IS DEPRESSION NOTHING BUT AN EXCUSE?
"There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton
Depression is more than just feeling sad. Everyone feels upset or demotivated from time to time, but depression is a serious problem which needs to be understood in depth. It’s a condition which can be diagnosed that’s classified as a mood disorder and can bring about long-lasting symptoms such as overwhelming sadness, low energy, loss of appetite, and a lack of interest in things that used to bring pleasure.
If it is left untreated then it can lead to serious health complications, including putting someone’s life at risk. If these symptoms persist for a period of at least two weeks, it is considered a depressive episode.
Depression cases are increasing rapidly all over the world, but half of the population do not know what depression is, rather they term depression with just being sad. For example, sometimes parents don’t understand their children and take their problems just an excuse for not doing anything.
Some facts that everyone needs to be aware about when it comes to depression:
- Depression is always more than ordinary sadness – sadness is a natural reaction to painful circumstance, when sadness turns into depression, there are some signs, including:
- Persistent feelings of sadness or an “empty” mood
- Feeling irritable and restless
- Feeling anxious, hopeless, or helpless
- Loss of interested in actives you once enjoyed
- Decreased sex drive
- Low energy or feelings of fatigue
- The trouble with concentration, memory, and decision-making
- Changes in appetite, weight, and sleep patterns
- Physical symptoms (such as headaches, digestive issues, body aches, and pain) that don’t subside with treatment.
- Depression is a real illness – lack of neurotransmitters like Norepinephrine, Serotonin, Dopamine causes depression
- Depression doesn’t have a particular reason – there doesn't necessarily have to be a reason for how you feel. The chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood control may imbalanced causing you to feel bad even though everything in your life is going well.
- Depression can be treated – a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes is often used to help alleviate symptoms of depression.
- Untreated depression is the most common cause of suicide - According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 45% of those who commit suicide are suffering from some sort of mental illness, and this includes people with undiagnosed, untreated, or under-treated depression.
Taking examples of celebrities in India, sharing about mental illness is not as easy as it sounds due to lack of awareness. However, Indian celebrities’ open confession about their battle with depression and mental illness proved that a luxurious life doesn’t necessarily have to hint at contented life. Actors like Amitabh Bachan, Deepika Padukon, Sanjay Dutt, Shahrukh Khan and many faced depression. It is alright to seek help when one feels that their mental state is affected in a negative way.
Depression often plays a hand in a patient’s physical and mental state, and its treatment is important not only for improving a person’s mood, but to uplift their quality of life, and help them heal physically and mentally.
There’s a need for increased awareness in the society to provide depression treatment, including alternatives to the first-line treatment of antidepressants. Other medications and non-pharmacological treatments such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation play a critical role in helping millions of Americans who don’t respond to SSRIs, SNRIs, and other common antidepressants.
With Depression being an intense problem with a superficial understanding, the disorder and the symptoms are mostly not visible and therefore aren't seen by others. Also, Depression isn't like a broken bone. There isn't a physical break and time to recover. It hits everyone a little different and manifests itself under many masks, this is why it is so often mistaken for something else. Everyone suffers differently, there's no black and white, good or bad, it's more of a speculator spectrum. You may be having the worst day of your life, but you could still have a good quality of life. You could just be having an off day, and actually be worse off than lot other people in the society. With a broken bone, it's expected that it will affect people in a fairly similar manner, therefore it is easier to gauge the severity.
Furthermore, there is an stigma attached to mental health. There are still large numbers of people who consider Depression to be something you are in conscious control of. For many people, it seems as easy as just cheering up a bit. Many people don't understand that it's often caused by trauma or physical/chemical imbalances.
Unfortunately, Depression is taken lightly because lot ofpeople might not understand the intensity of it. It’s not just feeling sad or being lazy. Depression is misunderstood because of individuals portraying in different ways on various social platform; that either trivializes it as them having a bad day or glorifies it and calling it beautiful or something they should strive to have. Most people who struggle with Depression are being labelled for attention-seeking which needs to be changed.
It is necessary to bring about awareness and in turn change the perspective of people in the society in a positive way.