Depression is a very common experience. We have all felt fed up, miserable and sad. Sometimes the reason seems obvious- a disappointment, frustration, losing someone something important, but not always. Sometimes we are just in a bad mood or “feel blue”, and we really are not sure the reason why.
These feelings at times become so severe that we feel that life is not worth living and we seem unable to cope with the pressures of life.
Other people might feel weak and that they have given up but depression to this degree is an illness. Luckily an illness that can be cured with the right help. Depression is the most common form of mental illness. Even though a sufferer may fear that they are “going mad” with treatment almost all sufferers can be cured and go on to live happy, fulfilling and useful lives. So, how do we recognize the signs?
A depression is highly suspected with constant feelings of unhappiness that will not go away, losing interest in life, becoming unable to enjoy anything, even with your children, finding it hard to make simple decisions, feeling completely tired, feeling restless and agitated, losing or increased weight, difficulty
in sleeping, waking up earlier than usual, losing interest in sex, losing self confidence, feeling useless inadequate and hopeless, avoiding other people, feeling irritable, feeling worse in the mornings, thinking of suicide.
The list is endless! If you can recognize four of these symptoms in someone you know, they may be suffering from depression. Usually there is more than one reason for causing depression and these will often be different for each person.
It is quite normal to feel depressed after a distressing event such as the death of a loved one. However, normally we are able to get through the event and eventually lose the feelings of constant sadness and come to terms with the event.
But sometimes such events lead to a longer lasting depression that is much trifling to come out of. A stressful lifestyle can also lead to depression.
If we have no friends around, have other worries or are physically tired from having to balance both work and study with your husband and children waiting for your affection, we become seriously depressed while at other (happier) times we could cope.
Depression also strikes those with physical illness. Personality- although anyone can become depressed, some of us are more vulnerable than others. This could be because of the way each of us is made or because of events that happened to us as children or both. Depression is more common in women, who also express their emotions more easily, but a doctor can come in handy. Depending on your symptoms and how severe your depression is, you doctor will decide on the best way of treating you.
Talking about your problems with your doctor is part of the treatment. It is sometimes easier than talking to a friend. Sometimes the illness does not show itself as feelings of unhappiness but as bodily aches and pains e.g. headaches and backaches, and because it is not obvious, you, your friends and family might not recognize the depression.
Even if recognized, people sometimes mistakenly urge others “to be strong” and ignore it. This only worsens the condition. Antidepressants: These are medicines that help a person feel better after a period of treatment. Currently available antidepressants are safe, reliable and effective. Your doctor will advise on the best one.