Understanding Depression: Are We Aware?

Some people still have old-fashioned beliefs about depression–for example, that the emotional symptoms caused by depression are “not real” and “made up.” However, depression is a real medical condition.

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Sometimes a depressive episode can appear to come out of nowhere at a time when everything seems to be going fine. We all get sad from time to time; we all get “the blues” and the feeling of just wanting to give up – but it all doesn’t mean that we are depressed. If the emptiness and despair have taken hold of your life and won’t go away, you may have depression. For everyone’s knowledge and awareness, let’s talk about what being depressed really means.

If you feel like you have several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you might be suffering from clinical depression.

  • you can’t sleep or you sleep too much
  • you can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
  • you feel hopeless and helpless
  • you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
  • you have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
  • you are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
  • you’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior
  • you have thoughts that life is not worth living (seek help immediately if this is the case)

Depressed individuals tend to feel helpless and hopeless and to blame themselves for having these feelings.

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What may cause depression?

Depression is a real illness that impacts the brain.

There is no single cause of depression. You can develop it for different reasons and many different things can trigger it.

A blend of genetic, chemical, biological, psychological, social and environmental factors can all affect to the disorder. Any of these factors alone or in combination can trigger changes in brain chemistry that lead to depression’s many symptoms.

There may not be a concrete reason for depression. Some people have evident changes in their brains with depression, making it easier to identify. Studies suggest that depression starts with the functioning of the brain.

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How is depression treated?

 If not adequately treated, depression can become severe.

Exercise, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and sticking with a routine can help balance the chemicals in our brain.

Medications are helpful for reducing symptoms of depression in some people, especially when their depression is severe. Some health care professionals treating depression ma use a combination of psychotherapy and medications. By conducting a thorough assessment, a licensed and trained mental health professional can help make recommendations about an efficient course of treatment for an individual’s depression.

Your health care provider can advise you.

There are also herbal and organic ways to mildly help treat depression. One of which is St. John‘s wort, which is widely prescribed for depression in Europe.

Is St. John’s wort, an herbal remedy, effective in treating depression? Millions of people think so for centuries; they view St. John’s wort as an alternative or natural treatment for depression.

There is some scientific evidence that St. John’s wort may be helpful in treating mild depression, and the benefit seems similar to that of antidepressants. Taking St. John’s wort extracts improves mood, and decreases anxiety and insomnia related to depression.

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Be a friend to someone today. You never know how you can help someone in the little ways.

References:

http://www.allaboutdepression.com/med_15.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201308/st-johns-wort-and-depression

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm

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