Until recently depression was considered a phase of gloominess by many. But now as people have become more aware of the seriousness of this condition, they have started to define it medically. Depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects your thoughts and behaviors.

Depression is usually characterized by feelings of sadness or loss of interest in general activities. Depression can lead to a number of emotional and physical problems rendering you unable to function properly.

If you feel depressed now or have been through depression in the past you are not alone. According to WHO, 264 million people suffer from depression globally. All these people and you must be in dire need of help. But for that, you need to understand your condition better.

Causes of depression

It must have occurred to you that why you feel depressed and others who have been through the same circumstances don’t. Well, depression, like another disease is multifactorial. It can also occur out of the blue. So, you don’t have to think of yourself as some weak-minded individual. There 264 million people just like you.

Loss: Your depression might be the result of some loss you have experienced. This loss can be of a close person or a much-loved thing. Death and loss are one of the leading causes of depression.

Abuse or trauma: Your past traumas and abuse can haunt you in the form of depression. Childhood traumas and abuse experiences are one of the major reasons for adulthood depression.

Conflict: Conflict whether personal or with others, can induce depression.

Genetics; A family history of depression can increase your risk of having depression. Genetic depression is a result of several contributing genes rather than just one gene. The genetics of depression is usually not as simple and straightforward as in other diseases.

Personal problems: Body image issues, social isolation, and internal conflicts can express themselves in the form of depression.

Disease and illnesses: Serious health complications not only come with physical pain but with mental pain too. Diseases, when hindering your normal life can lead to depression too.

Medication and substance abuse: Certain medications have depression as one of their side effects. Drug and substance abuse is also strongly linked to depression.

Symptoms of Depression

The lines between depression and feeling sad are thin. To get the proper help you need to be diagnosed first. You may want to get in touch with a psychiatrist in order to do this. There is no particular test for depression, but general signs and symptoms that may hint at the birth and growth of it.

  • The signs and symptoms associated with depression are can be mental, physical, or social.
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Low self-esteem
  • Felling pessimistic, hopeless, and helpless
  • Always feeling guilty
  • Feeling anxious and restless
  • Losing interest in things you used to find interesting
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Abnormal eating behavior
  • Avoiding contact with other people
  • Unusual body aches and chest tightness
  • Suicidal thoughts or in worst cases suicidal attempts

The human brain is capable enough to distinguish between general gloominess and depression. If any of the symptoms combined with others persist for long you might have clinical depression

Even to this day, when people have started identifying depression as a serious clinical disorder, they hesitate to seek professional help. Your one visit to a psychologist will take up most of your energy. It’s better to assess yourself first so your meetings with your psychologists become more fruitful. Taking the first step is always the hardest, and your journey will only begin once you overcome this struggle. Sometimes you would be directed to take medication, use alternative medicine or inpatient therapy for depression, and you have to understand that it’s for the sake of your health and recovery. Depression is best addressed when you’re not alone, that’s why it’s important to keep your door open to those who are committed to helping you.

With everything going online and digital, you can reach out to a psychologist with one click of your phone too. Consult a psychologist now to welcome better and happier days.

Mind you, depression is not as harmless as you may think. Severe depression can lead to suicide attempts, which would be a huge loss for not only you but the whole world, as you are as important and bright as the sun. The world needs you and you need the world, so why not make this relationship as positive as possible. So smile and invest in yourself to say hello to a brighter world.

BIO: Hiba Batool; a medical researcher and writer at Marham.

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