According to a recent revelation on March 30th, 2017, just before the World Health Day, depression was found to be the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide. The latest estimates from WHO state that more than 300 million people worldwide are living with depression. And if these numbers aren’t enough for you to take you off your couch and beware of your mental health conditions, then let me give you something even worse to be worried about. The same revelation also estimated that one in every six people throughout the world will experience depression at least once in their lifetime. And with the limited resources available in hand to determine whether one is really suffering from depression or not, you may never actually know if you are depressed. So, now that you know you may be the unfortunate one in six, what should be your next step to ensure your mental wellness? In fact, the big question is; how do you even know that you are in a depression?
Guess what? This blog here will tell you all that you would ever need to know about the most common symptoms that a depressed person exhibits. So stay calm and read carefully. And most importantly, even if you find yourself exhibiting any such symptoms, do not at any cost jump onto a conclusion without understanding the root cause of the symptoms or getting professional help.
But there is something else that you must understand before you could know about the symptoms of depression. There is yet another mental state that is often confused with and taken for being depressed. This particular state is popularly known as the ‘blues’. ‘Blues’ is a common and combined term for the feelings of sadness and melancholy that you may experience as a result of the ups and downs of your life. We all have come across this at some point in our lives. I mean, who does not get ‘Monday Blues’ right? It may sometimes make us feel unworthy and helpless, but the best thing about the ‘blues’ is that it does not last very long. And though both these mental conditions might exhibit some similar traits, unlike the ‘sometimes-not-so-friendly-blues’, depression is the true problem child of the mind. In fact, professionals believe that you cannot have the ‘blues’ for more than 2 weeks on a stretch. But if the melancholy and helpless feeling still prevails, then you might want to consider yourself being depressed.
Now that you know about the ‘blues’ (and are assured that it is not ‘blues’ you are having), it’s time you get to know true symptoms of a depressed person.
- Depression Is A Complete ‘Pain In The A##’
Depression is a complete pain in the a## and that is not a metaphor. What I mean is that both mental illness and pain share some of the same biological pathways and neurotransmitters. In fact, in a Canadian study that was published in the journal ‘Pain’, people suffering from depression were found to be four times more likely to experience intense neck and lower-back pain in comparison to their healthy counterparts. Recurring Stomachaches and headaches or just an increased sensitivity to pain, in general, might also be one of the major symptoms of depression. As a matter of fact, during a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry in the year 2008, it was found that anticipate pain, the brain activity of unhappy people indicates more emotion and less coping when they anticipate pain; hence lessening their ability to handle the hurt. Long story short, if you experience a lot of aches; then you might want to reconsider your mental health conditions.
- It’s A Pillow, It’s A Bean Bag, No Wait; It’s Your Tummy Bursting Out Of The Pants
Obesity is bad. Depression is even worse. Obesity & depression teaming up together, now that’s pure evil. Unfortunately, though, there are many poor souls who suffer from both of these formidable health calamities. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what the experts have to say. Studies have revealed that an obese person is 25% more likely to experience depression as compared to a person who has a healthy physique. Reason? Obesity can cause low self-esteem, partial or complete social isolation and devastated self-image. Guess what? They are all amongst the major causes of depression. Another study carried out in Cincinnati stated that teenagers with symptoms of depression are more likely to become obese within the next few years. Still, think that stress eating contributes toward lessening your stress levels? Beware of depression and do remind yourself of these studies when you feel like gulping in that chunk of comfort food the next time.
- Your Head’s Become A Ticking Time Bomb
Do you often find yourself on the verge of erupting into the paramount rage without any prior reason? Is being grouchy and grumpy your new normal? If your answer to these two question is a bold YES, then you surely would want to go through the next few lines. In the year 2013, the journal JAMA Psychiatry published a study in which 54% of the people with depression (who participated in the study) reported that they felt hostile, grumpy, argumentative, foul-tempered or angry. As a matter of fact, anger is the most expressed emotion during the early stages of depression. A depressed person may always seem to be consumed with utmost anger and rage and may even lash out at complete strangers for absolutely no reason. This symptom, however, does not last long and soon enough, all that anger will be converted into the feelings of sorrow, grief, and loneliness. And though, all that anger is pretty much dangerous to you and others, you now know that it might only be the beginning of a bad era that can be evaded. So next time you find your head getting as hot as a barbecue, reconsider your mental health conditions and seek professional help.
- Sticking To The Social Media Is Not Exactly Socializing
There are several studies which confirm that people who spend relatively more time on some kind of virtual social network and are involved in more virtual social interactions than real ones, may be depressed. The key point is that a person experiencing depression gradually develops the fondness for solitude and escapism. Virtual social networks serve these kinds of people with utmost delicacy by providing them with a platform to evade real life interactions through the virtual chat options. In fact, one of the research’s at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine determined that the more time young adults use social media, the more likely to be depressed. Moreover, researches also prove that using virtual social media platforms for a longer duration contributes to increased levels of stress, anxiety, and pessimism, all of which are major factors leading to depression. And though, internet addiction and depression are diagnosed separately, they often overlap.
- Toughest Decisions To Make
According to a Columbia University-based research, it’s estimated that we make up to 70 conscious decisions every day and most of them do not involve active thinking. When in depression, even making the simplest of decisions like to snooze or to wake up, which dress to wear and whether to eat oatmeal or have eggs for the breakfast may seem like humongous brain-busting tasks. Okay, I agree; the dress thing was too exaggerating. Most of us (I mean mostly girls) often have trouble in deciding what to wear. But the key point is that our cognitive processes get tremendously affected when we are depressed. Not being able to make these kinds of simplistic decisions over time result in aggravated agitation, which ultimately leads to longevity of depression.
Now, that you know about the symptoms of depression; your next step should be the lookout for the ways to recover and if possible completely evade depression. The big shots in the field of mental health say that irrespective of the stigma that is associated with mental health, a person suffering from depression should always lookout for someone to share their feelings as their first step towards recovery. Even WHO has named its campaign for mental wellness ‘Depression: let’s talk’. I know how much the WHO cares for the entire humanity’s health and wellness. But the simple fact cannot be ignored that when it comes to depression’ even the sufferer desists oneself from sharing his status even with the closest of people. So, who could you rely on now to share your feelings? Well, for the time being, that can be us. So go ahead and share your feelings in the comment section, so that we can come up with better ways to help you live a miraculous life.
For now, stay well and keep an eye on our next blog which will tell you of the ways to evade depression.