How to deal with depression disability? Symptoms and treatment
I have met a lot of people in my life, and there is something that is still impossible for me:
I have not found anyone yet who does not crave for happiness.
Human beings are in constant search of euphoria, joy, and satisfaction. However, it is not easy at all.
If you ask someone if he or she is happy at this precise moment of his or her life, the response will probably be something like:
‘Everything is OK, but things could go better’.
That is how our consciousness works. Mine and yours. We are never satisfied with what we have, and we always want more.
Humans are ambitious beings by nature. That is such good quality.
However, this nonconformity, along with social, cultural, and personal factors can lead us to the most common mental disorder in the world:
I am talking about depression disability.
You know what it is. Everybody does. Or at least we think we know what it is because the great majority do not know much about it.
In fact, people are not as comprehensive as people with this disability would like, sometimes they think people with depression are weird.
There are many reasons for this: misunderstandings, misinformation, ignorance…
When more than 264 million people of all ages have gone through this around the world, it is no coincidence. It is more than that.
I have personally experienced this situation very closely. Surely you have been in my place too, although you probably do not know it.
It is very tough for the affected person to communicate his or her disease to others.
That is why I wrote this article, and the reason to keep reading it. Our society needs to understand this disease better because it is something we all can suffer from.
Or a close relative or friend, and we need to be prepared to deal with it, so that person feels accompanied and understood.
What are the common depression disability symptoms?
Psychologists play a crucial role, although the more relevant responsibility belongs to the closest people to that person suffering from depression disability.
Since the very first moment someone is going through this, they need further assistance, but it will take some time for them to let others know about it if this even happens.
It is for this reason that whenever we see some of the symptoms of this disability, we need to take action and care about their personal situation.
Those symptoms vary a lot, but the most common are depressed mood, lack of motivation and joy, loss of energy that reduces physical activity and passion for hobbies…
It is very normal. Did you have the energy to make a normal life during a bad episode of your life such as a breakup or a loved one death?
That is how depressed people feel more or less.
The only difference is that this depression does not have to appear because of bad news… for instance, many times depression appears in someone’s life due to low self-esteem levels.
We need to take depression very seriously. Conversations about depression should be more normal in our society.
Without losing respect for the disability. The World Health Organization (‘WHO’) estimates that 800,000 people suicide every year, most of them had depression.
This only happens when depression is severe (by this time it is easier to realize something is wrong with that person).
Yet, we do not want to get to this point, and we can only do this by understanding depression better.
Although it is more common to appear in women, all ages, races, and locations can suffer from it.
It is very important to take treatment prescribed by a specialist. Maybe you can deal with your problem without external aid, but I cannot.
Then, I need medication and I do not have to feel bad about it. It does not mean that I am weaker. In fact, it means that I have admitted my problem and I have been brave enough to face it.
Most of the people in low and medium-income countries do not receive any treatment, which is very bad news.
Governments should be the first to give the importance that mental health deserves, in my opinion.
Their barriers are social stigma or lack of professionals, and this is something to improve in the short run.
‘WHO’ remarks a difference between two types of depression disorders: recurrent depressive disorder and bipolar affective disorder.
The first one involves continuous depressive episodes and the second one consists of manic and depressive episodes separated by periods of normal mood.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, someone with a depression diagnostic is characterized by low appetite, disturbed sleep hours, bad self-esteem, and others that depend on the personality.
As we said before, depression is influenced by social, physical, personal, and biological factors.
The medical examination will conclude that depression is mild, moderate, or severe.
Depending on what stage the patient is, the treatment is different (it has general patterns with personal specifications).
How can we prevent it?
Now you know more about depression disability, but there is a lot more to learn about it.
I ask you to keep reading. Let’s continue talking about health.
While depression affects our mindset, it also has health disadvantages. People suffering from this disease tend to have problems with headaches, chronic pain, fatigue, weight loss, increased risk of heart attack…
It is for all the reasons already exposed and for the ones, you can imagine that we need to learn about prevention.
How? You may be thinking about preventing it before it happens.
Unfortunately, it is something very difficult to predict and prevent. You and I could suffer from it tomorrow.
I am actually talking about prevention programs whose objective is to reduce depression cases in general: school courses for children and adolescents is a very good measure, for example.
Remember that young children can suffer it too… and it is not rare at all!
Enhancing communication inside the family daily is another great option. This will build confidence that will help expressing feeling and problems to those that will always be there for us: our families.
Keeping us active avoiding idle and sedentary lifestyle is another way to prevent depression. What gathers all of these adjectives?
How many times has sport relieved your bad moments in life? I am pretty sure that more than once. Keeping our mind occupied is decisive in this process.
All of the options listed above will help us during tough times, keeping us away from falling into depression.
However, if we finally end up suffering it, what is the treatment and guidelines we should follow?
Well, the general treatment for severe depression involves both psychological and medical assistance.
There are some therapies proven to work out. Such as cognitive behavioral therapy or taking antidepressants.
When someone got mild depression antidepressants are not the first option and they are not recommended for children.
Someone who takes antidepressants needs to be very careful when doing it.
And should follow medical advice every time as they have serious adverse effects when using them irresponsibly. Do not ever forget this.
Why depression disability is more common in women?
Stats say that at least 20% of women will experience depression in some moment of their lives.
What are the reasons to explain this difference between men and women? Hormonal and psychological factors that belong only to women can be the main reason.
Yet, researchers affirm that it is also connected with women’s age or the moment of their lives.
For example, women are more vulnerable to suffer from depression after giving birth.
This is because several hormonal and physical changes can end overwhelming the mother. This is known as ‘Baby Blue’.
It usually goes away in less than two weeks and women who had experienced depressive episodes before are more probable to repeat after giving birth.
Menopause is another crucial moment in women’s lives. Estrogen and progesterone are two hormones that are attached to women’s lives until menopause when they decrease to the lowest levels.
Eggs production stops and women cannot get pregnant anymore. After being fertile almost their whole life, it is a tough moment when this happens.
Women who had gone through menopause depression declare that it is like ‘something was taken away from you’.
Sadly, there are more critical moments in life that can potentially end up in depression. They affect both men and women, and age is just a number.
Some examples are childhood when children discover life is finite, and the appearance of this fear later in life too.
What is the most promising treatment for depression?
Ketamine is a medication used for anesthesia because it reliefs pain and when used in big quantities it is used for sedation.
It also produces a great antidepressant response, this is why it is mainly used when other medications have failed. However, as a strong medicine, it has some dangerous side effects and it is also used as a drug due to its strong properties.
It is very important to take it when recommended by a doctor or psychiatrist who is in charge of your illness. Otherwise, you may experience its worst features.
The best medication nowadays, researchers support it as they consider that it works very rapidly and it is very effective with severe depressive episodes.
Scientists continue investigating new treatments because mental disabilities are tougher than a regular one. A broken knee can be healed with surgery and some time to rest.
Mental illnesses do not have a 100% reliable solution, which means that scientists need to be in constant search of new resolutions.
What is treatment-resistant depression? How can it be treated?
Treatment-resistant depression (from now on TRD) is the term used to describe major depressive disabilities that regular treatments cannot solve.
When a patient has gone through two treatment episodes with no improvement, such as ‘talk’ therapy or medical therapy; psychiatrists declare TRD.
You may be wondering how TRD is treated, how pain can be relieved. It is not easy at all.
Doctors use electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) because it has given the best and quicker results when treating TRD episodes.
The main principle of this type of treatment is the theory that our brain is an electrical organ: it answers to electrical stimulation, which produces brain activity.
Therefore, repetitive sessions with electric or magnetic stimulation will reinforce those debilitated brain cells.
There are different methods, depending on how the specialist tries to reach and activate your brain cells: using the connections of your skull, stimulating your ‘vagus nerve’ on your neck…
All of them under the strictest security measures.
Finally, we find the existence of other approaches that treat metabolic problems, for example; which can potentially end on depression remission.
However, there is no scientific proof that these kinds of methods work and if they do, the success percentage is too low to consider them an alternative.
Now you can say that you know about depression, however; this article is not enough to completely understand such a subjective disorder as depression is.
Every case is different because every person is different as well.
The most important pattern for a patient is to communicate his or her problem as soon as possible to someone who trusts.
And for the aide, to be calm, understand the problem, show help no matter what and look for a professional psychologist (or psychiatrist in worse cases).
Meanwhile, stay close to your family and friends, be careful, and show your love and attention.
Whenever you see something out of context ask that person and be empathic. This will prevent many depressions in the world for sure (and we will make the world a better place)!