One might think that every person goes through mood swings and depression is just one intensely long mood swing, but that’s not true. Mood swings are just mood swings. Sadness is just sadness and depression is depression. There are subtle yet significant differences between sadness, mood swings, and depression.
When you are sad, you can still overcome it after watching a good movie or by going out, but when you are depressed, things become different. A clinically depressed person needs treatment to feel better. It is not like momentary sadness which passes.
Depression can be long-term, it affects the mood of a person, and depression overpowers your mind with thoughts which can be extremely dangerous. If you know someone who is depressed for a long time, or if you can see the following signs, get in touch with a professional right away.
• A depressed person has feelings of hopelessness and emptiness which magnify depending on the severity of depression.
• A depressed person may show you signs of guilt, helplessness, worthlessness, or loneliness almost all the time.
• Activities which were once enjoyable are no longer points of interest.
• A depressed person will face difficulty in concentrating, decision making will become difficult, and even forgetfulness will set in.
• A depressed person finds it hard to sleep or will sleep a lot
• A depressed person’s weight may fluctuate. There may be extreme weight loss or weight gain.
• A depressed person will often feel irritated at trivial things or have overwhelming responses to things that don’t matter.
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When to consult a doctor?
You should note that not every mood swing can be associated with depression. If normal day-to-day activities become a task, if your hobbies are no longer interesting, if you are facing difficulty in sleeping, concentrating, if you feel guilty and remorse, and can’t function properly, then this is the time to get in touch with a professional. Depression can take days, months, and sometimes even years to come out of. Notice the signs mentioned above. They might indicate that you are suffering. Let your doctor know.
If you are still uncertain whether you are depressed or not, you can check out this article about the signs and indicators which point toward anxiety and depression.
When does depression happen?
It is difficult to give you generalizations; there can be many reasons why a person goes through a depressed mental state. Depression can begin in your childhood. It is a disorder that doesn’t see time and age, it affects everyone. We just fail to realize it. Nowadays, workplace demands are making people stressed and burn-out; people often complain about having symptoms of depression because of their jobs.
If workplace stress is causing you anxiety, you can benefit from this 2 pronged technique to reduce anxiety.
Other key factors which can make you depressed is losing someone very close, a traumatizing childhood experience- this can be anything from being bullied, sexually harassed, a stressful situation, and more. Depression can also occur after pregnancy or a serious medical illness like heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s and more. Some medicines may have side-effects which mimic the symptoms of depression.
Visiting a psychologist, counselor, or a physiatrist for different mental problems is no longer considered a taboo. If you know something is not right with your mental health, it’s time to meet a professional. If visiting a therapist is too expensive for you, you can use
Types of Depression that affect people:
Major depression: A person who no longer enjoys life, who doesn’t want to eat, sleep, remain blank most of the times, can be diagnosed as major depression. Some people can go through this once, but it stays for a more extended period, for some people, they can have many episodes of major depression.
Persistent depressive disorder: Persistent depressive disorder can alter our lives. It can stay with you for as long as 2 years. If a patient is diagnosed with this, then he or she will go through various episodes of major depression along with a few minor ones. But the symptoms last longer.
Bipolar Disorder depression: A person with bipolar will have two kinds of moods: A depressive phase and a manic phase. Basically, the person goes through extreme highs and extreme lows. During the manic depression, you will see symptoms of major depression. The person will be low in energy, lots of mood swings, etc.
SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder: This is a type of depression that occurs during the onset of the winter months. But when in sunlight, SAD is hardly seen. SAD affects the brain during darkness or winter season and can be treated by using therapies like the light therapy, medications will also help to feel better.
Psychotic Depression: A person suffering from psychotic disorders will have severe depression along with a few forms of psychosis. Which can be false beliefs, delusions, and even hearing and seeing things which can be really upsetting.
PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric disorder: Women who are diagnosed with PMDD will go through various kinds of mood swings, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, change in appetite and sleeping patterns, and more.
Note: As psychological and neuroscientific research advances, we learn more about depression. The classification of depression changes based on new research. The whole bio-psycho-social concept of depression might change in the future.
Can depression affect your overall body?
Yes, depression can affect your overall body. Your body is controlled by your mind, and the brain gives signals which then runs through your veins and within a fraction of seconds, you feel that sensation in various parts of your body. Some of the most common physical symptoms which are associated with depression are- backache, joint aches, headaches, chest pain, and problems with digestions, gastric, and more. Treatment of both physical and mental symptoms of depression is essential.
I know the financial burden of treatment can be high, or your insurance might not cover it. Here are
What can you do if your loved one is suffering from depression?
Depression is a serious issue. You don’t know the reason why someone is feeling this way. A depressed person might not be in a position to tell you what triggered him or her! How long is it affecting their moods? Don’t get judgemental, don’t let the person feel that it is common or that their state of mind can’t be that bad! Never make them feel that no one cares how they feel, or everything is just in their head, they are overreacting, or that it’s their fault! Here is a comprehensive guide on what you can do to help your depressed friend or loved one.
Few last words… Just be there for the person, open your ears and broaden your mind, listen to the person who is really depressed. Consult with a few professionals. Go along with the person to make him/her realize that when you said you are there, you meant every word of it!
This article has been submitted by Manisha Adlakha. Cognition Today thanks her for the post:)