Depression and sadness are two different scenarios, which are most often misunderstood. Depression is a more complex condition than you could actually think. To make you aware as to what this mental condition can do, here are 10 interesting facts about depression for you to read.
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- According to the World Health Organization, depression affects about 300 million people of all age groups globally.
- Depression is one of the leading causes of disability and is a primary contributor to the mental disease.
- When compared to men, women are more prone to depression.
- In the worst case, depression can make the victim commit suicide.
Symptoms Of Depression
If you are experiencing 5 or more of the symptoms listed below, and which are lasting for more than 2 weeks, it is vital to meet a doctor.
- Persistent sadness or an empty mood
- Feeling anxious most of the time
- Sleeping in excess
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Lack of interest in sex or other day-to-day activities
- Irritability or restlessness
- Chronic pain, constipation, digestive issues, and constant headaches
- Difficulties in making decision and concentrating
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Feeling worthless, hopeless, or guilty
- Suicidal thoughts
Causes Of Depression
There are multiple factors that can cause depression. However, here are a few that are considered primary:
- Biological – Individuals suffering from depression might have excess or little brain chemicals. Alterations in these chemicals might be a key role in causing depression.
- Cognitive – Individuals with negative thoughts and lower confidence are possibly to develop depression.
- Gender – Women tend to experience depression nearly two times than men. Now, the exact reasons behind this are still not been understood; however, it might be due to hormonal changes.
- Co-occurrence – A serious problem like depression often occurs with other illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hormonal disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Medications – Certain medications can cause side effects and can cause depression.
- Genetic – If any of the family members have suffered from depression, then the risk of having it also increases.
- Situational – Hard times of life, as in divorce, financial problems, breakup, and death of a loved one contribute to depression.
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- There is no joy or pleasure in life. An individual with depression might not enjoy the way they used to once. They get a constant feeling that there is nothing that can make them happy.
- Everything feels helpless or hopeless. There is nothing that can make them feel better unless they share it and have it treated at the right time.
- Focusing or concentrating becomes hard and at times, impossible. Situations that require decision-making turns out tough. Watching television, reading, or involving in any day-to-day activity can seem extremely hard.
- There is a lack of self-esteem. Depressed people might often feel worthless, or they are facing failure in everything. They dwell on unconstructive experiences and events and are unable to perceive positive qualities about themselves.
- Depressed people face low or nonexistent energy levels. They feel as if they cannot get up from bed. They feel exhausted most of the time – sometimes even after hours and hours of sleep. They feel extremely tired, and even the day-to-day tasks turn harder for them to carry out.
- Even the yummiest food does not seem appetizing. Depressed people do not enjoy eating as normal people do. They often tend to compel themselves to eat, which eventually leads to weight loss. While some do not like to eat, others may overeat. They start craving for junk foods, which causes weight gain.
- Pains and aches are constant. Common ones include nausea, headache, and body ache.
10 Interesting Facts About Depression
Never take depression lightly because it is a serious mental disorder, which can lead to a lot of emotional anguish. It can completely alter the way a normal, healthy brain functions. Besides affecting the brain, it can give rise to a wide range of physical problems as well. Let us unveil some facts about depression and the way it has an impact on a human body.
1. Distorts The Way You Think
Whenever a person is depressed, his or her mind plays tricks. Scientists estimate that a human being has anywhere from 25000 – 50000 thoughts per day. If your brain is predominantly negative, then imagine the amount of unwanted thoughts you would be generating on a daily basis – thousands probably and that is exactly the case of “depression.”
The primary feature of depression is often called the “pessimistic thinking.” In fact, the negative thoughts are the cause of depression. It manifests in negative thoughts before it even creates a negative effect.
A majority of depressed people aren’t conscious that the hopelessness and despair they sense are coming from their unenthusiastic thoughts. Compounding the subject is the negative thoughts that slip inside the brain and turns out to be a strong habit pattern. Individuals suffering from depression create unhelpful thoughts so easily that they are ignorant of what is happening.
The best way to combat depression is to comprehend how important “thinking” can be regarding “quality.” The quickest method to change the way you feel is to change the way you think. Frequently, you cannot control the way you feel but certainly, can control the way you perceive and think. There is this effective option you can actually take.
2. Generates Stress Hormones In Excess
It is significant to distinguish the association between depression and stress. According to NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), chronic & acute stress can easily cause depression. Did you know that more than 1400 chemical and physical reactions in concurrence with 30+ neurotransmitters and hormones are involved towards stress response? Yeah, that’s true!
Whenever an individual is stressed, the adrenal glands in the body secrete three key hormones –norepinephrine, cortisol, and epinephrine. These are responsible for elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, high blood glucose levels, and shunting the blood from digestive organs to brain. Other physical effects include irregular/rapid heart rate, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and anxiety.
3. Complicates Your Sex Life
Depression can easily cause sexual issues. It has the tendency to decrease the sex drive, further affecting personal relationships. Now, if you are taking antidepressants, they have been demonstrated to reduce sexual functioning or libido. That’s because of the Ingredients that goes into them. They mess with the vital chemicals, which are in charge of a sexual response.
4. Increases Your Heart Beat
According to a 2005 study published in the American College of Cardiology, the release of stress hormones (endogenous catecholamines) causes increased heart beats and vasoconstriction, which further leads to elevated blood pressure. All this makes your heart to function harder.
Gradually, the neuro-vegetative depression symptoms make an individual to exercise less, eat less or sleep appropriately. Such behavior increases the risk of cardiovascular complications like atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack.
5. Makes It Hard For The Body To Fight Infection
Depression is directly connected with increased stress hormones like adrenaline or cortisol. It enhances the peril of other diseases. Stress hormones speed the heart beats and tighten the blood vessels. This puts the body in an extended phase of an emergency. Eventually, this leads to heart problems.
It affects the immune system and makes it difficult for the body to fight against infections. Both stress and depression might have negative impacts on the immune system. It makes the victim vulnerable to diseases and infections.
6. Makes The Victim Lose All The Interest
One of the primary symptoms of depression is “lack of interest” in day-to-day life. The things that were meaningful once will turn out to be nothing anymore. Depressed individuals become more apathetic towards life activities that were once the best source for them to have fun.
Say, for example, hobbies or sports. Or perhaps, socializing might have been enhancing once to them but after depression, it feels like energy drain. Pursuits seem like wasting time. They might frequently report of “not in the mood” phrase for things that they always enjoyed. It is the attendant withdrawal and lack of interest that causes the biggest impairment.
7. Causes Unusual Irritability
A depressed individual’s behavior may often be construed as melancholy (or miserable) even if they are not feeling so. Irritability is one of the frequently overlooked symptoms of depression, which is again, very common. Obviously, because depression is a problem that you cannot “see or measure,” which makes it tough to combat.
The continuous work it takes to deal with all the life aspects while handling depression easily drains an individual and leaves an extremely less space for understanding or patience.
Say, for instance, if someone you know comes up and tells you that he or she is clinically depressed, you might initially be perplexed if his or her earlier behavior doesn’t fit the current misconception. However, that is actually one of the most common side effects of depression.
8. Depressed People May Not Appear “Depressed.”
According to Jeremy Coplan, MD, a psychiatry professor at SUNY Downstate (New York) says that “Depression is truly a hidden sickness.” Depressed people often seem cheerful and upbeat, but inside they are struggling with a whole lot of depression symptoms.
If you had someone telling you that, “Oh, but you don’t look like you are depressed,” this could be the reason. Every human is different and so are his or her behaviors. Many people, particularly high achievers deal with their depression by behaving in a way that is opposite to what they feel. (Psychiatrists term this as “escapism.”)
They try to engage in daring pursuits to make themselves feel invincible. This is because they are feeling helpless or out of control. They loathe that emotion and fight hard to deny it via action. However, that, ultimately, doesn’t work!
9. Urges Unusual Eating Habits
Many health experts believe that there might be a strong connection between depression and eating disorders. Yes, these are two completely different illnesses, but one might lead to the other. Perhaps, they can arise simultaneously. In the recent decades, men tend to suffer more from unusual eating disorders.
The causes could be body image, strict exercises, depression, and media pressures. If you observe that your dear one has a sudden appetite change and it has been a while, then talk to him or her about it. Urge them to have a treatment. Remember, hidden depression might very well be the reason here.
10. Causes Improper Sleep
Depression and sleep are closely related. If you or anyone you know have been complaining about their unusual sleeping pattern all of a sudden or he or she says that they are not getting sufficient sleep (or may be oversleeping), then it one of the clear warning signs that he or she is depressed.
In fact, these sleep issues can be just the external signs of deeper and troubling cause – like anxiety, depression, sadness, or lethargy. It is worth probing softly to figure out what the actual reason might be, but only if the individual is all prepared to say it up.
Sadly, most depression cases go untreated as well as undetected, often with catastrophic results. From 10-15% of individuals with untreated, severe depression, tend to commit suicide. The problem is that depressed people often fake it or hide it and it is not that easy to find out what’s running inside them. They keep an extremely dark secret inside, which they would never like to reveal. Shortly, they maintain two images – one in public and another, when they are own.