Usually defined as an emotional disorder, depression has many faces and shapes. It may be described as a feeling of pathological melancholy.
Depression may be mild or severe. In other words, it can manifest through melancholy or turn into excessive desperation where a person gradually loses the sense of self and of others. It is estimated that 350 million people worldwide suffer from this increasingly present condition. This mental issue has no age and face and it can strike anyone and anywhere.
Different age groups and personality types respond to this ailment in different ways. While some may exhibit the symptoms in the first stages, others may live silently without anyone around them realizing the severity of the problem. Feeling sad and blue is an inseparable part of our life. However, any dispiriting feeling which keeps lurking around every corner should be a reason enough to see a psychologist.
Signs of depression
Depression is not easily recognizable because it has many faces. General cheerlessness and gloominess followed by irritability or sleep changes may be a warning sign that something is not quite right. However, depression can creep up on people without anyone knowing. It is important to know the little tell-tale signs and not turn a blind eye to something that may have tragic consequences.
The lack of concentration and memory followed by pessimism or the feeling of helplessness are all indicators that someone might be suffering from depression. Depressed people are likely to blame themselves for anything bad that happens. Not only do they deny positive aspects to anything but also fail to see how anything good may ever happen. This gloomy outlook has nothing to do with reality and slowly distorts a person’s perception thus leading into a general state of despondency.
What causes depression?
The factors leading to this disabling mental condition have not been established to the full extent. Its root is rather complex and fails to conform to a clear understanding of individual factors causing it. For example, heredity is one of the key elements and doctors usually ask about it when evaluating someone’s mental state. Still, depression can run in the family and yet generations may come and go without a single person having it.
Traumatic or tragic events, such as the loss of a beloved one or physical abuse, can also push people over the edge. This is why depression and anxiety go hand in hand. In addition to that, people who have suffered from low self-esteem their whole life may be more prone to depression. Substance abuse and some prescription drugs have also been linked to this mental disorder.
Depression is best cured when recognized in its early stages. Realistic expectations and moderate self-esteem can prevent our psyche from caving in and confining us to our own private hell. Pain, regret and sorrow are an inseparable part of life and embracing them is crucial in moving on.