Most people mistake unhappiness for depression. Although it could be one of the signs, it’s not entirely an indication of it. Depression, in medical terms, refers to an illness that originates from mood, body changes, and thoughts. This disease affects how you eat, sleep, and feel about yourself.
Collectively, this mental health problem is usually referred to as major depressive disorder, which is the most severe type of depression. Being a disease that impacts many aspects of self, recognizing or acknowledging it can be challenging. Therefore, in this article, you will learn the causes, signs, and treatment of depression.
Depression causes range from biological to circumstantial. This means some causes are linked to your nature, and others depend on things like environment and events. These include family history, childhood trauma, brain structure, or drug use.
To clarify, if a family member has ever been depressed, chances are high that you might develop it. With childhood trauma, happenings in your past childhood can trigger depression symptoms. And for medical conditions, things like chronic illnesses, pain, or ADHD can lead to depression. Lastly, a history of drug use can also increase the likelihood of developing depression.
These causes can vary depending on factors like the degree of effect, self-care, and influence of others. More so, these aspects can also influence the signs of depression.
It’s worth noting that these symptoms will vary depending on things like gender or age. However, general symptoms that are common across the board include the following.
A sudden increase or decrease in appetite for food should be a significant concern to you. In most cases, it could be a sign of depression. This appetite changes lead to eating disorders like eating junk or failing to eat anything. As a result, one starts to lose or gain weight, which affects them physically and mentally. Since eating disorders are severe medical conditions, they can be a prerequisite to major depressive disorder.
Mild sadness is normal. It could result from a bad day at work or annoyance from a loud neighbour. However, when it gets to the state where it affects your thoughts or interaction with others, it could be a sign of depression. Mainly, these feelings give rise to other symptoms, such as anxiety and antisocial behaviours. When you notice these patterns, you should seek help or try to trace the triggers and avoid them.
Suicidal thoughts culminate in feelings of worthlessness, pessimism, guilt, and sadness. When overwhelmed with these moods and feelings, they tend to lose the meaning of life and get convinced that death is the way out. With the help of a psychiatrist, these feelings can be suppressed and replaced with more positive thoughts to promote recovery.
Sleep is essential to our mental health. People suffering from depression find it hard to sleep or stay awake. Again, healthy people might develop depression if they have poor sleeping habits. Therefore, it’s essential to watch your sleeping habits if you want to lead a better life. This is because sleep affects other areas, such as memory, learning capabilities, and accelerated ageing.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment technique to help you overcome depression. This strategy is built on the idea that your thoughts, physical sensations, and actions are interconnected. Therefore, the treatment approach provides a road map to identify and face your fears and negative thought patterns. In effect, you build positive habits that replace these negative thoughts. Given that depression is a disease that affects these thoughts and actions, CBT is the best treatment. Here at CBT South Dublin, we use mindfulness-based CBT techniques to help you find meaning in life and live compassionately.