Depression- Causes, Types, Symptoms, Complications & Treatment

Sep 02, 2019

The cardinal question that every person asks to the other is “What is the aim of your life?” and in return other replies “I want to be this, I want to do that, I want to achieve this, I want to contribute to that ….”, the list is endless, isn’t it? The materialistic pursuits always lure humans to strive forward. All too often, we lose something and rarely, we gain anything. In this vicious circle of gaining and losing, the person just loses identity as clutches of pressure clasp around him. And mind it, handling pressure is not anybody’s cup of tea. For some, it acts as a catalyst to attain greater heights while for some, it breaks them and leads into a mental state called depression.
Depression, in the contemporary world, is neither a malady nor an epidemic. It has become so omnipresent that has become a genuine part of our life. Open any Facebook, Instagram profile, you are definitely going to find posts related to depression in your stories for sure. Depression, when understood from a medical point of view, is a mood disorder which causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in daily life.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, 5 percent of men and 9 percent of women experience depressive disorders in any year. But its outturn is much beyond any survey.

What causes depression?

The very ambiguous question, and it has the most diverse answers as it differs from individual to individual.

But some of the genuine reasons can be:

  • Biological differences

Not a certain fact but it has been observed that people suffering from depression have acquired some physical changes in the structure of the brain

  • Chemistry of transmitters

Neurotransmitters are those naturally occurring chemical substances which control the levels of depression. The changes in the function of dopamine and its interactions with neurocircuits determine the levels of depression.

  • Hormones 

Hormonal changes are more frequent in women during pregnancy and after parturition (postpartum) are also definitive causes for stress in women

  • Genetics and biological inheritance

The children having parents suffering from depression are more prone to suffer this state due to genetic modifications.

  • Stressful life events

Loss of loved ones, deaths of relatives, failures in life, treachery, etc. are primordial and most genuine causes of depression.

Different Types of depression

It can be of many times. But the most genuine types are:

  • Major depression

Also known as unipolar depression, it involves low mood and loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities. Symptoms of this type, interfere in all spheres of a person's life, including work and social relationship. 
This can be of three types –

  1. Melancholia
  2. Psychotic depression
  3. Antenatal and postnatal depression
  • Bipolar disorder

It is generally mood swings. A person may have bouts of ‘mania’, along with states of normalcy between the bouts. It is most closely related to family history. Most of the time, it is misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ARDH) or schizophrenia. Cyclothymic disorder is a milder form of bipolar disorder.

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

It has a seasonal pattern. Though its causative factor is still unknown, a person is observed to show different behavioral patterns in different seasons. Most likely to affect people in countries located in the northern hemisphere compared to people in countries like Australia in the southern hemisphere.

Signs & Symptoms of Depression

  • Angry outbursts and irritability over small matters
  • Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness
  • Reduced or increased appetite
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in genuine activities such as sex, sports, and hobbies
  • Inferiority complex and guilty feelings
  • Recurrences of suicidal thoughts in mind and related actions

In children

  • Sadness and clinginess
  • Refusal to go to the school
  • Inclination towards social exclusion
  • Increasing addiction towards drug and alcohol

Complications due to depression

  • Obesity
  • Social phobia and panic disorders
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Self-mutilation, such as harming body parts
  • Relationship failures
  • Premature death from medical conditions

How to avoid

Depression is just a state of mind, which is completely reversible. One can adopt the methods as per the cause and state of the depression.

  1. Changes in lifestyles

It can be a potent treatment for depressive symptoms. Following methods can be used:

  1. Physical workouts and exercises 

It manifolds the secretions of essential feel-good chemicals like serotonin and endorphins that also trigger the growth of new connections in brain cells.
Even light exercise, yoga( yoga for depression) and a 30 min walk can do the trick.

  1. Balanced diet intake

It can surely do miracles by preventing spontaneous mood swings. Your energy levels will also remain intact throughout the day.

  1. Social interactions

Don’t be a lone wolf. Join some creative clubs or even at least have a friend to whom you can share all your thoughts, feelings and emotions.

  1. Psychotherapy

The most bizarre and saddening fact is that is people try to hide the fact they are facing depression. It is always treated as a taboo and inwardly they succumb within themselves. In reality, methods like cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy can act like wonders. It will enable you to reframe your negative mindset to give new dimensions to current relationships, building a moral background within you and most importantly, reducing social isolation.

Depression is not a disease, it is just a state of mind, which is completely natural and justified. One should not treat it as a taboo, because it is better to cure rather than to face continuous pain. Do not be the slave of your mind, be its master because the one who wins over their mind can win over the world.
A healthy mind can be the constructor of society while an unhealthy one becomes the destroyer. Hence be the master of yourself so as to live a better life and manifest beauty within!

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