Last month, we heard of news concerning 2 artists; one, a famous comedian committed suicide in his house and the second, a known local drama actress/singer who have apologized to her fans because she said she let herself become out of shape due to depression.
So what is depression?
Now, don’t think that depression is just a state of being “emo.” Likewise, some people seem to think depression can be triggered by something that happened in your life – lost of loved one, death in the family, financial lost. No, depression can be triggered anytime without any provocation and without proper medical consultation and therapy, it can be dangerous.
There are times when we feel a little sadness, loneliness in life, but that is not depression. Depression is a feeling of intense sadness, helpless, hopeless, and worthless – that may last for many days, weeks and even years and it keep you from functioning normally.
It is said that women are less affected by depression due to the fact that women can easily express their sadness, while men who are more secretive about their feelings due to the issue about the “macho thing” can become depressive for years. Men are less likely than women to acknowledge feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness. Instead, they hide it and may just complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest in work and hobbies. Yet still, women are more susceptible of depression compared with men because of natural hormonal factors, particularly when it comes to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), postpartum depression, and perimenopausal depression.
Teen depression is more of an irritability than a depression. A depressed teenager may be hostile, grumpy, or easily lose his or her temper. Unexplained aches and pains are also common symptoms of depression in young people and it left untreated, it may lead to problems at home and school, drug abuse, self-loathing and even tragedy such as homicidal violence or suicide. Older adults tend to complain more about the physical rather than the emotional signs and symptoms of depression, and so the problem often goes unrecognized. Depression in older people is associated with poor health, a high mortality rate, and an increased risk of suicide, so diagnosis and treatment are extremely important.
Depression can also be triggered by hypertension (high blood), obesity, alcoholism, mood altering drugs, or a lazy lifestyle.
So how can you tell if someone is suffering from depression?
The first sign of depression is a sudden changed outlook in life. Suddenly, your cheerful friend becomes pessimistic about everything. He may become very irritable and may become very unfocused in his work, on making decisions, or may have a hard time remembering things.
There can also be some physical changes like he may gain or loss weight, may start to look older than his age and he may suffer from insomnia or oversleeping. Depression can cause suicide. The profound misery and sadness that goes with depression can make suicide like the best way to escape the ache. Contemplations of death or suicide are the dangerous side effect of depression and without proper management this feeling of utter helplessness can lead a person to self-destruction.
So what can we do?
One of the effective methods when facing depression is learning how to talk. Try reaching out to others. Communicate with loved ones, and tell them your problems, or whatever’s bothering you. Learn how to express your emotion and don’t clam up. Now, if it's your loved one who is suffering depression, make sure that you make communication open. Try to talk to him and break his silence.
Stay active. You will also be surprised to know that exercise can do much to help. Exercise regularly since it will not only make you healthy, but regular exercise can also boost your mood. A 15 minute regular exercise routine can reduce the physical symptoms of depression.
Try to have a sense of purpose in life. People who have life goals tend to live much longer. Try not living your life in a daily, boring routine. Have some social activity once in a while. Volunteer, join some active clubs and groups or travel if you can. Also, try having a break in your daily work – travel, explore. Finding activities you enjoy that give you a sense of purpose is a surefire way to improve your mood and reduce your risk of depression.