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Depression: how to beat it?

Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness.
Depression is one of the mental disorder which is treatable.


Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness. You will lose interest in your daily and normal life activities. We all encounter awkward and unhappy moments in everyday life and become sad. If this feeling of sadness is intense and continues for a long time, you may be suffering from depression. The feeling is disproportionate to the stressful situation. It is a severe disease that adversely affects our physical, psychological, and social life. Depression, if not adequately treated, may result in suicide. WHO says that about 800000 people commit suicide every year. The irony is that less than half of those suffering from depression get themselves treated for it.

Key Facts about Depression

  • It is among the most frequently occurring mental disorders. Worldwide, it affects about 300 million people. 8.1% of adults in America, aged 20 years and above, had depression during 2013-2016, according to CDC stats.
  • Women are more likely to experience depression. The incidence is almost twice in women than in men.
  • At its worst stage, it might result in suicide.
  • Depression, if diagnosed at the proper time, is treatable.

Types Of Depression

It is  categorized into different types:

  1. Persistent Depression Disorder: – In this, depressed and sad mood lasts for approximately more than two years. There may be attacks of severe depression in between.
  2. Recurrent Depression Disorder: – In this, there are repeated episodes of depression. Each episode may continue for about two weeks.
  3. Postpartum Depression: – Many women might experience mild depression and anxiety that goes away within two weeks of delivery. It is called Baby Blues. Some women may suffer from episodes of severe intensity. It is Postpartum Depression and is different from baby blues.
  4. Psychotic Depression: – It occurs when you have severe depression along with some other psychotic illness. The other illness may be delusion [ false beliefs of something unreal] or hallucination [seeing images or hearing sounds which don’t exist].
  5. Seasonal Affective Disorder: – Some persons have an onset during winter while they get alright during spring. This winter episode generally occurs each year.
  6. Bipolar Depression: – Episodes of severe depression may alternate with an episode of an extremely high euphoric state.

How To Know If You Have Depression?

If  one or more of the below-given symptoms are present, you may be suffering from depression:

  • Continuous feelings of sadness, unhappiness, hopelessness, and emptiness.
  • Change in appetite.
  • Lack of energy and feeling of fatigue.
  • Insomnia or lack of sleep.
  • Difficulty in thinking or concentrating.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Physical body symptoms like headache or backache.
  • Inability to enjoy activities that once gave pleasure.
  • Thoughts of suicide or death.

Risk Factors

 They may vary from genetic, family, and psychological to situational.

  1. Family History: – You are more likely to suffer from depression if your parent suffers from it. Most common depressions set up in adulthood but may also occur in children and adolescents. In kids and teens, it is more likely to be expressed as an outburst of irritability.
  2. Biological Factors: – Some physical changes in the brain may result in depression. Hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances seem to play a role in the development of depression.
  3. Environmental factors: – Continuous abuse or violence or some traumatic event during childhood may result in depression.

Diagnosis And Treatment

If you think you suffer from depression, you may consult:

  • General Practioner (GP) – Your GP can help you diagnose correctly. He may check for any physical health problems or any medication that can cause depression.
  • Psychologists- They are professionals who have a degree in psychology. They may provide you with psychological therapy.
  • Psychiatrists – They are medical doctors who specialize in mental health. They may prescribe medicines along with psychological therapies.
  • Counselors – Many institutions, such as community health centers, schools, and universities, have counselors. They may help you.

Medication and Therapies

Depression is one of the mental disorders which is treatable. Treatment must be started as early as possible. It should be understood that treatment for each patient is tailor-made for him/her.


Medicines, known as antidepressants, are prescribed by GPs or Psychiatrists. They help to control the level of chemicals in the brain, which regulates mood. These medications take about 2-4 weeks before their effects are visible. Insomnia improves before mood disorder. If you are on antidepressant medicines, don’t stop abruptly.


General psychologists or clinical psychologists provide psychotherapy. In psychotherapy, a psychologist talks to you about your condition and your life. The efficacy of psychotherapy may vary from person to person and the expertise of professionals. They include:

  1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  2. Interpersonal therapy.
  3. Problem-solving therapy.

Brain Stimulation Therapies

Electroconvulsive therapy may be given if medication and psychotherapy fail to provide results.


It is a procedure in which fine needles are inserted into specified body points. Some studies from China say it is as effective as antidepressants.


Essential oils are used to treat depression. Essential oils like wild ginger or rose oil should be diluted in a carrier oil (olive oil) before inhalation. They may also be applied to the skin.

Autogenic Training

It is a regular, simple mental exercise that promotes body awareness. It involves concentration on heartbeat and breathing, and autogenic training provides relaxation.


  • Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help boost your mood and prevent symptoms of depression.
  • Yoga and meditation are also helpful for managing stress and promoting relaxation in daily life.
  • Additionally, identifying symptoms of depression early on and seeking treatment can prevent the condition from worsening.
Yoga and meditation can help to cope with stressful situations in daily life and depression.
Yoga and meditation can help people cope with stressful situations in their daily lives.

Living With Depression

  • Exercise daily and be active.
  • Prepare small, realistic, measurable daily, weekly, and monthly goals for yourself. Monitor your progress — Pat yourself on the back to achieving those goals.
  • Let your family, friends, and relatives help you. Try to socialize.
  • Get yourself early diagnosis and treatment.
  • Contact the doctor if you or a loved one feels like committing suicide.
  • Have folate if you are on antidepressant medication.
  • Yoga and meditation can help to relax.
  • Read as much as you can for depression.
  1. National Institute of Mental Health
  2. Beyond Blue
  3. Mayo Clinic 
  4. NHS Inform
    Illnesses and conditions
  5. American Psychiatric Association (APA)
    A overview


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