Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. Depression will usually affect a person’s thinking and behavior, and can trigger a variety of physical and emotional problems.
A person who is depressed may experience problems in carrying out daily activities. In fact, not infrequently they feel that life is pointless. However, someone who is depressed does not mean a weak person. Because depression is a disease that can be cured.
If left unchecked, depression can cause dangerous complications. For example anxiety disorder, panic disorder or social phobia. People who suffer from depression tend to be socially isolated, resulting in suicidal ideation. In addition, they are also prone to hurting their own bodies. For example cutting off certain limbs.
Depression can get worse if left untreated. Untreated depression can lead to emotional, behavioral and health problems that can affect every aspect of your life and even lead to death.
Until now, it is not known exactly what causes depression. However, this disease can be influenced by various factors, such as:
- Biological changes. People with depression experience physical changes in their brains. The changes in question cannot be explained with certainty.
- Instability of chemical reactions in the brain. In a study it was found that the chemicals contained in the brain may play a role in the occurrence of depression. Changes in brain chemicals will result in changes in mood stability in a person.
- Hormonal changes. Changes in the balance of hormones in the body can trigger depression. Hormonal changes can occur during pregnancy, during the weeks or months after delivery, due to thyroid problems, menopause, or other conditions.
- Family Descendants. Depression is more common in people whose blood relatives also have this condition. Researchers are currently still trying to find the genes that may be involved in causing depression.
In addition to the factors above, some of these factors also have the potential to increase the risk of developing depression in a person.
- Has low self-confidence and is too dependent on others, often blames himself, and is pessimistic.
- Experiencing a traumatic or stressful event. For example, sexual abuse or physical abuse, death or loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship with someone, or financial problems.
- Experiencing childhood trauma or depression that started as a teenager or child.
- Having different sexual identities such as lesbian, homo, bisexual, or transgender in unsupportive situations.
- Have another mental disorder, such as an anxiety disorder, eating disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Dependence on alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Chronic illness or serious illness, including cancer, stroke, chronic pain, or heart disease.
- Are on certain medications, such as taking some hypertension drugs or sleeping pills. Some experts have found a relationship between depression and the consumption of certain chemical drugs. It is best to talk to your doctor before stopping any medication.
Depressive symptoms last for at least two weeks. Some sufferers can suffer from depression that is severe enough to interfere with daily activities. For example at work, at school, social activities, or in interacting with other people. Some other sufferers can also feel unhappy without knowing the reason.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) is a widely used guide in diagnosing mental disorders. According to these guidelines, a person can suffer from depression if he or she experiences at least 5 of the following symptoms:
- Feeling gloomy/depressed most of the day, especially in the morning
- Feeling tired or low on energy most days
- Feelings of uselessness or guilt nearly every day
- Impaired concentration, indecision
- Having trouble sleeping or even sleeping too much
- Diminished interest and disinterest in all activities
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicidal ideation
- Feeling restless or being sluggish
- Significant weight loss or gain
Apart from consulting a doctor, diagnosing depression requires a psychological evaluation by a psychiatrist. You will be asked to answer and fill in a number of questions that are included in the guide to determining depression.
The doctor will also carry out a physical examination if necessary. Depression can also be caused by side effects of certain diseases.
Therefore, the doctor can also carry out laboratory tests such as a complete blood count or thyroid test to determine your thyroid function.
The keywords for depression are moody mood and loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed. To establish a diagnosis of depression, a psychiatrist needs to pay attention to the signs that are there, for at least two weeks.
Until now there is no drug that really cures and eliminates depression. Depressed people are encouraged to regularly take depression medication and carry out psychological counseling. This method has been shown to be effective for most people with depression.
If you have major depression, you may need to be hospitalized or attend an outpatient therapy program until your symptoms improve. The following are types of drugs used as depression drugs or anti-depressants:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline.
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): duloxetine, venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine.
- Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs): bupropion
- Atypical antidepressants: trazodone, mirtazapine.
- Tricyclic antidepressants: imipramine, nortriptyline, amitriptyline, doxepin, trimipramine, desipramine.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): tranylcypromine, phenelzine, isocarboxazid.
Apart from taking medication, people with depression can also take part in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a general term for treating depression by talking about your condition and related issues with your doctor or counselor. Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy or psychological therapy.
There is no sure way to prevent depression. However, you can do the following things which may be useful:
- Take steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and self-confidence.
- Be close to family and friends, especially during tough times, to help you through it.
- Seek treatment immediately at the first signs of depression to help prevent depression from getting worse.
Consider getting long-term maintenance therapy to prevent depressive symptoms from returning.
Tips to Relieve Depression
Depression is indeed a disease for which no cure has been found, but those of you who are already suffering from depression can take various actions to relieve symptoms of depression, such as the following:
- Do not stop taking your depression medication before telling your doctor. Stopping medication suddenly or missing multiple doses of medication can cause withdrawal-like symptoms and can exacerbate depressive symptoms.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, some antidepressants can be risky for the fetus or child who is still breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Live life simply. You may have to allow yourself to do less work or activity if you feel tired or weak.
- Keep a diary to improve your mood.
- Read books or websites that can help you get better.
- Do not isolate yourself or cut yourself off from social activities.
- Find some ways to relax and deal with stress.
- Don’t make important decisions when you’re feeling down or down because you may not be thinking straight.