Depression is a condition that is characterized by dejection and despondency and is usually accompanied by emotions of inadequacy and hopelessness. It can also be defined as a condition that brings about a mental disturbance and makes an individual feel less energetic and have difficulty in sustaining concentration or even interest in life. In addition, it affects how the individual behaves, feels, and thinks because it causes physical and emotional problems. Generally, people who suffer from this condition have challenges in doing their daily activities, and they also feel that there is no reason to continue living in this world.
Research indicates that there are about 19 million American adults who are affected by depression. When the condition gets worse, it may lead to suicide, and statistics for this indicate that every year one million people commit suicide.
The causes of depression can be grouped into four categories. The first category is biological causes, which include coming from a family with a history of depression, suffering from a physical injury or illness for a long time, experiencing chronic pain, having Chronic sleep problems, use of certain prescribed medications or illicit drugs, and having a baby. Psychological causes include having low self-esteem and a tendency of being self-critical. Social and demographic causes include being a female (they are at a higher risk than men), stressful life events, being unemployed, and abusive or difficult childhood. These causes are given by the World Health Organization after they have been approved by practitioners and researchers.
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Depression has several symptoms. A person suffering from depression is not able to sleep or may sometimes sleep excessively. One is also not able to pay attention and may experience difficulty in handling previous tasks that were easy. In addition, the other signs include feeling helpless and hopeless, one is not able to control negative thoughts, and; therefore the person never finds pleasure in anything. Depression also makes a person lose appetite or eat too much. Moreover, the condition also makes a person more irritable than usual, more aggressive, and short-tempered. On the other hand, some people tend to consume more alcohol than they usually do or engage in some other reckless behavior. Some people may also experience some aches and pains that are unexplained such as; back pain, headaches, stomach pain, and aching muscles.
Health professionals recommend that people should watch out for people who are depressed and seek immediate help since they may become suicidal and portray some suicidal actions such as; giving away valued possessions and tying any loose end, talking of killing oneself, feeling very hopeless and helpless, as well as acting recklessly.
The most widely used and effective treatments include antidepressant medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy. This therapy can also be called talking therapy whose major aim is to reduce the negative thinking patterns of the depressed person. On the other hand, antidepressant medications deal with the brain chemicals that are thought to be associated with depression.
Preventive measures for depression include; combining cognitive-behavioral therapy that is of low intensity with education on depression. There are also programs such as e-mental health platforms and internet programs that are effective in preventing depression, as well as other mental disorders. Furthermore, depression can also be prevented by making changes in the lifestyle of individuals by engaging in behaviors that are healthy such as; sleeping adequately, avoiding substance use, taking fish oil and vitamins supplements, a healthy diet, and doing physical activities.
In conclusion, depression is a serious condition that affects a person's total well-being. There are about 350 million people who are affected by this condition worldwide. The causes for the disease include biological causes, psychological, social, and demographic causes. The treatment for this condition includes antidepressant medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Depression can also be prevented by education programs and therapies, as well as changing lifestyles by healthy living. Depression affects anyone; it can be a family member, a relative, or the closest friend. This implies that depression effects can affect anyone either directly or indirectly.