Depression is not temporary weakness but a type of complex mood disorder. It is more than a feeling of unhappiness. Person feel down time to time. The individual is not interested in doing anything. Person experiences feeling of continued high intensity of sadness for longer period of time accompanying functional disabilities. It leads to various kind of physical and emotional problems. It has a major impact on day to day living. Person is unable to feel, think, believe or do anything to his/her liking. In extreme cases individual starts experiencing social thoughts and feel as if it is not worth living.
There are different forms of depression developing in unique situations
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Depression usually occurs in a specific weather or during certain time of the year. It is usually seen in women and young people. It usually starts in fall and winter and improves as the spring arrives.
- Postpartum depression: It is seen in women after delivery. It occurs due to decrease in the hormonal levels after delivery.
- Depression with psychosis: It is a very severe kind of depression where patient hallucinates and is not in touch with the reality. The person starts hearing voices or have beliefs that is far away from reality.
- Dysthymia is recurrent, mild, low grade depressive disorder where person experiences low mood with symptoms of depression.
- Major depressive disorder: This is the most common form of depression and also known as clinical depression. Person experiences feeling of continued high intensity of sadness for longer period of time accompanying functional disabilities.
Depression is more prevalent in women as compared to men. The reason may be due to hormonal factors. But with age the gender difference reduces. The attempt to suicides are more in women but completing suicide is more in men.
Depression is not only in adults between the age of 20 and 30 but it can be seen in children, teens and older adults too.
The symptoms of depression usually appear every day and persists most part of the day. They may be so severe or persistent and prevalent that they can be noticed by everyone. But in some cases, person may be confused and miserable without understanding why is it happening.
Physical symptoms include
- Decrease performance at work.
- Very forgetful and unable to remember things.
- Experiencing unexplained physical issues like headaches and back pain.
- Sleep issues either unable to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping for too long.
- Either Loss of appetite and weight loss or excessive craving for food and gaining weight.
- Feeling of tiredness all the time. No energy to do even small things. It feels as if they have to exert more even for trivial things.
- Feeling of emptiness, fatigued and Low energy.
Psychological symptoms include
- Feeling of hopelessness and not worthy of doing anything.
- Feeling of sadness and melancholic all the time. Crying spells or feel like crying. Feeling of guilt.
- Getting Irritable and angry on trifles and very small matters.
- Getting frustrated even on small issues.
- No interest in day to day activities.
- Drawing away from friends and family members.
- Loss of interest even in activities that were liked before.
- Restlessness and anxiety.
- Getting aggressive.
- Reckless behaviour.
- Slowness of mind and body, thinks slowly, work slowly, speak slowly.
- Suicidal thoughts and tendency. Feel as if not worth anything.
- Grieve upon past sad incidences and failures. Always blaming self for anything turning wrong. Low self-esteem.
- Unable to concentrate and take decisions. Always in a state of confusion.
- Losses touch with reality, hallucinating and delusions.
Depression in Teens and children
Most sign and symptoms are common in both adults, teens and children but there can be few differences like
In young children they may refuse to go to school, pretend as if they are sick, usually have stomach-aches or headaches, clinging to their parents, quiet, looking sad and worried all the time.
In Teens the negative feeling and feeling of worthlessness is most prominent, become grouchy, often miss school, get in trouble at school, trying to self-harm, poor performance at school, feel as if no one understands them, avoiding social interaction of any kind, sulks, start consuming drugs and alcohol and lose interest in normal activities of life.
Depression in Older adults
Symptoms of depression in older adults may be different and sometimes go unnoticed or untreated
- Memory loss.
- Change in personality.
- Wanting to stay home. Does not want to socialize. Don’t want to talk.
- Physical issues like pain and aches.
- Disturbances in sleep patterns.
- Tiredness, fatigue and loss of appetite.
- Feeling as if they are not being attended or are left out.
- Prolonged grief after a loss.
- Suicidal thoughts especially in older men.
The exact cause of depression is unknown. But unlike other mental disorders, there is no single cause for depression, various factor may lead to depression such as
- Biological differences – Physical changes in the brain appear in people with depression. But these changes are still uncertain to provide significant evidences
- Brain Chemistry – Changes in the function, effect and interaction of Neuro transmitters, the naturally occurring brain chemical, may be involved in producing these mood swing and instability.
- Hormones – Hormonal imbalances in the body may be an underlying cause or triggering factor for depression. Hormonal disturbances can be caused due to thyroid issues, menopausal, during pregnancy and after delivery.
- Inherited traits – Individuals having a family history of similar condition are more likely to have depression. Genetic plays a role in causing depression.
Depression usually begins in teens or between 20 and 30 years of age but it can occur at any age. It has been seen that women are diagnosed with depression more than men.
Factors that may contribute for the risk of developing or triggering depression are
- Individual’s personality trait like low self-esteem or very pessimistic. Psychologically or emotionally weak people have more risk of depression. Person who has already experienced depression before has a high risk of getting it again.
- Experienced traumatic, stressful and difficult event in their life like loss of loved ones, huge financial loss, or physical abuse, neglect, family violence, divorce, loneliness etc.
- Family history of having bipolar disorder, depression and other mental issues like anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder etc.
- Substance intake, consumption of alcohol and other recreational drugs.
- Dealing with serious and chronic disease like cancer, arthritis, lung disease, parkinsonism, stroke, other complicated heart disease or past head injury.
- Intake of certain medication like sleeping pills, medicines for high blood pressure sometimes increase the risk of getting depression.
If depression is not treated promptly and properly then it may result to various emotional, physical, behavioural and other health problems like
- Excessive weight gain which may lead to heart disease and diabetes
- Systemic pains and other physical illness
- Increase consumption of alcohol and drugs
- Suicidal attempts
- Panic disorder and anxiety
- Social isolation
- Issues and conflicts at home and even workplace
A long-term treatment is necessary for curing patients with Depression. Homeopathic healing is an Individualised approach for every patient, so it leads to detailed analysis of all aspects of the depression and heals at mind-body-disease level without any side effects. Person’s detailed case history is documented and assessment includes persons thoughts, behaviours, feelings, family history, any other medical history or mental health issues, day to day life activities, relationship with collogues etc. It is just not only weakness that can be cured easily. Sometimes it may suddenly pass into remission state or may relapse again. Patients cannot come out of this by their own effort only. After taking homeopathic medicine they really feel better and come out from the state of depression. Commonly used medicines are Aurum metallicum, Natrium Muriaticum, Ignatia, Platina, Causticum ,Pulsatilla , Sulphur , Thuja etc.