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It’s very difficult to keep the positive vibes and be happy in these trying times. Often the feeling of sadness, uncertainty, or grief catches up with you causing Depression during lockdown. These things might lead to a phase of depression but that’s totally normal since we all face the ups and downs of life. When the depressive phase persists for more than 2 weeks and starts affecting how you feel, the way you think, or how you act. It leads to the negativity in your thoughts & loss of interest in things you once enjoyed. Depression could cause physical changes like reduced productivity at workplace or housework changes in sleeping or eating patterns etc.
Depression is found in about 6.7% of the population. 1/6th of the population in the world have experienced depression at some point in their life. It’s more commonly seen in Females than in males.
Depression during Lockdown is very common due to:
- Inability to visit the friends and family
- Uncertainty in professional/ Personal life
- Loss of activities which drive the mind away from negative thoughts like movies/ shopping/ driving/ outing with friends
- Fear of the disease
- Financial conditions
What is Depression?
Depression is the state of mind of profound sadness and low energy which causes drainage of Positivity / Hope/ Drive & it’s difficult to pull ourselves out of it. If this state lasts for more than 2 weeks then it’s called Depression.
What are the symptoms of Depression?
- Feeling sad or low
- Loss of interest/ joy in things you once enjoyed
- Over eating/ under eating
- Difficulty in sleeping or over sleeping
- Feeling restless like wringing of hands/ pacing or slowed movement/ speech
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Difficulty in thinking or making decisions
- Suicidal thoughts
- Thoughts of death
The presence of any 5 these symptoms lasting for more than 2 weeks is Major depression. It might even lead to physical pain, stomachache, headache, joint/ muscular pain, etc.
How is Depression different from Sadness or Grief?
In many people, a life-changing event like the Loss of a Loved One or breaking of a relationship (Break-up, divorce, or separation) or professional loss (losing business or job) or assault (physical or sexual) might lead to starting of sadness/ grief/ depression. There is a varying degree of overlap between depression, sadness, and grief but there are very important differences too that help in further support and treatment.
- Depression is profound sadness but it’s associated with negative thought process while during sadness and grief you have mixed feelings and you’d even remember the happy oy joyful memories too along with sad ones.
- Sadness or grief might last for a long duration but it’s not persistent while depression is continuous phase lasting for 2 or >2 weeks.
- Depression causes low self-esteem, self-loathing and feeling of worthlessness while they’re not seen during sadness or grief.
Grief with Depression could last for a very long duration.
Why does Depression occur?
Depression is more than “Just in our Head”. It’s a condition where the neurotransmitter (serotonin/ norepinephrine etc.) balance of our brain is disrupted leading to the disarray of emotions. There are few predisposing factors of depression:
- Genetic: genetic factors are present in few individual making them more prone to depression.
- Personality: few personalities who doesn’t handle stress well, have low self esteem or with pessimistic thoughts may get depression
- Surrounding Factors: these include the continuous exposure to abuse, poverty, violence or neglect which might cause an impact in psych of person.
Depression is commonly found with some medical conditions like thyroid disorders, malignancies, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases or neurological disorders etc. so it’s imperative to treat medical conditions while treating depression. There are many mental conditions associated with chronic illness: Mental Health & Chronic Illness.
Depression is one of the common and serious mental illness.
[Tweet “Do not let Depression take you under. Fight and Win”]
There are various modes of treatment available:
The patients should take steps to lift the mood. It’s the most difficult things to do but it’s essential. Most of the important things to be done are often the most difficult ones.
- Stay connected with friends/ family etc.
- Indulge in things you love
- Become active. Do yoga/ exercise/ meditate
- Eat healthy and uplifting food
- Go out: soak up the sun/ visit a garden
- Try and think positive thoughts & challenge negative thinking
- Do not be afraid of opening-up with friends & family
Seek Medical help if you’ve suicidal thoughts.
Psychotherapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This involves “Talks” with patient as an individual or group or with family to help resolve the problems of present to help patient cope up with depression.
This is very effective in all types of depression esp. mild and moderate ones.
They’re very important in treating depression. There of various types:
- SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor): Citalopram, fluoxetine etc.
- SNRI (Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor): Duloxetine, venlafexine etc.
- Tricyclic Antidepressant: Amitriptyline, Imipramine etc.
- MAO Inhibitor: Isocarboxazid, Selegeline etc.
Other treatment options:
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): for severe depression
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Vagus Nerve stimulation: surgical option for resilient cases.
The treatment options would be discussed in detail in my upcoming posts.
This post is part of Blogchatter’s initiative #CauseAChatter to spread awareness in the society regarding various stigmas and taboos. Through a series of posts, I’m spreading awareness regarding Mental Health. I hope you found my post helpful.
Be Safe & Be Happy
Disclaimer: This article is for reference purposes only, under no circumstances it should be used as a replacement of medical opinion by Professionals. Any decision regarding health and health care should be taken after professional advice only. Health care advice and information shared by the author are best to her knowledge. We disclaim all responsibilities for any inadvertent omission/ commission by the author or the website.