Perceptions Can Affect Treatment And Outcomes
Looking at the causes helps people understand that being depressed is a medical condition, not a choice.
Depression can be, needs to be, and deserves to be treated. However, there are many different ways to treat the condition. What works for one person may not work for another, and some people have to try many different options before finding something effective.
Its also not unusual for people to need to try different treatments throughout their lives to manage depression, as the condition can change and evolve in response to changes in a persons life .
If you are depressed but dont understand why, you may recognize that you need help and may want it, but may also be struggling with the feeling that you dont have the right to ask for help.
Know this: Every person with depression deserves treatment.
People Experience Depression In Different Ways
John, a software engineer in his 30s, recalls that his troubles started about the same time he quit playing basketball.
I stopped returning phone calls. When friends asked me to shoot hoops after work, Id always make up some excuse, he says. I just couldnt imagine that anything would be fun. Feeling more and more isolated and out of shape, he began to believe things would never get better.
We all feel down at times. However, if this feeling gets more intense or goes on for a long time, it can become depression, explains Ben Balderson, PhD, a psychologist who does research at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.
Depression And Gender: Is It Different In Men And Women
When it comes to depression, there is a distinct gender gap. Depression is nearly twice as common in women as in men, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Hormonal and other biological factors play a role in this disparity. After all, only women can have premenstrual or postpartum depression. The same is true of antepartum depression which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates affects one in seven women.
But women also have higher rates of seasonal affective disorder, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder, note Harvard Health experts. The reasons for this are cause for speculation. Some researchers believe that environmental factors, such as the different and expectations that society places on women, are an important factor. Others theorize that men and women actually have depression at similar rates, but that women are more likely to talk about their feelings and seek help.
Read Also: Can You Cure Depression On Your Own
Severities Of Clinical Depression
Clinical depression can often come on gradually. So it can be difficult to notice when something is wrong. You might try to cope with the symptoms without realising you’re unwell. It can sometimes take a friend or family member to suggest something is wrong.
The severity of clinical depression depends on how much impact it has on your daily life:
- mild clinical depression has some impact
- moderate clinical depression has a significant impact
- severe clinical depression almost impossible to get through daily life
You can have clinical depression and other mental health disorders. For example, anxiety, psychosis or other difficulties.
How Do I Know If Im Sad Or Depressed
If youre sad because you lost your job, are going through a breakup, or lost someone in your life its certainly no fun, but its also pretty normal. Sadness, even extreme sadness, is a natural reaction to events like these. That said, regular sadness can also turn into depression. If the feelings dont get better over time, or if your mood starts to get in the way of your daily life, you might be developing a case of depression.
Physical changes can also affect your mood, like hormone changes due to puberty or certain medical treatments or conditions. If you think you might be depressed, its a good idea to have a doctor review any medications youre taking and test your thyroid and other hormone levels.
If you still arent sure why youre feeling down, or if mental illness of any kind runs in your family, theres a decent chance youre experiencing depression. If you havent already done so, consider taking our depression screen.
Don’t Miss: Natural Remedies Depression And Memory Loss
Whats The Difference Between Sadness And Depression
Depression is about being sad, surebut its more than that. Depression is a mental illness that involves a lot of symptoms, like feeling exhausted all the time, losing interest in activities you normally enjoy, or thoughts of death and suicide. Episodes of depression last at least 2 weeks at a time. They can be triggered by a sad event or they can seemingly come of out of nowhere.
Getting Support For Your Metal Health
Its understandable that you want to find out more about what you are experiencing. However, you dont need a diagnosis of depression before you can get some support. At Jigsaw, for example, we dont focus on diagnoses. We support young people who are experiencing a range of difficulties, including feeling down, to make sense of their experience and learn how to manage without labelling what they are going through. Here is some more information about accessing Jigsaw. If you are under 18 you will need parental consent. Starting that conversation isnt always easy to do, but speaking to a trusted adult can be a really good place to start.
Our Live Chat service can be a good way to explore this further and figure out next steps. Our trained staff host 1:1 webchats, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-5pm and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-8pm.
Read Also: Bipolar Disorder And Manic Depression
Understanding A Loved Ones Depression
If someone you care about is dealing with depression, you may not be sure how to support them. If your attempts to help are rejected or dont seem to do any good, you may become frustrated and impatient.
If you feel tempted to tell someone who is depressed to try harder or just snap out of it, it may be a sign that you are overwhelmed or experiencing burnout. If this happens, its important that you pause and take time to reflect on your own feelings. You wont be able to help someone else until you have taken care of your own emotional needs.
When youre worried about a person you care about, the feelings of fear you have may come across as anger when youre talking to them. Even if you aren’t mad or speaking in anger, depression can make it harder for a person to really hear what you are saying. They may interpret your words as being dismissive, accusatory, disappointed, or any number of emotions that arent necessarily accurate.
When youre speaking to your loved one with depression, keep this in mind if it seems like your conversations are full of miscommunication. Although you may want to remind them of all the good things in life or point out that it could be worse, platitudes such as these arent usually helpful for a person with depression to hear.
Favorite Apps Products And Gadgets
If youre feeling sad, lonely, or stressed, the 7 Cups app could provide you with online therapy and emotional support. With180 professional therapists and more than 300,000 trained listeners and licensed therapists, youll be able to speak to someone 24/7 in a confidential setting.
This app offers activities and games to overcome negative thoughts. Youll receive a happiness score that you can improve each time you play. Its based on effective, evidence-based psychological strategies. The company says 86 percent of those who use the app report feeling better about their lives after just two months.
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder , bright light therapy may help improve your symptoms. We like the Verilux HappyLight Lucent 10,000 Lux LED Bright White Light Therapy Lamp. Its compact and portable, so you can use it on the go. And it received an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon reviews. The cost is around $45.
Read Also: Things To Do For Depression And Anxiety
Depression Treatment: Lifestyle Changes Talk Therapy Antidepressants
If you suspect that depression is interfering with your life, talking about what youre experiencing and discussing treatment options with a medical professional is essential. As actress Taraji P. Henson, who describes her depression as suffocating darkness, recently explained in an interview with Self magazine, When youre quiet, things arent fixed. It gets worse.
The good news is that theres abundant evidence that people with depression who seek treatment will find significant relief from lifestyle changes, talk therapy , medication, or a combination of all efforts, according to the Association of America.
Signs You Could Be Depressed Without Knowing It
01 – Dec – 2020 Navarro Medical
Did you know you could be suffering from depression without feeling sad? Mental health is a concern anytime, but especially during an isolating pandemic like COVID-19. Be sure to speak with your physician right away if you have any of these warning signs.
Read Also: Cbt For Major Depressive Disorder
Depression And Suicide Risk
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. Deep despair and hopelessness can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and watch for the warning signs:
- Talking about killing or harming ones self.
- Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped.
- An unusual preoccupation with death or dying.
- Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish .
- Getting affairs in order .
- Saying things like Everyone would be better off without me, or I want out.
- A sudden switch from being extremely down to acting calm and happy.
If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.
If you are feeling suicidal
When youre feeling suicidal, your problems dont seem temporarythey seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel better, especially if you get help. There are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out!
ReadSuicide Help, call 1-800-273-TALK in the U.S., or visit IASP or Suicide.org to find a helpline in your country.
How Do I Know If Im Depressed Or Just Sad
It can be difficult to tell if this intense sadness youre feeling is just that, sadness, or if it is something bigger and you should look into support for depression.
A way to look at it is, if sadness is a cold, depression is a serious flu. They might look similar from a distance, but theyre actually quite different up close. Sadness is a response to a particular situation but depression throws itself over every situation.
Mild and moderate depression are the most common types of depression. More than simply feeling blue, the symptoms of mild depression can interfere with your daily life, robbing you of joy and motivation. Those symptoms become amplified in moderate depression and can lead to a decline in confidence and self-esteem.
Depression can feel like your body is shutting down. Its not just a low mood but being unable to enjoy almost anything in your life. You might lose or gain weight, have difficulty sleeping , experience extreme fatigue and have difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
Another key difference is how depression turns you against yourself in a way that sadness doesnt. Depression makes you become very self-critical, even convincing you that youre worthless. The pain that comes with this, when combined with the belief that the future holds no hope for improvement, can lead to thoughts that life isnt worth living.
Recommended Reading: Things To Say To Someone That Is Depressed
How To Tell If You Have Clinical Depression
Clinical depression affects people in different ways.
The symptoms of clinical depression can be complex and vary from person-to-person.
Generally, if you have clinical depression:
- you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy
- you experience these symptoms for at least 2 weeks
- the symptoms are serious enough to interfere with work, social life or family
There are many other symptoms of clinical depression and you’re unlikely to have them all.
Is It Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it looks so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. This can be a serious problem as taking antidepressants for bipolar disorder can actually make the condition worse.
If youve ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder.
Need to talk to someone?
Get affordable online counseling from BetterHelp or visit HelpGuides directory for free helplines and crisis resources. HelpGuide is reader supported. We may receive a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp through the provided link. Learn more.
Recommended Reading: Where Can I Get Ketamine Treatment For Depression
But The Bad Days Are Unbearable
Now for a bad day I fight with myself to wake up and have to truly shame myself into showering and getting myself together. I put on makeup alert people about my internal issues. I dont want to talk or be bothered by anyone. I fake being personable, as I have rent to pay and dont want to complicate my life any more than it is.
After work, I just want to go to my hotel room and mindlessly scroll on Instagram or YouTube. Ill eat junk food, and feel like a loser and demean myself.
I have more bad days than good, but Ive gotten good at faking it so my clients think Im a great employee. Im often sent kudos for my performance. But inside, I know that I didnt deliver at the level I know I could.
Types Of Intrusive Thoughts
Youre going about your day, and suddenly youre hit with a thought thats bizarre, uncomfortableeven shocking. Maybe youre talking to someone, and you suddenly picture yourself punching them in the face. Or you cant stop picturing random people naked. You dont want to think about this stuff, so why does it keep happening?
These are called intrusive thoughts, and just about everyone has them from time to time. Usually, people are able to ignore the thoughts and move on. But sometimes, intrusive thoughts can get out of hand. If your thoughts are causing you a lot of distress or getting in the way of your daily life, it could be a sign of mental illness. Seeking treatment can help you learn to manage the thoughts.
Lets look at a few different types of intrusive thoughts, and what they might mean.
Also Check: Cbt For Teenage Depression Worksheets
Depression Is A Real Medical Condition
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Depression symptoms can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy your life. Although researchers are still studying the causes of depression, current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Most people with depression need treatment to feel better.
What Is Treatment Resistant Depression And Is There Any Help For It
If youve tried at least two different antidepressants and your depression hasnt improved, you may be diagnosed with treatment resistant depression . TRD is a serious condition that has been highly associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Nearly 33 percent of people with TRD attempt suicide in their lifetime, more than double the rate of their treatment-responsive peers, according to a recent report in Psychiatry Advisor. It is not, however, a hopeless condition. A number of alternative treatment approaches are available, including:
Also Check: How To Get Over Seasonal Depression
When To Seek Professional Help
If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes arent enough, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including:
Therapy. Consulting a therapist can provide you tools to treat depression from a variety of angles and motivate you to take the action necessary. Therapy can also offer you the skills and insight to prevent the problem from coming back.
Atypical Depression: Whats in a Name? Article on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of atypical depression.
Depression and Other Illnesses An overview of the mental and physical illnesses that often co-exist with depression, and how this impacts treatment.
Depression support & suicide prevention help
In the U.S.: Find DBSA Chapters/Support Groups or call the NAMI Helpline for support and referrals at 1-800-950-6264
UK: Find Depression support groups in-person and online or call the Mind Infoline at 0300 123 3393
Australia: Find Support Groups and regional resources or call the SANE Help Centre at 1800 18 7263
India: Call the Vandrevala Foundation Helpline at 1860 2662 345 or 1800 2333 330
Suicide prevention help
In the U.S.: Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
UK and Ireland: Call Samaritans UK at 116 123
Australia: Call Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14
Other countries: Visit IASP or International Suicide Hotlines to find a helpline near you