Depression - Guide to mental wellness

Depression Warning Signs
The normal problems of life mean that everyone suffers sadness or has "the blues" from time to time. But if loneliness and anguish have taken a toll on your life, you may have depression. Depression makes it difficult to justify and live life like you once did. Just getting through the day can be enormous. But no matter how dejected you feel, you can recover. Knowing the symptoms causes, and treatment of depression is the foremost step to cure the problem.

What is depression?
Sadness or deterioration in mood is common results to life’s battles, misfortunes, and setbacks. Many people prefer the word “depression” to these kinds of signs, but depression is much more than just sadness.

Whatever the symptoms, depression is varied from normal sadness in that it encircles your day-to-day life, disturbing your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of misery, sadness, and uselessness are acute and unyielding.

Are you depressed?
If you relate yourself with many of the following symptoms and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from depression.

·    you feel hopeless about life and things in general
·    you’ve lost interest in activities you used to enjoy before
·    you feel tired and lethargic all the time
·    your sleeping pattern and food habits have drastically changed
·    you can’t concentrate on a given task no matter how hard you try
·    You can’t curb your negative thoughts and feeling of hopelessness
·    you are much more short-tempered and aggressive than you usually used to be
·    Consumption of alcohol more than normal quantity or engaging in other unproductive behavior

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
·    Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning or oversleeping.

·    Anger or irritability. The feeling of everything and everyone gets on your nerves.

·    Loss of energy. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.

·    Self-loathing.  You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.

·    Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.

·    Concentration problems. Trouble focusing or remembering things.

·    Unexplained aches and pains. Headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

Depression and suicide risk
Warning signs of suicide include:
·    Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or confinement.

·    Thoughts about taking one’s own life.

·    Acting incautiously, as if they have a death wish (e.g. speeding through red lights)

·    Expressing things like “Everyone would be better off without me” or “I want out”.

·    An unexpected switch from being extremely depressed to acting calm and happy.
The different profiles of depression
Depression may differ in males and females, and in young people and older adults. A consciousness of these distinctions helps protect that the problem is realized and cured.

Depression in men
Depression is a taboo in our culture. Most of the people relate it wrongly, with a sign of weakness. This is especially with men. Depressed men are less likely to accept feelings of hopelessness. Instead, they incline to complain about irritability, fatigue, sleep disorders, anger, and substance abuse. Moreover, men are at higher suicide risk, especially older men.
Depression in women
Rates of depression in women are twice as high as they are in men. The major factor in this is hormonal factors, particularly when it comes to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). As for signs and symptoms, women are more likely than men to experience feelings of guilt, sleep excessively, overeat, and gain weight.

What are the types of depression?
Depression comes in many types and forms. The different forms of depression have distinctive causes, symptoms, and effects. Knowing what type of depression you have can help you manage your symptoms and get the most effective treatment. 
Dysthymia (recurrent, mild depression)
Dysthmia is a type of chronic “low-grade” depression. In this, you feel mildly depressed, although you may have short periods of normal mood. The signs of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression, but they last a long time (at least two years). If you suffer from dysthymia, you may have feeling of you’ve always been depressed. Or you may think that your persistent low mood is “just the way you are.” However, dysthymia can be treated, even if your symptoms have gone untreated for years.

Major depression
Major depression is coined by the incapacity to enjoy life and experience pleasure. Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but more commonly, major depression is a recurring disorder. Left untreated, major depression typically lasts for about six months.   The symptoms are constant, ranging from moderate to severe.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): When winter brings the blues
While the starting of winter can cause a drop in mood among us, some people actually suffer from seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD usually begins in autumn or winter when the days become shorter and continues until the brighter days of early summer. SAD can make you feel completely different of what you are in the summer: sad, tense, hopeless or stressed, with no interest in activities you normally loved doing.

Bipolar Disorder: When Depression is Just One Side of the Coin
Bipolar disorder is characterized by frequent mood changes which can include hyperactivity, rapid speech, impulsive behavior and little to no sleep. The change from one mood extreme to the other is normal, with each depressive episode continuing for at least several weeks. The treatments for bipolar depression differ. In fact, antidepressants can make bipolar depression worse.
 Depression causes and risk factors
Depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it’s not simply cured with medication. Experts believe that depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. In other words, your lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills matter just as much—if not more so—than genetics. However, certain risk factors make you more vulnerable to depression.
Causes and risk factors for depression
·    Loneliness
·    Lack of social support
·    Recent stressful life experiences
·    Family history of depression
·    Marital or relationship problems
·    Financial strain
·    Early childhood trauma or abuse
·    Alcohol or drug abuse
·    Unemployment or underemployment
·    Health problems or chronic pain

The cause of your depression helps determine the treatment
Understanding the reason of your depression may help you overcome the problem. For example, if you are depressed because of a very demanding job, the best treatment might be finding a more suitable career and not relying on an antidepressant. If you are new to a place and you feel sad and lonely, making new friends through a hobby will most probably give you more of a mood delight than going for therapy. In some cases, the depression is remedied by changing the situation.

The road to depression recovery
Ask for help and support
Even if the thought of treating your depression seems like a distant dream, don’t panic. Feeling helpless is a symptom of depression—not the reality of your situation. It does not mean that you’re weak or you can’t change your situation! The key to recovery is to start a small Conversation and ask for help. The simple act of talking about how you feel can serve as a great help.

Having a support system will speed your recovery. Isolation increases the risk of depression, so reach out to others, even if you feel like being alone. So, let your family and friends know what you’re going through and how they can support you.
 Make healthy lifestyle changes
Lifestyle changes are not always easy to make, but they can have a big impact on depression. Lifestyle changes that can be very effective include:

·    Maintaining supportive relationships
·    Getting regular exercise and sleep
·    Eating healthy
·    Dealing with stress
·    Dealing with negative thoughts