Depression can be incredibly difficult to live with. It can be so severe that a person can struggle to function in their daily life and complete regular tasks, as they might have been able to do before. It can even leave a person bed-ridden, as they find it impossible to get up and lack the energy to do much else. Depression is characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness and depressed mood. For depression to be diagnosed a person must present symptoms for at least two weeks and have changes in levels of functioning.
The World Health Organization estimates that 3.8% of the global population is affected with depression, including 5% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years. It is believed that approximately 280 million people of all ages struggle with depression.
There is often a misconception that those struggling with depression are just simply sad and this is not true. While sadness is a part of depression, there is a deep persistent feeling of unhappiness and emptiness that can become all-consuming for a person to the point that there is an impairment in functioning. Occasional sadness is a normal aspect of the human experience, but depression has a more significant impact and changes the way people feel, think, and act in their daily routine.
Understanding what depression is and what it feels like can be an important first step to recognizing you have it and lead you to take steps to seek help in overcoming your depression.
What Is Depression?
Major Depressive Disorder is a serious medical condition that severely affects a person’s life in multiple way. Major Depressive Disorder is classified as a mood disorder and is the most common form of depression that people experience. Depression and depression symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the person.
As stated, depression can seep into all parts of a person’s life, to the point that it affects them at work, in school, in their social life, or in their family life. It can also lead to a range of physical health problems and drive a person to suicide at its most severe point, with a twenty percent lifetime risk of suicide among those with untreated depressive disorder.
When it comes to the causes of depression, the research suggests that it is a culmination of biological, genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can also be triggered by sudden or long-term, adverse life events. These events could be things like loss of a job, loss of a loved one, abuse, and other traumatic situations.
Depression is not something that people can just “get over,” and it often requires professional help. When a medical professional or mental health specialist treats someone with depression, they will usually use two conventional methods. These methods are the combination of therapy and antidepressants. The most common form of therapy for depression is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is a type of talk therapy that focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors.
Is Anger a Sign of Depression
While people who are not familiar with the symptoms of anger may not associate anger with depression, it can definitely be a sign of depression. Those who have been deeply, negatively impacted by depression and the triggers of their depression can harbor significant anger. People can be angry at the world or angry at themselves for having these feelings and not being able to function at the level they may have been at before they became depressed.
This anger can cause people to lash out at others, including loved ones who may be trying to help. Uncontrollable or maladaptive anger can be very destructive and alienate others, which can make the person with depression feel even worse. It is thought that this kind of anger is linked to the imbalance of neurochemicals in the brain that regulate emotions. Anger with depression can manifest as irritability, hostility, and intense anger that seems to come out of nowhere all of a sudden. Therapy can help people learn how to better manage this anger.
Is Insomnia A Sign of Depression
Unfortunately, depression does have a negative impact on sleep, both in terms of the amount of sleep and quality of sleep a person gets. About 75% of those with depression report having trouble being able to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Depression can also be triggered because people are having a hard time getting enough sleep and this leads to a decrease in ability to regulate emotions.
Those with depression can often ruminate about things that may be causing them stress in their daily life and it may prevent them from falling asleep or cause them to wake up more frequently during the course of the night. If you are experiencing sleep problems, related to depression, then talk to your doctor, as there may be treatment options. Keep in mind these options may not be a long-term solution and it is important to seek help for the root cause of the sleep problems. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is shown to have a significant positive impact on depression related sleep problems.
Is Loss of Appetite a Sign of Depression
Some people who have depression also lose their appetite and find food less appealing. Significant weight loss can happen in those with depression because they have lost interest in eating. It can also be hard for anyone with depression to eat if they are too tired to cook an entire meal and it seems easier to skip the meal completely. Of course, not eating also leads to low energy levels and it creates a cycle that is difficult to break.
Depression is also often accompanied with anxiety, which can cause gastrointestinal issues and may leave a person with little desire to eat. While it can be difficult to eat with depression, it is important to try to eat a balanced diet. Having a balanced diet can help with some depression symptoms.
Is Sleeping A Sign of Depression
Excessive sleeping is highly common in those with depression, as the disorder often leaves people feeling constantly tired and drained of energy. Even when a person has gotten enough hours of sleep, they may continue feeling tired. This is how people with depression can end up bed-ridden, as they lack any energy to get up, or unable to perform daily activities like showering, getting dressed, going to work, or doing household chores. Oversleeping is a symptom in about 15% of people who are diagnosed with depression. It is important to note that other sleeping problems, like sleep apnea, can be comorbid with depression and is not a direct result of the depression. Disruptions or delays in the circadian rhythm are linked to depressed people sleeping past their alarm and struggling to wake up in the morning.
How to Ask for Help with Depression
Depression is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed by and you deserve to be able to live a full and happy life. The stigma around mental health problems is thankfully starting to shrink, as more and more people are having conversations about the topic and many notable people have come out with their own stories about their struggles with mental health. If you have been struggling with depression and are ready to seek help but are not sure where to start then please do not worry, we are here to help.
If you are struggling to ask for help then a good place to start is by talking with a trusted friend or loved one, as they can be a great source of support. It makes a real difference having someone simply listen to you, encourage you to take care of yourself, and keep you company if you are feeling lonely. The internet is also a valuable source to be able to find a therapist or a hotline number to call and talk to someone. Seeking professional help is an important step in the process to overcoming depression. Medical professionals can help you access antidepressants, or even offer a referral to a psychologist, therapist, or licensed counselor. Finding a therapist that is the right fit for you can have one of the greatest impacts, as they can help you develop the life skills and tools that you need.
Need Help For Depression?
If you are looking for therapy services for mental health concerns, or if you have any questions regarding our services, call Gemini TMS today! Our highly skilled mental health professionals are experienced in treating various mental and behavioral health concerns. They offer both individual and group therapy. Plus, there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!