Depression; A Very Real Disease
It is quite likely, that everyone reading this piece has at one time or another, been touched by Depression. Whether it is experienced first hand, or knowing a friend or loved one, who has faced the disease at some point. As time has moved on, more and more people have learned more about the disease. An understanding and tolerance of the disease has grown and developed into a deeper acceptance of the condition. The fact that it is a legitimate medical disease is more in the spotlight than ever before.
Although I have covered this type of topic on and off throughout my writing career, it can never hurt to touch on the basics of what it’s all about from time to time. Society can never know too much, about Depression. Otherwise known as Clinical Depression or Massive Depressive Disorder.
It’s more than just being “sad.”
Don’t be fooled by the name of the disease. This condition is far beyond what many would think. It’s much deeper than literally being sad (depressed) where a person is just curled up in a ball, crying their eyes out. There are actually several signs and symptoms that many people wouldn’t guess at first.
First, let’s look at those more obvious symptoms that many would guess right away. Strong, severe sadness, is the main sign. It is the time frame that is one of the main guidelines for this. Experts say that it is a sadness that is present for six months minimum. The kind that just can’t be shook, no matter what is tried.
With that, can come spells of crying. Crying easier than what is considered “normal.” Also, that crying may develop for no apparent reason. Often times we will bully ourselves as well. We may speak to ourselves negatively, saying that we are worthless losers. And there is nothing in our future but hopelessness. While the disease is active, we might start to truly believe such things.
Besides the symptoms that many people may consider to be the traditional signs, everyone should be aware of the other red flags too. Depression may show itself in way that relate to exhaustion.
A sufferer of depression may find it a big struggle to get out of bed. It may seem as if no matter how long a person sleeps, it just isn’t enough. That struggle to get out of bed may be even harder because Depression can show itself through ways of pain. Muscle aches that seem to have no physical cause, can be a problem as well. Making the entire struggle to get out of bed, more amplified.
The ironic part of this, is Depression may show itself in opposite effects as well. A patient might toss and turn all night. An inability to sleep along with a constant restlessness that doesn’t go away can be a sign as well. Even when exhaustion kicks in, insomnia can still remain a constant. Both sides of the spectrum, whether it’s too much sleep, or very little sleep, should remain warning signs when looking for potential Depression presence.
Appetite problems can be red flags to remain vigilant for as well. It can be close to impossible to eat anything, let alone three well rounded meals each day. Often times, lack of eating can cause a person to just eat unhealthy junk food, just to “fill up” as easy as possible. All, a journey to causing other health issues to develop as well.
Isolation can be something that must be looked for, when considering someone might have a Depression disorder. A total loss of usual interests and hobbies may strongly fuel that isolation. A diminished involvement in social events, from major parties, to simple phone calls and text messages may likely be signs and symptoms that will be present if a person does have Major Depressive Disorder. It’s all part of that textbook, total loss of interest in life.
Worst of all, people with Depression may have thoughts or ideas that life may not be worth living any longer. A depressed person may start to convince themselves that dying may not seem like such a bad idea. Suicidal idealizations can be some of the very worst and very real warning signs.
These kind of signs, especially suicidal ones, are not to be taken as a joke, or taken lightly. Immediate treatment is the best option. Whether that means making an appointment with a family doctor, or bringing someone urgently and immediately to a hospital emergency room, everyone must realize that this is all about a health condition and disease that is very serious. It requires treatment, and if it really is Massive Depressive Disorder, than it will not just simply go away.
Detailed and regular consistent treatment is needed, and that usually means that at the very least, a person needs to see a Psychiatrist MD for medication management, and a licensed mental health Therapist or Psychologist for therapeutic 1on1 treatment sessions.
Each person is different, and some may need more, like inpatient hospitalization, and some may need a little less. The important part, is getting a person to a doctor, for a proper evaluation, determination, and diagnosis.
Stabilization, is very possible, and while there may not be a complete cure, there are many good treatments, and there are many people who are able to grasp control of the disease, and get their lives can get back on track.
If someone out there, is going through anything like this, I ask you to find a loved one, or healthcare professional, and tell them immediately, about the way you’re feeling. There is never, a reason to feel ashamed.
is a Trenton, New Jersey Author, Publisher, Columnist, Editor, Advocate, and recovering addict, covering topics of mental health, addiction, sobriety, mindfulness, self-help, faith, spirituality, Smart Recovery, social advocacy, and countless other nonfiction topics. His articles, publications, memoirs, and stories are geared towards being a voice for the voiceless. Hoping to reach others out there still struggling.