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Everyone feels down from time to time. Even more so today with the pandemic. Sometimes, we are stuck in a bad place in life, and it can be difficult for us to keep our heads up. But eventually, when things get better, our sadness fades away, and that satisfaction in life returns. But when it comes to people with depression, things are much more complex.
So, what is depression, how can you know you have it, and most importantly, what can you do about it? Let’s take a look.
What is depression?
Depression can be defined as a constant state of hopelessness and despair. Sadness has a reason for it; when that reason gets fixed, you return to your normal mood and start enjoying your life again. But in the case of depression, these feelings of gloominess persist, even when there is no reason for it. This constant melancholia affects your mood, how you think, how you look at others, and how you feel about life in general.
Depression is not just a feeling rather a severe disorder, and It affects almost every area of your life from hobbies, work, relationships, social life, and even eating habits. Depression is also the most common mental disorder in the world, affecting almost 264 million individuals.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Identifying whether you are just sad or are suffering from depression is the first step towards the solution. The following symptoms of depression can help you gain more clarity on your condition.
- Hopelessness: You have a very bleak outlook on life. You feel as if everything is worthless and nothing can help your situation.
- Loss of energy: You feel extremely tired, even with proper sleep and nutrition. You can’t find the energy to do even simple tasks. You feel physically and mentally drained. You may also experience decreased sex drive.
- Loss of interest in daily activities: Hobbies or other fun activities are not enjoyable anymore. You find it hard to feel joy or pleasure like you once did.
- Self-loathing: You feel worthless and have an overly critical view of yourself. Your emotions quickly change and become too overwhelming.
- Irritability: You feel restless and even angry at times. It is difficult for you to control your emotions and feel better. You have a very low resistance to stress.
- Health Changes: You experience a significant change in your weight, either weight loss or weight gain. Problems such as insomnia, fatigue, unknown aches, etc.
- Inability to concentrate: It is difficult for you to concentrate or pay attention to anything. You have a bad memory and a hard time remembering even important details.
- Harmful Behaviour: You engage in harmful activities such as substance abuse, reckless driving, etc. and care very little about your safety.
- Suicidal thoughts: You feel no interest in living and often have thoughts about death or committing suicide.
Fortunately, depression can be treated to a great extent. Many proven and effective strategies can give lasting results. Let’s have a look at a few methods with which we can overcome depression.
Overcoming depression with Psychotherapy
The decision to take professional help has changed the lives of thousands of people. Even those who considered themselves to be untreatable reported vital improvements.
Also referred to as talk therapy, this approach helps you understand the underlying causes of your depression, change your thinking and habits, helps you develop effective coping mechanisms, and teach you how you can attain desirable impacts in your life.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is perhaps the most commonly used therapy for depression among different forms of therapy. In CBT, you mainly focus on your negative and distorted thinking patterns. A therapist helps you identify these self-deprecating thoughts and behaviors and helps you develop healthier and more realistic ways of thinking.
Depending on your condition, your therapist may also suggest other therapy forms, such as Dialectic behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, or interpersonal therapy, etc.
This change in your attitude leads to a healthy change in behavior, and it helps lift depression from your life. While at the same time, it also teaches you techniques to deal with your problems even without a therapist’s help.
Your therapy can also be paired with different types of medications, such as antidepressants, to give the maximum results.
Depression is a real problem, and it affects the lives of many people worldwide. Fortunately, it can also be treated with many therapeutic interventions and lifestyle changes. If you are depressed or face issues controlling your emotions, getting professional help can turn out to be the one big step you take towards improving yourself and living a better life.