HomeHealthDepression – Treat an Illness, Not a Weakness
Depression – Treat an Illness, Not a Weakness
If you are depressed to the point that you can’t sleep can’t concentrate and don’t want to get out of bed, you are not alone. More than twice as many women as men have severe depression that can linger for several months, even years. If not treated, sometimes depression can lift only for symptoms to recur, when feeling bad is good.
Women are also more likely than men to experience mild depression to feel overwhelmed, powerless, discouraged, ineffective or sorrowful, and possibly angry or guilty. These feelings last longer than the blues but typically lift after many hours or days. A study suggests that our genes and biochemistry, our circumstances, and our personal history can all independently or in combination contribute to depression.
It’s an illness, not a character flaw, and experts say that it runs in families. People with severe depression seem to have the brain chemistry that predisposes them to bouts. Hormonal changes that precede menstruation and follow pregnancy also appear to play some role. Losses disappointments, difficult relationships, stress, and past trauma can all contribute.
So can other illnesses or certain prescription drugs including oral contraceptives. We don’t know why depression is more common in women, but a number of theories exist. In addition to hormonal and biochemical differences, it may be caused by the added stress in a society where women don’t get the same opportunities and respect that men do. Differences in the ways that boys and girls are socialized may also leave women more vulnerable.
Then there are relationships unhappily married women run 25 times of risk of depression that happily married ones do. It’s not a big surprise, but it doesn’t end there; dissatisfaction with other roles as a mother or an employee can have a similar effect. A study comparing stay-at-home mums and working mothers found that the mothers who were most depressed were those who were unhappy with their roles whatever they were.
What you can do for mild depression; studies suggest that depression takes a toll on the immune system, leaving us more susceptible to illness, and may increase our risk of heart disease. If severe, it can lead to thoughts of suicide, so severe depression warrants professional treatment.
Mild depression can respond to some tender self-care. Here’s what experts suggest. Studies show that exercise alleviates depression by reducing stress and raising levels of feel-good substances in the brain notes. So get up and walk, even if it’s the last thing that you feel like doing. Remind yourself I can do this it’ll be worth it. I only have to take a few steps.
Moreover, you need to set a goal of exercising 20 minutes a day three times a week. If you don’t feel like yourself it may not be enough to sit down and ask yourself, why am I feeling different? Am I depressed? It can help to write about or illustrate you’re feeling in a diary, note the time and place, and situations in which you feel out of sorts.
Eventually, patterns may emerge. You may find that you’re likely to get depressed in certain circumstances. The writing stops you from obsessing and ruminating so much so the issues become clearer. If you can determine what is contributing to you’re depression the next is to figure out how to address it. When you’re depressed bed may seem the safest place.
It isn’t, social isolation contributes to depression. If you down making a particular point of seeking out and confiding in supportive friends, even if only by phone. While it’s important to get out there and be with people, avoid taking on too many responsibilities since stress feeds depression. The conventional wisdom is that a large social network is a buffer against depression, but that isn’t necessarily true for women.
For many women, a large social network means a lot of responsibility for children who can create anxiety, for parents who need to be taken care of, and so on. Try to avoid relationships that are all work and no gain. By all means, don’t let guilt or a sense of obligation keep you in a relationship that you don’t enjoy. They will make you feel worse, not better.
When to go to Depression Treatment Center?
If you have five or more of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, experts recommend that you consult a physician or counselor.
Persistent sad, anxious, or empty feelings
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
Insomnia or oversleeping
Appetite loss or overeating
Difficulty concentrating or remembering
Persistent headaches digestive trouble or chronic pain that won’t respond to treatment
Even if you have none of the above symptoms but have thoughts of death or suicide, you should seek help stresses.
Depression interferes with you’re work or relationships.
You experience periods of depression alternating with periods of extreme euphoria or mania.
Your doctor should first attempt to identify or rule out physical illnesses like thyroid disorder that can cause symptoms similar to those of depression. If you’re GP diagnoses depression doctor may prescribe anti-depressant medication to correct brain chemical imbalances that can perpetuate it along with talk therapy or cognitive or behavioral therapy.