All You Need To Know About Depression: What Are The Symptoms And Warning Signs

—  Dr. Manisha Singhal, Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist, Metro Hospitals

Depression is a hidden disease. It manifests differently in different people. Unhappiness is one of the most common psychiatric complaints which often signifies the presence of Depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is not the same as feeling low rather it is much more complicated. It’s a persistent sadness, loss of interest in routine activities causing impairment in life.

Types of Depression –

There’re various kinds of depression-like mild depression, moderate depression, severe depression, chronic depression, Atypical depression, Bipolar / Maniac depression, seasonal affective depression.

Hallmarks of Depression –

Hopelessness, despair, negative views about oneself.

Symptoms of Depression –

Increased or decreased appetite and sleep, fatigue, alcohol consumption, smoking, various drug addiction, aggression and irritability, forced happiness, pessimism, lack of concentration and focus, etc.

Extreme state of Depression is generally connected with suicide.

Suicide is preventable. We should never leave a person alone If someone threatens to kill themselves. Whoever commits suicide always gives some hints.

Suicidal Behaviour Disorder –

There’s a disorder called Suicidal Behavior Disorder which is characterized by attempted suicide within the past two years and does not include behaviors such as suicidal ideation and non-suicidal, self-injurious behavior.

Suicidal Attempt – A deliberate, self-destructive act with a clear expectation of death that’s non-fatal.

Suicidal Ideation – Thinking about, considering, or making plans for suicide.

Non-Suicidal, Self-Injury – An act of self-harm that is not intended to result in death.

Some warning signs –

A person makes plans to prepare for death and shows despair, becomes withdrawn and moody avoids spending time with family and friends, acts recklessly, takes risks, dramatic change in weight, lashes out at loved ones, morbid suicidal thoughts.

As per WHO 

61% of Indians are experiencing mental health-related issues during this Lockdown period.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 yrs of age. Women are more affected than men.

According to the Indian Psychiatry Society, there’s a 20% rise in mental health issues affecting at least one person in 5 people.

Causes of Suicide –

  1. Social Stigma – one of the major causes of the high suicidal rate in India. people find it difficult to talk about their struggles to share their sorrows and challenges, to seek professional advice.
  2. Having a Family history of Suicide is also responsible up to some extent.
  3. Having some major psychiatric or psychological disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar or mood disorders in some cases results in Suicide.
  4. Significant losses in a person’s life like loss of hope, loved one, employment, relationship, or will to live.
  5. Unbeatable emotional or Physical pain.
  6. Long-term difficulties in relationships in adjusting with family or friends.
  7. Substance Abuse is commonly found with depression.

Feeling of fear, anxiety, and hopelessness is hovering over lock downed citizens. The absence of hope is all around.

Solutions

  • Seek professional help. One should not hesitate in taking an unbiased opinion from a Psychologist, Psychotherapist, or counselor.

Suicide attempts are often an attempt as a cry for help.

  • Ask direct questions – avoiding the topic may show that you do not take a person’s threats seriously enough to inquire. Find out if suicide has been considered, and if they have thought out how and when they want to do it. The more details that have been worked out, the greater the danger that someone plans to commit suicide.
  • Recognizing their agony helps to ease the distress of carrying the burden of pain alone. It is important to listen to what somebody has to say without passing judgment on their feelings.
  • Some therapies like CBT cognitive behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, talk therapy, relaxation therapy help a lot.
  • One should not look for some complicated solution only
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