Dr Anand Beri, Consultant Psychiatrist in the National health service, UK
Depression is a very common illness; about 1 in 5 people become depressed at some point in their lives.
Usually everyone feels a bit low in mood occasionally, if this doesn’t last longer than a week or two, and doesn’t interfere too much with our lives, then most probably it is not depression. However if your feelings don’t lift after a few days and carry on for weeks or months and start interfering with your life then it is time to consult your doctor.
Symptoms of depression
Feeling low-spirited for much of the time, every day
Getting tearful easily
Feeling numb, empty and full of despair
Feeling isolated and unable to relate to other people
No pleasure in life or things I usually enjoy
Lost interest in sex
Feeling restless and agitated
I am unusually irritable or impatient
A person who is depressed becomes withdrawn and loses interest in hobbies. They may become more forgetful, and find it difficult to focus on the task at hand. They may have lots of guilty feelings and sometimes blame themselves needlessly. The future seems bleak and there may be a loss in confidence.
Some people feel that life is not worth living anymore and may think of suicide. Anxiety which a feelings of unease, worry and fear commonly co occurs with depression.
Causes of Depression
Depression is not a form of weakness. It is an illness which can be caused by traumatic life events, drugs, alcohol, and physicalillness among other things.
What to do about it
Talk to someone- don’t just keep things to yourself, talking to a friend may help you feel better.
Keep physically active- regular exercise helps in lifting your mood and increases your energy levels, it also improves appetite and sleep. Physical activity stimulates endorphins in the brain, which can help you to feel better.
Avoid alcohol; it worsens depression, and stay away from illicit drugs
Eat well- even if you have lost your appetite try and eat a regular healthy diet.
Do things you enjoy to relax, treat yourself and take care of yourself
Try to stop thinking in a negative way – when you think a negative thought try and replace it with a positive one.
Counselling has proven benefit in depression; this will give you a safe space to talk to someone who is especially trained. The counsellor will help you find solutions and teach you healthy coping strategies and to look at the reasons behind your depression. The counsellor can also teach you how to think positively when negative thoughts overwhelm you.
If despite having a positive outlook and doing the above the mood remains low see your doctor.
Medication for depression
Certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are associated with depression — particularly serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Most antidepressants relieve depression by affecting these neurotransmitters.
While antidepressants can treat the symptoms of depression, most people benefit from taking antidepressants to some degree. Antidepressants may need to be taken for several weeks before benefit is seen and need to be continued for many months after you start feeling better.
Antidepressants can have side effects such as feeling agitated, shaky or anxious, feeling and being sick, indigestion and stomach aches, diarrhoea or constipation, loss of appetite, and dizziness among others.
Your doctor should explain more about the side effects.
1. www.llttf.com (Living life to the full)
Read more / Original news source: http://manipurmail.news/2016/05/04/depression/