MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS : DEPRESSION IS NOT A JOKE !

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS : DEPRESSION IS NOT A JOKE !

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Depression is a serious condition that negatively affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. In contrast to normal sadness, clinical depression is persistent, often interferes with a person’s ability to experience or anticipate pleasure, and significantly interferes with functioning in daily life.

WHAT IS DEPRESSION ?

Depression is a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which stops you doing your normal activities. Different types of depression exist, with symptoms ranging from relatively minor to severe. Generally, depression does not result from a single event, but from a mix of events and factors.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN CAUSE OF DEPRESSION ?

Abuse. Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can make you more vulnerable to depression later in life.
Age. People who are elderly are at higher risk of depression. That can be made worse by other factors, such as living alone and having a lack of social support.
Certain medications. Some drugs, such as isotretinoin (used to treat acne), the antiviral drug interferon-alpha, and corticosteroids, can increase your risk of depression.
Conflict. Depression in someone who has the biological vulnerability to it may result from personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends.
Death or a loss. Sadness or grief after the death or loss of a loved one, though natural, can increase the risk of depression.
Gender. Women are about twice as likely as men to become depressed. No one's sure why. The hormonal changes that women go through at different times of their lives may play a role.
Genes. A family history of depression may increase the risk. It's thought that depression is a complex trait, meaning there are probably many different genes that each exert small effects, rather than a single gene that contributes to disease risk. The genetics of depression, like most psychiatric disorders, are not as simple or straightforward as in purely genetic diseases such as Huntington's chorea or cystic fibrosis.
Major events. Even good events such as starting a new job, graduating, or getting married can lead to depression. So can moving, losing a job or income, getting divorced, or retiring. However, the syndrome of clinical depression is never just a "normal" response to stressful life events.
Other personal problems. Problems such as social isolation due to other mental illnesses or being cast out of a family or social group can contribute to the risk of developing clinical depression.
Serious illnesses. Sometimes, depression happens along with a major illness or may be triggered by another medical condition.
Substance misuse. Nearly 30% of people with substance misuse problems also have major or clinical depression. Even if drugs or alcohol temporarily make you feel better, they ultimately will aggravate depression.

What You Can Do
There’s no sure way to prevent depression. But you can:

  • Find ways to handle stress and improve your self-esteem.
  • Take good care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly.
  • Reach out to family and friends when times get hard.
    Get regular medical checkups, and see your provider if you don’t feel right.
  • Get help if you think you’re depressed. If you wait, it could get worse.

If you do have depression, you can do a few things to keep it from getting worse.

  • Stick with your treatment plan. If you are on medicine, take it as prescribed, whether you feel good or not. Don’t skip therapy sessions. Let your doctor know what is and isn’t working for you.
  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. It may seem like these make you feel better. But they can actually make it harder to treat your depression.
  • Try ways to fight stress, like meditation and yoga.
  • Spend time with family and friends. Think about joining a support group. Do things that keep you connected to others.
  • Know yourself. Pay attention to the things that seem to make your symptoms worse. Keep notes and tell your doctor or therapist about it.
  • Don’t make big life decisions on a day when you’re feeling down.
  • Talk to your therapist or doctor about medicine that can stop depression from coming back.
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