Mental Health Monday: Depression


Welcome to the very first Mental Health Monday article! This is something that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time and am now launching it!

What is Mental Health Monday? Well, my goal is that every Monday I will post an article concerning anything Mental Health! The primary feature of these posts will be scholarly articles detailing the descriptions, symptoms, treatments, etc…of any and all major/minor mental illnesses. It is my goal to be an effective tool in educating and raising awareness for diseases within the mental health community.

What I am hoping will set these pieces apart is the quick nature of effective reporting I will attempt. All of this information can be located on other sites (credit will be given where due) but some of those articles can be lengthy. My hope is to provide on the dot information and a stable refuge of resources for those looking.

With all of that said, here is our first topic!

 

Depression:

What is it?

-Within the realm of mental illnesses, depression seems to be the most recurring and well-known of all of the illnesses. In fact, NAMI estimates that 7% of the American population dealt with at least 1 major depressive episode last year alone. That equates to almost 16 million Americans. This word is often tossed around and misused. This unfortunate fact is why it is our first topic this evening. Depression is commonly defined as:

“A brain disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.”

It goes without saying that there is a significant difference between sadness and depression. For summary’s sake, depression debilitates while sadness motivates. If you’d like more clarification let me know in the comments and I will elaborate.

Who does it affect?

-This mental illness knows no restriction and can affect any gender, ethnicity, and age. The most common occurrences, however, seem to happen in females. NAMI is stated as saying “Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression…” Depression also tends to affect those who are of younger years. “young adults aged 18–25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older.”

-Depression tends to affect those who are younger simply due to their lack of experience in handling tragedies. One of the many causes of depression happens to be found within childhood trauma. The traumatic events that happen when one is a child, teenager, or young adult seem to have more of an impact as their brains are still forming a perception of the reality surrounding them.

What causes Depression?

-It should be said that this is not a comprehensive list nor is it “gospel.” These are only a few of the major causes of this illness. Depression can be brought on in different ways depending on the individual person. With that said, here are a few suggestions:

-Trauma (Physical, Emotional, or Mental)

-Genetics

-Circumstances

-Brain Structure

-Drug and/or alcohol abuse

What are the symptoms?

-This is, and the above area, were completely researched and copied word for word. I am not a doctor nor a psychiatrist. One should be incredibly careful in self-diagnosing. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing these symptoms, reach out to a medical professional for help.

-Abnormal sleeping patterns

-Change in appetite

-Loss of concentration

-Loss of energy

-Loss of interest

-Abnormal lack of self-esteem

-Hopelessness

-Suicidal thoughts, tendencies, or ideations

-Persistent emotions of sorrow, anxiety, or of an”empty” mood

How is it treated?

-There are many ways that Depression can be treated and it varies depending on the individual, the circumstances that triggered the disease, and the diagnosis as to whether or not the depression is chemical. 3 of the most major and often used ways that Depression is treated are:

-Medicinal

-Psychotherapy

-Physical Exercise

Depression is an enigma and one of the most fascinating of the illnesses. Due to its varying nature depending on the individual, it should not be treated lightly nor taken for granted. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing such symptoms and are worried that you may be depressed then find a doctor! If you, or someone you love, is having suicidal ideations, no matter how insignificant you may think they are, find a doctor immediately. These issues are serious and must be treated as such.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope that you have found this information enlightening! Did I miss anything? Do you feel that something else should be added to the list? Leave a comment down below and let me know!

Next week’s topic: Anxiety Disorders

Citations:

National Institute of Mental Health

National Alliance on Mental Illness

5 Replies to “Mental Health Monday: Depression”

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