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What is depression?

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By Kausar ParvinPublished 23 days ago 3 min read
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Depression is characterized by a variety of symptoms that can greatly impact a person's well-being. These symptoms include feeling a persistent low mood, experiencing a lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, changes in appetite, feeling a sense of worthlessness or excessive guilt, disruptions in sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, restlessness or slowed movements, a decrease in energy levels, and recurrent thoughts of suicide.

According to psychiatric guidelines, if an individual exhibits at least five of these symptoms, it is often considered indicative of a diagnosis of depression. It is crucial to acknowledge that depression not only impacts one's behavior but also manifests physically within the brain.

Firstly, there are visible changes with the naked eye and X-ray vision, like smaller frontal lobes and hippocampal volumes. On a smaller scale, depression is linked to certain things such as abnormal neurotransmitter transmission, especially serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, disrupted circadian rhythms, and specific alterations in sleep patterns. Hormone imbalances, like high cortisol and thyroid deregulation, are also associated with depression. However, neuroscientists still haven't fully understood the precise causes of depression, as it appears to involve a complex interplay between genetics and the environment.

Unfortunately, we currently do not possess a sufficient tool that can accurately predict the occurrence of depression.

The symptoms of mental illness are frequently not visible, which can make it difficult to recognize individuals who may appear entirely normal but are secretly struggling internally. On average, individuals with mental health problems typically delay seeking professional assistance and support for over ten years. Thankfully, there are viable treatment options, such as medication, therapy sessions, and, in severe instances, electroconvulsive therapy.

Aside from transcranial magnetic stimulation, there are several other treatment methods that are currently under investigation and hold potential effectiveness. Hence, if you happen to be acquainted with someone who is facing the challenges of depression, it would be advantageous to gently encourage them to consider and delve into these alternate possibilities

In addition, you can further provide assistance by helping them with practical tasks, like conducting research on therapists in their area or creating a detailed list of queries to discuss with a healthcare expert and many more .

Depression should not be viewed as a sign of weakness or as a defining aspect of someone's personality. It is unrealistic for individuals to expect themselves to effortlessly overcome it, just as it would be impossible for them to forcibly heal a broken arm.

If you have never personally gone through depression, it is best to refrain from drawing comparisons to occasions when you have simply felt sad or low.

When individuals make a comparison between the emotions they are currently feeling and the typical instances of sadness that many people go through, it can result in them feeling a sense of guilt for struggling with their own difficulties.

Engaging in open discussions about depression can have a positive impact. Research has revealed that simply addressing the topic of suicidal thoughts with someone can effectively decrease their overall risk of suicide.

Engaging in sincere and transparent dialogues regarding mental health issues is essential to dismantle societal stigmas and foster a welcoming atmosphere for individuals to seek support.

In fact, the more individuals are willing to ask for help, the more scientists can gather valuable knowledge about depression, leading to significant advancements in treatment options. As people continue to seek treatments, researchers are able to uncover new insights and develop more effective ways to address this condition, ultimately improving the overall quality of care available.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I would greatly appreciate it if you could consider subscribing to my channel or newsletter.

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Thank you again .

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