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A 31 year old embarrassed woman named Divya walked into a clinic on one afternoon. With her embarrassed smile she was not certain as to who she needed to speak of or where to start from. She then proceeded to say that she has been feeling very low and sad all the time, she wasn’t having any fun at work and going home and having to take care of her family was now feeling like a huge burden. She further added that the lack of sleep was making it incredibly hard to concentrate at work.
During her consultation she burst into tears and said that she used to enjoy spending time with her children and family but in her present situation she was unable to enjoy being around them and all she wanted was to be alone. The World Health Organization held that depression is one of the leading causes of disability and ill-health around the world. It further stated that more than 300 million people were suffering from depression of which the majority were women. It was also noted that few people are able to recognize that they are actually suffering from depression.
This then brings the question what is depression, depression is often defined as when people experience a low mood or sadness, or a feeling of being ‘down in the dumps’. When going through depression it is common for one to experience difficulties with sleeping, feeling guilty, being irritable, and not being able to concentrate and or feel a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness. In severe cases of depression, people have been known to have suicidal thoughts.
Most suicide attempts are made by people who are ambivalent about dying but the depression makes them see suicide as the only way out. People with depression fail to understand that suicidal thoughts are not a sign of weakness but are often a cry for help which needs to be identified at the right time. Depression is an illness that can range from mild to moderate to severe. The mild forms of depression can be diagnosed when one is having trouble with their concentration and they are unable to feel motivated at work or at home. Severe depression on the other hand is when one experiences constant thoughts of hopelessness and worthlessness and often feels suicidal. Another form of depression as an illness is bipolar disorder which is when a person’s mood easily changes from high to a low need for sleep.
The causes and cure for depression can only be established when the root of origin is identified. Depression can be a generic illness that runs in the family or it can be caused by experiencing significant stress in an environment like at work or at home or experiencing violence or abuse or using drugs and alcohol. All these are capable of being factors that contribute to the onset of depression.
Depression can be cured through treatment. It might be a bit difficult to treat long-standing depression as it may require longer treatments. Some of the depression treatments that are used are:
- Therapy – which is used for depression that is mild to moderate. The use of evidence-based therapy like cognitive behavior therapy has proven to be effective.
- Medication – which is used for depression that is moderate to severe. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the more commonly used medication with depression.
For more information about mental illness