What is Depression?
Depression is a mental disorder, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, which negatively affects our approach to life. People often confuse it with sadness and you can often see posts in social media stating “feeling depressed because I lost my favorite book” or “feeling depressed after seeing my results” but there is a big difference.
Sadness is a state of mind which changes after a certain time but depression is a collection of all the negative states of mind that engulf you, stay for a prolonged period, and slowly start killing you from the inside. You can feel happy after being sad for a while but when you are depressed, you will not feel any kind of positivity as if it is being prevented by some impenetrable wall. The also affects your living lifestyle too.
Causes of Depression
It is said that Psychology is the only science without a definition. Every person has their own thought process and areas of sensitivity and no two persons might have the same cause of depression. Thus, there can be many causes for depression. The most common causes are:-
It is the major cause for depression. Mostly people who are working face this. If I go by statistics then, as of 2015, almost 42.5 % corporate employees suffer from depression in India and this number keeps increasing. Immense work pressure, performance anxiety and lack of recreation are the main reasons for the building of stress. Family problems or problems in relationships, disputes, abuses or trauma can also lead to stress.
There comes a point when the stress reaches such a level that you become completely numb and oblivious of your surroundings. Nothing matters and you start behaving like a robot. You want to get rid of everything and survival becomes the toughest task for you.
2. Heartbreak or Loss
This is not only one of the most common but also one of the most renowned cause of depression. You can often hear people committing suicide after losing someone dear to them. People have a tendency to start depending on someone emotionally when they truly love them. The dependence is such that they can’t even imagine their lives without that someone. So, after losing them they start losing the purpose and hope of leading a normal life and living at all. As a result, they suffer from immense loneliness and get stuck in a void from which they don’t even want to return.
3. Insecurities and Disappointments
“I am not good enough” is something that we often say when we are disappointed with ourselves. Consecutive failures, disappointments, constant nagging, and de-motivations result in insecurities. On the other hand, there are also people who do not blame themselves but are in-secured about or disappointed with their lives and surroundings. Some people are strong enough to stand up while some (mostly pessimistic people) succumb to their insecurities and think that they do not have any purpose in life.
If a person is suffering from any serious disease or is under medications that are not only affecting her physically but also mentally, depression can arise. Certain diseases and treatment procedures are so brutal that after a point the person just wants to let go. Sometimes it is the composition of the medicine that triggers depression after repeated consumption.
It has been observed that a person who has a family history of depression is more prone to suffer from it.
- Loss of appetite or eating too much,
- Insomnia or sleeping too much,
- Loss of interest and enthusiasm in doing activities that you once loved doing,
- Constantly having negative thoughts ,
- Feeling of guilt, worthlessness and insecurity,
- Lacking concentration and becoming unmindful often,
- Always feeling tired,
- Staying gloomy most of the time,
- Thoughts of death and suicide.
7 Ways to Overcome Depression
Depression is treatable. As we know that prevention is always better than cure, it is advisable that you start following these methods once you start recognizing the symptoms. The more you’ll wait, the more difficult will it become for you to overcome it and if you cannot overcome it then the outcome can be fatal.
1. Talking is a best remedy
Talking helps a lot. Talk to a psychiatrist, your parents, friends or lover, anyone whom you are comfortable with and share every detail of what you are feeling. A Psychiatrist can come up with solutions and medication but a good amount of money is supposed to be paid for continuous sessions and it might not be possible for everyone to pay that amount.
Although, talking to your loved ones can be both helpful and free of cost. They might not be ready with the most accurate solutions but being able to share how you’re feeling and what you are going through is a relief in itself. A pat on the back or a hug and that one genuine phrase “If you need me I am here. Everything will be alright” is enough to drive the negativity away.
2. Building a strong support network
You become really vulnerable while suffering from depression and this is the time when you need people who can give you positivity. Make a habit to be around people who motivates you and thinks for you or pray for your well-being. When you won’t be able to support yourself, they will support you. They will boost your self esteem and help you come out of this darkness. You need people who will stay beside you when you’ll feel the loneliest. Stay away from people who constantly nag and taunt and de-motivate you.
3. Think about all the qualities you have
No one is perfect. Everyone has good as well as bad qualities. Thinking about all your imperfections is the worst that you can do to yourself. Constantly finding faults in yourself increases your insecurity and decreases your self esteem. People might try to de-motivate you by pointing out your negative traits but you will have to believe that you are good enough. Think about all the times when you have achieved something with your qualities or have been able to help someone with them. Think about all the times you have been praised and have been appreciated.
4. Keep your mind occupied
While in depression your mind is bound to be filled with all kinds of negativity. When sitting idly, you will find yourself involuntarily thinking about every bad thing that has ever happened to you, about all the disappointments, and in short, about any and every negative thing that is attached to you. To prevent this you will always have to keep your mind occupied.
Listen to songs or watch your favorite movie (make sure that the song and movie are not a sad one or are not linked to a bad memory). Moreover, plan small tasks that you need to do, for example, cleaning your room or finishing your household chores. Yoga can also be a part of your routine to make your mind occupied. However, There are various Yoga benefits. Do anything that you like even if you don’t feel like doing them because once you start, you’ll eventually find yourself getting engrossed in it and all the negative thoughts going away.
5. Improve eating and sleeping habits
Research has stated that there is a link between diet and mental health. People with good food habits tend to suffer less from depression. Changing your food habit can be thus beneficial for you. Visit a physician or nutritionist before making major changes in your food habits.
When you sleep, you technically can escape every problem that you have been facing. Yes, after waking up you will be back to reality but adequate amount of sleep allows your mind and body to relax and you can start the day in a new way. In other words, when your body gets enough rest, you can work and think in a much more proactive manner.
Sleeping excessively should of course be avoided. You should sleep to rejuvenate yourself and not to escape from your problems. Maintaining an escapist policy will not help you in any way and the problem will just take a back seat instead of getting solved completely and thus there will always be a chance for it to come back.
6. Stop being a pessimist
No, not everything that happens or will happen to you will have a bad outcome. Just like obstacles and disappointments, happiness and satisfaction is also part of your or anybody’s life. Just because you are having a bad time now doesn’t mean that it will last forever. Above all, everyone has a purpose and you have too. Never let your guilt and disappointments make you lose hope. In Short, Hope is something that will allow you to carry forward, stand up and fight.
7. Build self-love
Pamper yourself by buying things that you like or want, planning a solo vacation, going out on a date with yourself, spending some “me” time. You need to discover your lost self, the happy version of you that is now lost in the deep dark forest of depression. As long as you don’t start loving yourself, as long as you don’t start feeling good from within, nothing will help you and sometimes you need to be alone for some time to figure that out.
In conclusion, I would like to say that at the end of the day, it is you and only you who can help yourself. If you genuinely want to overcome depression then you will be willing to give the effort required for that and similarly if you don’t want to then no power on Earth can help you. Most Importantly, you also need to understand that your life is not just about you. Your existence matters to many people out there who love and care about you and guess what? It hurts them seeing you like this. So, if not for yourself then try for them.
Always remember that even you are important, worthy, needed, beautiful and fabulous in your own way. Stay strong, have faith and everything will be fine soon.