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What exactly happens in depression and how it affects mental health?


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Mental Health has been a raging topic over the last few years and for every five normal persons, one person is suffering from a mental health crisis which results in over 290 million people worldwide suffering from depression according to Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx) in 2023. Depression is that intense feeling of being sad, negative, and lack of interest in anything, even things that used to mean so much. It is the recurrent feeling that leads to self-sabotaging even in less triggering situations. Depression drains every feeling of excitement in you and leaves you with a feeling of pity. It sits on thinking about the past, and how you should have done better even though there is nothing that can practically be done about the past. 

The wave of sadness that comes when you lose something and feel drained about it. Being stuck in that stage is what led to depression. Depression is a medical condition and most times need the intervention of a therapist. A model guiding the stages of depression as described in 2017 by Vikram Patel who is a renowned psychologist of global health and social medicine. 

There are four levels of depression:

Wellness

This stage of depression is barely a serious one yet. The wave of emotions can be mixed with good daily habits and positivity around the affected person. This might not require a professional intervention. A counsellor may help in this by prescribing general changes in lifestyle habits like eating right, sleeping well, and learning how to accept things without overthinking them.

Distress

Depressive Stage

Recurrent Stage

What are the symptoms of depression? 

According to the World Health Organization in their article about depressive order, there are several symptoms of depression which include;

  • poor concentration

  • feelings of excessive guilt or low self-worth

  • hopelessness about the future

  • thoughts about dying or suicide

  • disrupted sleep

  • changes in appetite or weight

  • feeling very tired or low in energy.

  • Suicidal thoughts

While the listed above symptoms should be checked, the main symptoms of depression are feeling lost, underachieved, and irritated. 

What are the causes of depression? 


Based on numerous researches, there is no definite cause of depression. However, several factors can contribute to the severity of the illness. The following are the factors that affect the severity of depression;

  • Abuse- different types of abuse such as domestic abuse, 

  • Irregulation of the mood by the brain

  • Age

  • Triggering Situations or experiences


Living with depression and how to massively improve your mental health


Living with depression can be easy and difficult at the same time. According to experts in the mental health industry and World Health Organization research on depression in March 2023. The following points can be included in your daily life and can improve your mental health.

Optimal Nutrition

The dietary choices we make profoundly impact various aspects of our well-being, including skin health, physical fitness, and weight management. Research suggests that a significant portion, approximately 43%, of individuals grappling with depression experience some form of dissatisfaction with their appearance. Despite criticisms from healthcare professionals, the market for weight loss products continues to thrive. While certain health conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can influence body size, adopting a nutritious diet can address many related issues. Consumption of excessive junk food can detrimentally affect both physical and mental health. It's essential to embrace the concept of 

Body Positivity, acknowledging and accepting aspects of our bodies that may not be subject to change due to dietary habits. Prioritizing the intake of greens, fruits, and regular physical activity can yield remarkable improvements in both mental and physical well-being.

Quality Sleep

Pursue Passion

Assertive Boundaries

Radical Acceptance

Continuous Learning

Therapeutic Support

Consistency and Support


In summary, depression is a serious mental health problem affecting millions worldwide, causing deep sadness and making daily life tough. Symptoms like feeling hopeless, trouble sleeping, and changes in appetite can vary from person to person.

Understanding the stages of depression, from feeling down occasionally to experiencing frequent and intense episodes, shows why it's important to get help early. Treatment can involve changing habits, talking to a therapist, taking medication, or a mix of these. To stay mentally healthy, it's essential to eat well, sleep enough, do things you enjoy, set limits on what you can handle, accept things you can't change, keep learning, seek support from others, and stick with it over time.

By recognizing depression's challenges and using strategies to cope, people can build resilience and lead happier lives.


 

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