Silent and slow Killer: How to handle Depression

Depression is NOT a fashion statement or a way to draw attention. Depression is NOT selfish or narcissistic. And it never is a good idea to advise someone with clinical depression to ‘just get over yourself’. Depression is a psychological ailment that quite a marginal portion of the population suffers from.

But it is also important to demarcate the difference between clinical depression and normal mood swings. Every now and then everyone gets into a depressed mood, it may be due to personal issues, or even because of a change in season, and it is not the same as suffering from depression.

Before self-diagnosing yourself as suffering from depression, watch out for the symptoms. If the symptoms, as described in the video above, matches then get in touch with a clinical psychologist who will help you understand your situation better and diagnose your case as genuine or normal. There is no shame in consulting a psychologist, they are there to help anyone no matter how small or big your problems are. No, they don’t just treat the ‘crazies’.

People suffering from severe depression often suffer from strong suicidal tendencies, if not treated, the consequences could be fatal. If you suspect yourself or someone you know to be suffering from depression, please don’t second guess yourself or try to deal with it on your own. Take an expert opinion and start treatment immediately if necessary. AASRA is an Indian organization which you can contact if you feel suicidal, they have experts who will listen to you and guide you through your hard time.
24×7 Helpline: 91-22-27546669

Symptoms and Treatment:

In order to be formally diagnosed with depression at least one of possible two core symptoms must be seen. The first of these is a persistent low mood and feelings of sadness, with or without weepiness. The second is motivational, specifically a marked lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities.

Clustered around these two core symptoms are further seven related symptoms relating to:

  • Sleep pattern disturbances.
  • Change in appetite.
  • Tiredness.
  • Sluggish movements or agitation.
  • Difficulty in concentrating or solving simple everyday problems.
  • Feelings of guilt and/or worthless.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide (‘what’s the point of it all’).

Clinical depression can fall in the following 3 categories:

  1. Mild Depression:

    It is usually transient with subtle symptoms, needs no treatment. One of the core symptoms must be present and usually no more than four related symptoms. It can affect dad to day activities, but not in any major way. Medication is not necessary and the symptoms usually subside over time

  1. Moderate Depression:

    Usually has an organic cause and requires the underlying cause to be treated. Both core symptoms are present as well as four or more related symptoms. There is higher chance that daily work and social activities are affected. It greatly impairs the ability to concentrate Patients often exhibit tendencies to ignore personal care or move in a sluggish heavy fashion, with shoulder bent and head down. Even their facial expressions usually are frowning, downturned mouth, sad distance-gazing eyes and drawn expression. Unfortunately some people are adept at masking their feelings which simply acts to delay much needed treatment. Treatment usually consists of anti-depressant medication and may not require further treatment

  2. Severe Depression:

    Severe depression is almost certain to include both core symptoms and most if not all the related symptoms. Daily functioning ceases beyond the most rudimentary activities. Sometimes the person may experience psychotic features in the form of delusions or hallucinations. Typically these are consistent with themes of depression involving death, disease, guilt, or some sense of deserved punishment. Treatment is almost certain to include antidepressant medication and depending on the depth and severity may require a hospital admission. In the most severe cases ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy) treatment may be advised

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