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Why do we have a depression?Jan 14, 2024

What does depression mean?

Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It may be described as sadness, loss, or anger that interferes with a person’s everyday activities.

It’s also reasonably common. Data estimates that 18.5 percent of adults had symptoms of depression.

Though depression and grief share some features, depression is different from grief felt after losing a loved one or sadness felt after a traumatic life event. Depression usually involves self-loathing or a loss of self-esteem, while grief typically does not.

Why do we have a depression?

In grief, positive emotions and happy memories of the deceased typically accompany feelings of emotional pain. In major depressive disorder, the feelings of sadness are constant.

People experience depression in different ways. It may interfere with your daily work, resulting in lost time and lower productivity. It can also influence relationships and some chronic health conditions.

Conditions that can get worse due to depression include:

  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • obesity

It’s important to realize that feeling down is a normal part of life. Sad and upsetting events happen to everyone. But if you’re feeling down or hopeless regularly, you could be dealing with depression.

Depression is considered a severe medical condition that can get worse without proper treatment.

Types of Depression

The types of depression include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder, also known as clinical depression, is where people feel that a consistent dark mood is consuming them. It can inhibit daily functions and cause them to lose interest in activities that usually pleasure them.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder refers to when a low mood lasts for two or more years in adults and at least one year in children and adolescents. A person with this disorder may experience episodes of major depressive disorder along with periods of less severe symptoms where they are typically able to function day-to-day.
  • Postpartum Depression affects women after having a baby. It causes intense, long-lasting feelings of anxiety, sadness, and fatigue, making it difficult for mothers to care for themselves or their babies, as well as handle daily responsibilities. Postpartum depression can start anywhere from weeks to months after childbirth.
  • Psychotic Depression is a form of depression with psychosis that comes when people get very depressed, such as delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that are not there).
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder is associated with changes in seasons. This form of depression usually occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight.
  • Bipolar Disorder is different than depression, but a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder can experience episodes of major depression.

Signs and Symptoms

Depression can cause a range of psychological and physical symptoms, including:

  • persistent depressed mood
  • loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • changes in appetite and body weight
  • unusually slow or agitated movements
  • decreased energy or fatigue
  • difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

If a person experiences five more of these symptoms during the same 2-week period, a doctor may diagnose them with depression.

Depression may also cause other symptoms, including irritability, restlessness, chronic pain, headaches, and digestive issues.

What to do If You Feel Depressed

Talk to someone

The simple act of talking to someone who cares about you is crucial to dealing with feelings of depression. I want you to know that reaching out is not a sign of weakness and won’t make you a burden. The person you talk to doesn’t have to be able to fix you; they need to listen without being distracted or judging you.

Turn to people you trust. Talk to a close friend or family member about what you’re going through. Face-to-face interactions are best for boosting your mood, so schedule an in-person chat if possible.

Get moving

It’s probably the last thing you feel like doing right now—but getting active, even for a short period, is one of the most effective ways of boosting your mood. Regular exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant medication in easing depression. And you don’t need to join an expensive gym or health club to reap the benefits.

  • Take a short, 15-minute walk to boost your mood for several hours.
  • Cycle, jog, or walk through a park or other green space.
  • Dance to your favorite music.
  • Play with your dog or kids.
  • Try in-person or online exercise classes for aerobics, interval training, or Pilates.
  • Create a simple home gym using resistance bands, water bottles, or your own body weight.
  • Stretch or practice simple yoga poses.

Add goals to your day

Goals are the practice of focusing on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. It can prevent you from getting caught up in worries about the future or regrets about the past.

Listen to a favorite song. Sit somewhere comfortably and give your attention wholly to the music, even if it’s a song you’ve heard a thousand times before. Allow yourself to be present in the moment.

Try a mindful chore. Complete a household chore such as washing dishes while fully paying attention. Notice how things feel, smell, or sound, and gently bring it back to the task whenever your mind wanders.

Focus on self-care

Control stress with activities such as meditation or tai chi. Eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Avoid using alcohol and recreational drugs, which can worsen symptoms and make depression harder to treat.

Finally

One of the most common treatments for depression is pharmacotherapy – antidepressants. But at R•MEDY drugs may not be the only answer. R•MEDY will examine some of the underlying causes of mild to moderate depression to provide alternative holistic therapy in an attempt to improve your mood without solely relying on medication. With comprehensive testing through the mental wellness assessment, the team at R•MEDY works with you to holistically heal from within.