come later or skip, the choice is yours.
We are living in such an incredible era in the history of human existence that none of the humans before us have dreamt of. We have access to almost everything we can think off, at our fingertips, yet if we talk about happiness, contentment, peace, satisfaction, etc, all these things appear like a fiction, which we have only read about in books, heard in the stories from the past and seen only on different sized screens.
The pace at which we are advancing technologically seems to push away the very foundation of our lives (health, prosperity, well-being, etc) with an uncontrollable intensity.
We are not even aware of the deal at which we are bargaining our happiness just to buy short moments of thrills and excitement, where we have this momentary high which stays for a limited amount of time, giving us an illusion of happiness, which disappears at the even faster pace into a larger void, leaving us back into the day to day struggles of finding happiness, eventually leading us into a life full of stress and anxieties.
This is just a very short description of how the life of a modern common man looks like from the outside whereas if we can find a way to look inside things can be even worse than what we can imagine.
Life is the greatest blessing one can get, that too in a human form, yet the majority of us fail to understand its importance and only a few in a billion seem to understand its true worth.
Sometimes we get so involved in the illusions of chasing happiness in materialistic pleasures that we forget our true being and fall into the trap of depression.
What is depression?
For a lot of people, their understanding of depression is as much as of the North pole, better to say of SYRIA. Most of us have only heard about all the stories from people who have been there but in reality, we do not know anything about it.
This is the exact situation when it comes to the knowledge of common people about depression. What we know are just facts and figures flying over social media and whats app forwards without any real-time experience.
Depression is much more severe than what we can imagine. It can only be understood either by people who fall into it or the professionals who help people to come out of it. What we know is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Depression is actually a psychosomatic disease which means it is not born because of any virus, it is stress born disease. It means it starts in mind and slowly starts manifesting into the physical body and starts affecting both physical and mental health.
- It is a major mental disorder also regarded as a serious mental illness. It is much more than just a temporary period of feeling low or sad but a prolonged feeling of stress stretching itself to months, years, decades, and sometimes entire life.
- Sometimes most people don’t even know that they have fallen into this trap because of excessive thinking, indisciplined lifestyle, wrong habits, and continue to just get deeper and deeper with time passing by.
It takes a great effort of awareness for a person to realize and recognize that he/she is going through depression and in most cases, people don’t even know that they have silently surrendered to this way of thinking and it has started to affect their thinking, activities, work, health and their entire life.
Let’s see what the World Health Organization has to say
As per the details shared by W.H.O on their official website.
- Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
- Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
- More women are affected by depression than men.
- Depression can lead to suicide.
- There are effective psychological and pharmacological treatments for moderate and severe depression.
If you want to read more please follow this article https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression
Cause of depression
- Unlike any other diseases which are born because of virus infection, heredity, deficiency, and other sources, there is no specific reason that causes depression. If we talk in terms of science there is a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
- It is something that is self-curated by our own minds, whose basic cause is nothing but stress and there can be many reasons which can cause a person different levels of stress.
- If you ask me, the main cause of depression is the kind of modern lifestyle that we are living in which we are so obsessed with making everything big that we put our own health, well-being, and peace of mind at stake.
- We do not have as much stress as we are choosing consciously just to fulfill all those aspirations which are also at some point imposed into our minds that we will only be accepted by society if we have tonnes of money, and we will only be approved by being successful when we have a big home, a 6 figure income, a big mansion-like house, an expensive car, and this list just goes on and on.
- Our previous generations also had their shares of stress but it was not self-induced. We as a generation blinded by social media and influence of cinema which silently promotes larger lifestyles as the only way of being happy and successful, we start chasing things we do not actually need, just to impress others.
This quote pretty much sums up the kind of lives which we are living in, which becomes one of the major reasons for stress also leading to mental disorders.
Other reasons which cause are just different sources of pressures which trigger stress in our life.
- Like family pressure, EMIs, Loans, unhealthy relationships, lack of mental and emotional support, too much competition, workload, negative environments, inability to accept uncertainty, unrealistic expectations, chasing perfectionism, or wealth and this list can just go on because human desires have no end.
Just because of the world we see full of glamour and shimmer we also get into a rat race believing that all the riches guarantee a happy life, which becomes the biggest reason for suffering in our life.
Signs and symptoms
If we talk about the signs and symptoms they can be understood if we put them in 2 categories in which it actually affects us.
Physiological (related to our physical body and its functions)
Psychological (related to our thoughts, emotions, behavior, etc)
If we just talk about the physiological symptoms of depression there is a big list of functions that are affected just due to stress.
- Fatigue or consistent lower energy levels
- Migraine and headaches.
- Sleeping problems, Insomnia.
- Loss or change of appetite, digestive issues
- Significant weight loss or gain
These are just a few symptoms that we can physically address to cross-check while we talk about the internal issues things get even worse.
- Feeling guilty, frustrated, unhappy, sorrowful, disappointed
- lacking in confidence
- Strong sense of disapproval both inside and outside.
- Inability to make decisions.
- Irritability and mood changes.
- Constant episodes of Anxiety
- Anti-social behavior, self-isolation
- Not talking to close family and friends
- Becoming addicted to substances alcohol and sedatives
These are just a few of psychological things that happen when a person falls into depression. In reality, it starters taking over your conscience, one thought at a day and starts convincing you about the whole negativity around any situation and slowly pulls down self-esteem, crushes down confidence, makes a person so helpless and hollow from inside that he/she slowly starts losing hope and accepts it as an irrevocable authority in his/her life.
Dangers of Depression
Depression affects our body in many ways right from our nervous system, digestive system, hormonal disbalance, weakening immunity, affecting brain activity, troubles with memory, blood pressure issues, sexual dysfunction, and many many more.
This is one of the most significant things that can help us to know if a person is going through depression. Depressions bring about a lot of changes in a person’s behavior. We might not even know if a person is going through internal turmoil, negativity, stress, emotional trauma, childhood abuse, or any kind of stress. These people look very much normal and more often happy outside. The behavioral changes can only be addressed by the self and people spent time along with these people. Some of the behavioral changes that can help us to know if someone is in depression are
- Unusual and repetitive behaviors
- Sudden change in mood
- Suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
- Aggressive and threatening behavior
- Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities.
- Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes.
- Behaviors, such as nail-biting, fidgeting, and pacing.
- Stress in Relationships.
- Delusion and hallucinations
- Depression can have different triggers
- It can also be due to the genetic history of a person
- Depressed people might not look depressed at all
- Depression is a leading cause of disability
- Men are as much affected as women
- Nowadays children are also getting into depression
- No one chooses it and most likely never know someone has it
- Medicines can only help up to a certain level
- Depression won’t go away on its own
- People who suffer from depression aren’t weak
This is just a very very small description of a very big problem silently persisting in society. It’s such a big issue that talking about it short will not help. Each title discussed in this article is itself so elaborate that it will need many more articles to be read and written to understand actually what it is.
This was just an attempt to give you a small introduction so that you can understand the severity and complexity of this issue in our society and our lives.
It growing at such a tremendous speed that we as a society also as individuals need to address it so that it doesn’t affect us or anyone around us.
The best way we can deal with this issue is by educating ourselves and others so that no one goes through it silently.
There is more to come in upcoming articles so stay tuned with us.
Until I see you next time, make sure you take very good care of yourselves and your family.
Stay safe and Be Inspired
PS: I really want to thank https://unsplash.com/ and https://www.pexels.com/ for providing us with a gigantic collection of beautiful high definition images that anybody can download for free without worrying about any copyright issue. It’s such a blessing for all bloggers and content creators.