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Knowing Mental Unhappiness : Depression

Posted: August 21, 2020

Mental well-being has become an important topic for discussion nowadays with the taboos surrounding the issue finally being brushed aside. 

DEPRESSION, that word that we use so commonly today to define a bad mood, is much more than just a mood fluctuation. It is a persistent feeling of sadness, loss of interest and an inability to live life completely. In psychology, depression can be defined as a mood or emotional state marked by feelings of low self-worth or guilt and a reduced ability to enjoy life. Most of the time, we are unaware of it as it creeps in slowly and quietly, until it becomes a monster inside our heads and we lose our control over life.

Causes for depression are wide-ranging and as follows,

    • Genetics- Family history of depression
    • Loss of a loved one- A death, a break-up, a divorce, loss of a beloved pet
    • Certain medications such as beta-blockers for blood pressure
    • Conflict or dispute with a family member or friend
    • Abuse- Physical, sexual or emotional
    • Major events- Getting married, Loss of a job, A new job, Child-birth, Retirement
    • Chronic illnesses that last for a very long time and cannot be cured completely. These may be Arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, hypothyroidism etc.
    • Other problems such as social isolation due to a mental illness
    • Substance abuse- Drugs, alcohol etc.
    • Sometimes there may be no reason at all

Common symptoms are,

  • Loss of ability to take pleasure in day-to-day activities
  • Loss of sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Loss of appetite or eating too much
  • Reduced energy and vitality
  • Persistent hopelessness, sadness, pessimism
  • Lowered self-esteem and self-worth 
  • Guilt
  • Difficulty in thinking or concentrating
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

For more insights on depression and mental wellbeing, watch this episode of Kya Tum Jaanti Ho series with Pooja Priyamvada

Caring, sharing and getting better

Each person is unique in how they cope with this illness but the first step always is acceptance. Accept the fact that depression exists, this will help put you straight on the road to recovery. The second step is to allow yourself the time to get through this as it is a complex illness with many contributing factors. It will take you time to get out of it as it took you time to get clinically depressed. Take baby steps towards getting better and imagining a better future for yourself. 

Third big step is to allow others to help you. Do not resist your friends, family, doctors or professionals in supporting you. Talk to them and express yourself freely. The best part is that the world is opening up to the cause of mental health issues and it is no more considered a taboo. As the adage goes, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, HOPE is that word you have to cling to no matter what because life is a beautiful present. So, find that hope again for yourself.

Image source: Unsplash

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