Depression is a mental health disorder, which causes loss of interest and feeling of sadness persistently. Depression is also known as major depressive disorder and affects your lifestyle significantly.
Not only does it affect how you feel and think, but it also leads to several other conditions like acute hypertension, diabetes, kidney disorders, and weight gain.
Depression is a complex mental health condition. There are various causes of depression – for instance, some people have depression due to a severe health condition.
Others may experience depression due to certain life events such as moving to another country leaving behind their families or the death of loved ones. Many people have a family history of the disorder.
Causes of Depression
There are many causes of depression. This is why it is not easy for health professionals to determine the symptoms of each case in psychiatric clinics. Some of the major causes of depression are:
Serious illnesses: Research shows that major depressive disorders co-exist with serious illnesses. Some people with severe health disorders experience depression. The most prominent diseases that are triggers of depression are stroke, diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.
Hereditary: If you have a family history of major depressive disorders, it will increase your risk of getting the disorder. So, if your parents or grandparents have suffered from depression, you are likely to get the disease. It is because depression is a genetic disorder. There is ongoing research to determine the hereditary factors that cause depression.
Domestic Abuse: Emotional, sexual, and physical abuse also contribute to major depressive disorders. Domestic abuse is common in low-income families all around the world. The abuse causes stress and there are certain stress-causing hormones released in the brain, which disrupt the transfer of chemical signals across the neural network.
Emotional Life Events: Loss of a loved one, grief or sadness from death can also cause depression. Research shows that these are the common factors that increase the risk of depression.
Certain Medications: There are certain medicines used for treating hypertension and heart diseases, which can also cause depression. Studies show that reserpine and other beta-blockers can increase the risk of depression in both males and females.
Social Events: Some people with depression also suffer from anxiety and social phobia, which are interconnected mental health conditions. For instance, speaking in public or participating in a crowded event can trigger depression and anxiety.
Substance Abuse: Several research studies have confirmed that over 30% of people who have a drug or substance abuse problems suffer from major depressive disorders.
Treatment for Depression
It is not easy to live with depression and if you have higher levels of this disorder, it can make your life worse. However, you can get appropriate treatment to overcome depression and improve your quality of life.
Some people manage symptoms of depression with one form of treatment. On the other hand, healthcare professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists combine various treatment options to adequately treat this mental health condition.
Primarily, depression is treated with certain medications such as anti-depressants, beta-blockers, propanol, and lithium. Many doctors also prescribe anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medications to treat symptoms of depression.
Most often, people with symptoms of major depressive disorders undergo psychotherapy, which is a specialized form of treatment that does not involve treatment with medications.
An experienced therapist performs psychotherapy, which involves helping the patients to learn certain skills to overcome sadness and negative feelings. Group or family therapy sessions are of great help in this regard.
Many research studies have concluded that exercise helps reduce stress levels and improve blood flow to the brain. Physical workout for at least 30 minutes daily increases the production of endorphins in your body. These are important hormones that trigger happy mood.
Avoid drugs and alcohol
Substance abuse is one of the primary causes of depression and anxiety. Avoiding alcohol and drugs is of great help when it comes to overcoming symptoms of depression. Most people misuse drugs when they had major traumatic events in their lives.
Research shows that to calm depressive symptoms, one has to leave bad habits and adopt more natural ways to improve overall mental health. Thus, you can balance the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and other hormones in your brain by stopping alcohol and drug misuse.
Healthy Lifestyle, in general, means taking care of yourself. For instance, participating in leisure activities, avoiding negative people, maintain a balanced diet, and getting a good night’s sleep can help you improve symptoms of depression.
Research studies show that medications don’t work well when you have a poor quality of life. Smoking, for example, can impact your body’s response to antidepressants. Therefore, to relieve symptoms of depression, you need to improve the quality of life and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
How to deal with depression in pregnancy?
Due to hormonal changes in the body, pregnant women often suffer from depression and anxiety. However, certain ways help pregnant women deal with depression.
Since medications can affect pregnancy, experts recommend a non-medication form of treatment to pregnant women. Some of the best ways to deal with depression in pregnancy are:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has found useful to mild symptoms of depression during pregnancy. A pregnant woman must have multiple therapy sessions with a skilled therapist who will teach her new techniques to manage emotions and negative thoughts.
Several clinical research studies have shown that pregnant women need natural mood-boosters like omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients found in nuts and oily fish. Omega-3 fatty acids not only boost a pregnant woman’s mind but also keep the metabolism levels balanced.
Another vital treatment or method to deal with depression in pregnancy is acupuncture, which is a Chinese method characterized by placing tiny needles in different areas of the body to increase blow flow, which is necessary for keeping the mind and body healthy.
How to deal with depression at work?
A person suffering from depression experiences fatigue, sadness, and loss of interest in everyday activities. Not only does this disorder affect your personal life but also your professional life. A depressed mind is not productive and thus it leads to putting your career at risk or you may lose your job.
A recent research study showed that over 20% of workers who were diagnosed with major depressive disorders had less or no time to talk to their doctors about their symptoms. The study highlighted that work stress and tight deadlines were major causes of depression among the workers.
If you are suffering from depression, you will often find it difficult to be a productive team member at your company. Sadness, worries, and loss of interest can risk your professional career. You will feel less motivated to carry out your office work. The lack of concentration and unmotivated thoughts are disastrous for your professional career.
Medications are the primary treatment for depression. However, it can cause side effects. Therefore, the best way to deal with your depression – especially if you are a working man or woman – is to adopt natural ways and improve quality of life.
Stress management is the best way to cope with symptoms of major depressive disorders. In the work-life, each impending deadline to deliver tasks because of looming pressure on your brain, which causes depression.
When you face such a situation, you need to relax your mind. Sit back and relax your muscles through deep breathing. Also, get up from your office desk and take a 5-10 minute walk. Don’t think about your work for some time. This will ease pressure on your mind.
Moreover, when you come back home from the office, get some rest – even a 30 minutes nap will relax your muscles and ease your mind. There are certain relaxation techniques you can do at your home such as deep breathing, mindful meditation, and yoga. These are also beneficial for easing depressive symptoms.
Get Enough Sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep at night, you will feel exhausted in the morning. A fatigued mind and body with a lot of work in the office can further increase symptoms of depression.
Simply put, relaxed sleep for at least 6 hours and at most 9 hours is essential for refreshing your brain neural network and overcoming fatigue. A good night’s sleep is also useful for maintaining adequate levels of metabolism in the body, which is also associated with stress levels.
Depression causes hormonal imbalance in your body. It also affects neuronal signals in your brain, which leads to food cravings – particularly for food items that are rich in sugar content. High blood glucose levels cause hypertension, heart diseases, and other chronic disorders, which eventually can cause depression in the long run.
Fruits and vegetables with fewer carbs in them can help you keep your body’s metabolism balanced and improve blood flow to your brain cells. You must eat slower-burning foods like whole-grain crackers, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables to keep your blood glucose levels balanced and steady. This will keep your mood stable.
Before you go to the office, you must work out for at least 30 minutes. The sweat you release from your skin during exercise maintains sugar and salt levels in your body.
Exercises such as walking, jogging, and running release a substantial amount of endorphins in your brain, which fight stress and depressive symptoms, improve your brain functionality and happy mood as well as calm your anxiousness or panic attacks.
How to deal with depression at school?
For schoolchildren or college students, mindfulness is important, which allows them to stay conscious and aware in the present moment.
Although it sounds simple and easy, it requires students to practice different techniques to stay connected, increase their concentration, and be conscious in the present moment.
Students at school are often overburdened with homework, quizzes, tests, etc. All these things cause them to stay awake late at night to prepare for quizzes, assignments, and tests.
Besides, sleep deprivation in schoolchildren or students can cause depression and many parents feel worried about their children.
Several research studies show that stress and depression are the leading causes of poor performance at school. Many children do not even talk to their parents about the issues they are having in their personal lives and school.
So, depressive disorders not only affect their mental health but also cause obesity in schoolchildren. Eventually, they suffer from hypertension and chronic heart diseases at a young age.
Schoolchildren with depression must spend time outdoors in nature. For example, there is a custom in Japan known as “Forest Bathing,” which means allowing children to spend some time around trees.
Schools in the western hemisphere should adopt the “Forest Bathing” Custom and allow children to spend some time in nature. This lowers blood pressure and heart rate decreases the production of the stress hormone, strengthens the immune system, and boosts the overall mental wellbeing of children.
Healthy activities at school such as playing and engaging in group activities help keep the mind fresh. This way, a child with symptoms of depression can do well in school.
Moreover, parental support and teacher’s care is also important for the child to perform well in school. This improves a sense of security in the child and he or she feels supported and not alone in the fight against depression.
Depression is a psychological disorder that affects millions of people across the world. The fast-paced world with advanced technology, unhealthy food, poor environmental strategies, and bad quality of life have caused the depression to be one of the most prevalent health disorders in the world.
The World Health Organization in collaboration with the American Psychological Association is making substantial efforts to implement world-wide strategies for major depressive disorders. The purpose of the various programs initiated by WHO is to make people aware of this condition and encourage them to adopt healthy lifestyles.