Depression is a mental disorder characterized chiefly by persistent sadness. It usually also encompasses loss of interest and lack of activity. This mental condition can impair your daily life in a way that you no longer have the motivation to lead your regular life. If left untreated, it can lead to self-harm or even suicide. According to a global estimate, one in six people suffer from depression at least once in their life.
What Is Not Depression?
- Depression isn’t “just sadness”. You cannot “snap out” of it.
- Depression isn’t being overdramatic.
- Depression isn’t something that goes away in 2 days.
- Depression isn’t always triggered by an unfortunate incident.
- Depression isn’t the same as insanity.
- Depression isn’t always visible in the patient’s face.
- Depression isn’t a “new age problem”. In recorded history, Hippocrates was the first person who has described the medical nature of ‘depression’. Unfortunately, depression has become more common in recent times.
When Should You Seek Medical Care?
If you have been feeling low continuously for more than 2 weeks, it’s time to take a look at your behavior. Watch out for the following symptoms:
- Extreme sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
- Crying out without any trigger
- Losing interest in your hobbies or sex
- Eating too much or too little, unexplainable weight gain or weight loss
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Extreme fatigue or restlessness
- Difficulty in thinking or concentrating
- Overwhelming guilt or self-blaming thoughts
- Unexplainable physical symptoms like headache, dizziness, or back pain, etc.
If you have noticed some of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks, you might have depression. Consult a psychiatrist to understand your condition better and seek proper treatment.
How Is Depression Treated?
Depression is treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Dr. Manoj Kumar at Serene Mind Clinic says, “It takes some time even for the best physicians in the field to find the right dose of medicine and the right line of psychotherapy for each person. Because the treatment for depression is always customized.” Depression doesn’t cure overnight. It takes patience and strong will to win over this mind-numbing monster.