WHAT ACTUALLY CAUSES DEPRESSION ?
World Health Organization has stated the fact that at least 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men suffer from depression at some point in their lives. It can be caused by anything ranging from family issues, work pressure, illness, use of alcohol and drugs, prolonged grief to even seasonal change and excessive use of social media.
There are people who feel depressed due to sleeping disorder, and even when their favorite movie or TV series ends.
The problem is found more pressing in city dwellers compared to the rural population.
WHAT DOES DEPRESSION DO TO YOU?
Now is the time I should be speaking in first person, as I have had my fair share of depression previously. There are a series of symptoms that can be felt by anyone who has been even faintly hit by the devil of depression. The most common symptoms are as follows:
- Lack of energy, fatigue, lethargy
- Lack of concentration
- Hopelessness, feeling like a lost cause
- Feeling powerless, full of despair
- Lack of drive, and can’t snap out of the situation
- Not enjoying the regular actions, doing almost nothing
- Sudden weight gain or loss
- Body cramps, aches which don’t get fine by medicines
WHY IS DEPRESSION SUCH A MONSTER?
Well, Depression sneaks in quietly, it stays in your shadows, grows upon you, climbs through your limbs, gets into your skin, and becomes a parasite.
It is not exactly found in everyone, but those who suffer from it, face it in different kind of forms. It’s a slow, lurking disease and it is seriously stubborn. Actually, depression doesn’t heal itself with time, nor does it fade out. It needs certain efforts and inputs in order to drive depression away.
It brings out the sadness, the bad memories and experiences which let you down, and feel low.
Depression is persistent, and it keeps on growing, because our mind becomes used to it, it automatically rejects the positivity around.
The reason why I called it a Monster because it makes you feel scared, and you are lacking confidence to do even the easiest things. And the saddest thing is, it returns, called as a relapse.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES WE FACE, AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM?
While being stuck in depression, we generally don’t know that how deep we have fallen into it. The positive thing about this is, there is always scope to find your space and come out of it, the challenge here is, our mind is not ready to take this decision.
From now onward, I would be stating out the challenges we face, and the turnarounds on how to deal with them easily.
People suffering from depression might have faced similar challenges in a different order.
The first challenge that a man struck by depression faces is to make positive decisions.
It is simply because the mind is opposing any such thought which creates positivity, it just wants to reside in reclusion keeping quiet.
Well, the easiest solution to this problem, is to start small. We tend to avoid making big decisions at such points, but small initiatives like taking a walk in the morning, or calling someone randomly, or even going out for short intervals is good for a start.
Just like depressions starts slowly, it can end gradually if right efforts are put.
People tend to isolate themselves, put themselves in reclusion, and this is normal because the mind is not sound of making right decisions and that scares people.
The key to balance this is to stay connected as before.
People tend to deactivate their facebook accounts, delete the whatsapp application, and get socially disconnected from the people whom they should be talking to.
When I was depressed, I used to deactivate my facebook account every week, though it took only few days to activate it again.
At such point, reaching out to people seems very difficult, and we lack confidence to face them.
But we should know, that its not a sign of weakness to reach out to people when you need someone to let your heart out.
We should try to be around people who care about us, and stay social. In fact, there should be more emphasis on meeting the people face to face, rather than contacting them via phone or chats.
The best thing we can do in such a situation, is to get out of the room, to get fresh air. There is one more magical thing, called as Workout.
It helps to keep the body fit, we know that already, but it regulates the blood and oxygen flow, and helps in keeping the mood swings in check. A good workout keeps the body active, and mind fresh, it also generates positivity in the mind.
(Go and see a doctor, if you are too much depressed)
There is one more thing to workout, there is a theory, that our memories tend to get embedded in our physical actions.
Thus, to get rid of negative memories, shaking the body works well. If a whole body workout is conducted, it releases the negative memories from the body, and makes it fresh again. Thus, dancing, swimming etc are good options for workout.
We also tend to resist our temptations, subside our thoughts and avoid the things that used to make us happy previously. But as soon as we are shadowed by depression, we choose to neglect our own happiness, because we have this notion that we can’t be happy anymore. And there is no magical button to suddenly turn this feeling around.
However, a small step can be taken with each passing day, and that is, to take up something that makes us feel good or used to make us feel good.
It can be a hobby we previously followed, or a new interest. In my case, I started reading my Harry Potter books again, as those made me very happy when I was young.
There is a saying, ‘What you eat, you become’.
Food plays a very important role, in cheering up the mood. We all like to eat fast food, junk food, cheese loaded pizzas, and double-decker burgers. Well, the first thing we should avoid during depression, is to eat junk food, the more we think that we are pampering ourselves, the worse it does to our mood.
However, lesser intake of sugar, and more fruits, leafy vegetables, salads can do wonders to the mood.
Healthy food also keeps the body functions, and digestion in order, and adds to the positivity in the mind. The focus should be on more vitamin intake, specifically Vitamin b12, as deficiency of b12 causes mood swings.
It is difficult to concentrate at such point, but to gradually improve concentration, the best and easiest way to achieve it is, Meditation. It does sound like a heavy exercise for brain, but it slowly strengthens the mind and the will power.
If possible, meditation should be joined with some yoga, a good body stretching along with meditation can be very fruitful.
Establishing a daily routine, and regular sleeping pattern, also aids to reducing the fatigue and lethargy. Once you know, that you have a proper schedule, you don’t have the reasons to just sit idle, instead you will be having tasks at hand, and it distracts you from the negative thoughts.
( This is just an example of how to make a routine chart )
The primary thing we all do in such situations is to ignore the positive thoughts. We choose to avoid every good thing that comes our way, because we think that we are not worthy of that.
We enter into a self-pity mode, where we start feeling lesser about ourselves. We accept that we are weak, and we cannot be happy, and just embrace the sadness which comes along with depression.
There is one way to deal with this, and that is to challenge the negative thought process. Now this will take serious effort, but it would definitely yield good results.
The person must notice, that what instances invoke the negative feelings inside him, and challenge those very instances.
That is a choice, and if you succeed once, in stopping those instances to make you feel negative, you will be far more confident than when you started.
Those who like to write, can develop a hobby of keeping a development journal. It literally feels good to write down your daily improvements, and to track the growth of your mental status.
If we start seeing better results, we tend to give in more efforts to come out of depression.
I also made a chart on my wall, where I noted all the good things that happened to me daily, and when it all accumulated to a big long list, it definitely left me with a wide smile.
We should simply count our blessings, while we are feeling sad for something which might or might not be ours.
It is a philosophical statement, but if followed by heart, it does help. Now in all the above suggestions, there was no mention about getting professional medical help to cure depression.
Yes, there is professional help available for treating depression, and in case you never knew, our feelings are governed by hormones.
In general terms, there are few chemicals shot in our body, which make us feel several emotions like love, excitement, fear, anger, attachment etc.
There are several hormones which directly influence certain emotions, like serotonin and oxytocin help us express love, dopamine gives us the excitement and the kick. And when these hormones are not secreted in the regular way, or at the times of their shortage, depression creeps into us.
Doctors help us come to our regular stance, by giving us medication which helps these hormones to get secreted in a regular way. But, this is not a natural way, and if we wish to discontinue the medications, things might not work out the way we wanted.
So, my suggestion would be, to first try out dealing with depression with what you are and what you can do, and if it still persists, because it’s a crazy monster, then you can definitely switch to professional help.