We all go through spells of feeling down but if you are feeling depressed you are likely to be feeling persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Depression is a serious mental health condition, not a sign of weakness or something the individual can just ‘snap out of’.
There are different levels of severity of depression (mild, moderate and severe) as well as different types of depression such as
Depression can affect people in different ways and cause a variety of symptoms. Individual going through depression have no motivation or interest in things, feels indecisive, do not enjoy, feels out of life, anxious or worried, have suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming self. Other symptoms include lack of energy or interest in sex, change in appetite, and disturbed sleep (sleeping too much or sleeping too little).
Depression is more than feeling sad. And its source varies from person to person. Biological, psychological and social factors are considered to trigger depression. These include:
1.Genetic: Studies have revealed that a person with depression has higher chances of having relatives with mood disorders suggesting a shared genetic basis.
2.Childhood Experiences: Certain experiences like lack of parental care, sexual abuse, the death of a parent are associated with increased risk of developing depressive disorders later in life.
3.Social: Poverty and social isolation are found to be connected to depression. Also marital status such as divorce or separation appears to be related to depression.
The diagnosis of depression is primarily based on a good interview with the patient. If you think you are suffering from depression, contact your GP to discuss your symptoms.
A combination of anti-depressant medication and psychological therapy has been shown to be most effective for the treatment of depression. Cognitive-behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy are the most effective therapeutic approaches for the treatment of depression. If you are interested in exploring the underlying causes of your depressive symptoms, cognitive analytic therapy could also be helpful.
For patients with mild depression, treatment may involve support, meditative exercise, informal counselling, or formal psychosocial interventions such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, or problem-solving therapy. Cognitive Therapy can be effective for more severe forms of depression.