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Depression – Symptoms and Causes of the Mental Illness
People, suffering from depression describe it as a black hole and a vicious circle of negativity. Society describes it as an excuse and laziness. Hardly any other psychological disease is more stressful and at the same timeless accepted than depression. About 350 million people worldwide suffer from it. Many people do not talk about it, so the number of unreported cases is probably high. Did you ever ask yourself: “Am I depressive”? Then this article could probably answer this question.
How many people suffer from depression?
Actually in Germany 11 percent of women and 5,1 percent of men are diagnosed with depression. Women are affected by this mental disease twice as often as men. There are about 5,3 million cases in Germany per year. In Austria about 500.000. The problem of depression: It is a very burdening mental illness. Nevertheless, it is often not taken seriously and there are still much wrong information about it on the internet. Do not let confuse yourself and be careful where you get information about mental illness from.
What are the symptoms of depression?
A depressive person feels sad and is in a bad mood. He does not appreciate or enjoys things anymore, which made him happy in the past. Furthermore, there is a lack of motivation. The person is not able to control all of this. If you recognize that someone close to you shows symptoms of depression: Don’t ignore it. Do not judge it as laziness and ask yourself why the person behaves like this. Maybe you think that you suffer from depression yourself? You do not have to be ashamed; it was not your choice.
Here you can see the different types of depression
How does a depressive person feel?
People, suffering from depression, feel:
- fear and hopelessness
- weepiness and numbness
- self-doubts and concentration disorders
- feelings of guilt
Those are the emotional symptoms of depression. It is not a decision that someone makes. Affected people suffer a lot, which often develops into complete isolation or also in suicidal thoughts. The thoughts are spinning and cover the mind with a grey curtain.
What is the behaviour of a depressive person?
A depressive person shows the following behaviour:
- eats less
- has less desire for sex
- awakes earlier in the morning
- withdraws more and more
- is calmer than usual
Opposite to a manic depression, people with an unipolar depression are very passive. It appears as if the person is not interested to be part of life anymore. In most of the cases it is like this because they are lost in their vicious circle.
What does a depressive person think?
If someone suffers from this mental illness, the thoughts are spinning:
- “I am worthless.”
- “I am useless.”
- “My life doesn’t make sense (anymore).”
- “I am a burden.”
- “I am a loser.”
There is no need for an external trigger for such thoughts, they are already there. Topic is the present as well as the future. Depressive people are not able to see the good in life anymore and they do not expect a better future.
What are the physical symptoms of depression?
A depression also goes along with physical symptoms:
- headache and backpain
- circulatory problems
- feeling of pressure in the chest
- stomach problems
The symptoms of a depression must last for more than two weeks. You should act, if you realize that you, or someone close to you feels sad and depressed for a long period. Trust your intuition, you know best when something is wrong. To get your final diagnoses you should go to your family doctor. Get yourself advice if your loved ones are affected.
Why does someone develops a depression?
When talking about psychogenic depression, the causes can be found in the biography of the affected person. In their lives tragic events happened, like death, separation or they lost their job. Also, permanent conflicts or psychological stress and strokes of fate can cause a depression. This mental illness could also be caused by negative experiences or trauma in childhood.
There is also another form, the organic depression. It is caused by a physical illness. Examples are multiple scleroses, diabetes, strokes, or thyroid diseases. Furthermore, there is also an endogenous depression. In this case specific areas of the brain, like the amygdala, hippocampus, or the frontal brain, change. The neurochemical balance between serotonin and noradrenaline is unbalanced.
How to deal with depression?
The first important step is to realize that you are depressed, the second is to know, that it is not your own fault. After these steps are taken, you should go to your family doctor. Based on the symptoms, he diagnoses you with depression or he does not. In addition, he diagnoses whether it is mild, moderate, or extreme. He hands out a medical referral for. Even, if you do not want to see or believe it in this moment, we have an important message for you. It helps a lot if you read it on daily basis:
What is the treatment for depression?
Which treatment is best for you, depends on the level of depression. For a mild form, our online counselling could help you. In the setting you learn joyful activities, culinary therapy, and activation. Furthermore, you find out about your negative thoughts and how to adapt them. Psychotherapy could also help. If you suffer from an extreme form of depression, doctors mostly prescribe psychotropic drugs. They especially help to deal with endogenous depression.
No matter, which type of depression you suffer from, get yourself help. You do not have to find the solution on your own. In a depressed mood, you feel sad and lonely. For sure you can slightly remember that you had a different life before you got depressed. Let us get it back!
If you or someone close to you is thinking about committing suicide, get help.
Photo credit: (c) iStock.com/Boyloso