Is It Really Depression?

February 29, 2024

Depression is a common and serious mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Many young people are affected by depression and most of the time don’t even realize. It is said that one out of six young people are going through depression, a big number of them being in their late teens and mid twenties.

Depression causes feelings of sadness and or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function and work at home. And this brings us to the question Could it be Depression? 

According to Resilience Action Approximately 4% children aged 12 to 17 and 9% of those aged 18 to 24 suffer from major depressive disorder, underscoring the vulnerability of youth and children to mental health issues. 

There are different signs and symptoms of depression that vary from Severe to Mild. Check yourself as you go through and ask: Could it be depression? 

  • Feeling sad or having low energy levels
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Increase in meaningless physical activity for example inability to sit still, pacing, slowed movements or speech. 

Depression is a serious condition that is often misdiagnosed especially by teenagers who are feeling a bit down. So It’s Important  to not self diagnose and ask the people around you if they observed these symptoms in you. You should also note that the Symptoms must last at least two weeks and must represent a change in your previous level of functioning for a diagnosis of depression to be valid. As you ask yourself, could it be depression? It is also worth noting that Depression is very different from sadness or grief.

 It is completely normal to experience moments of sadness following various events in your life like missing an opportunity, the end of a friendship, or even failing an exam. Grief is also a very normal event that occurs in one’s life. After the loss of a loved one feeling sadness, shedding tears, and experiencing a temporary loss of interest are entirely normal and acceptable. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency. These are medical conditions that display Depression like Symptoms. 

Although it is a serious condition, depression is also very treatable. There are a number of things people can do to help reduce the symptoms of depression. 

Regular exercise helps create a positive feeling and improves one’s mood. This method can be called Self help and Coping.  Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis and eating a healthy diet.

Psychosocial Support is  Support given to help meet the mental, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients and their families. Diseases, such as cancer, can affect a patient’s thoughts, feelings, moods, beliefs, and relationships with family, this is why psychological Support is applicable for both individuals and families.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. And it is  most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems. 

Psychotherapy could also be sometimes used alone for treatment of mild depression, this is a method where one talks to a therapist to get professional help. For severe depression, psychotherapy is often used along with antidepressant medications. 

ECT  (electrotherapy) is a rare medical treatment that has been most commonly reserved for patients with severe major depression, who have not responded to other treatments. It involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anaesthesia. A patient typically receives ECT two to three times a week for a total of six to 12 treatments. This Process is  managed by a team of trained medical professionals including a psychiatrist, an anesthesiologist and a nurse or physician assistant. 

Is it really depression ? Ask yourself. As we go through this journey Let’s keep in mind that supporting one another through the ups and downs of depression is a journey we all share. By breaking down the stigma, chatting openly, and making resources easily available, we’re creating a world where everyone feels heard and understood. 

Written by Omar Hemed

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