Have you ever felt so down and so moody that nothing you did could uplift your spirit at that point in time? Or have you ever felt so down in your spirit for a long period of time? Have you maybe never felt right among your peers because your mind simply can’t seem to find joy within you? If you have been experiencing these signs, these might just be you experiencing depression.
Depression is having to constantly be in a state of low mood and having an intense feeling of sadness and likewise loss of interest to the things around you. Depression isn’t a fleeting or passing problem hence you may think it might just pass after a few hours or maybe after a few days.
Depression is a persistent problem that could even go on for months. Perhaps, it may not be happening to you but to a neighbor or friend around you. Maybe you noticed that your friend isn’t able to socially fit in or be happy around people, you may need to call the attention of your psychologist or doctor.
There are some certain signs to notice if you are on the verge of being depressed or you know anyone facing the same challenge. But before the signs, there are certain factors that could cause depression and also, it is important to know that depression is in various stages. Let’s start with the factors that can lead to depression.
The factors that can lead to depression include
The death of a loved one
The death of a loved one can lead to severe or mild depression depending on how close the loved one was. Most people for example the spouses or children of the loved one could severely experience a deep sense of loneliness which can lead to severe depression.
Family or parental Neglect
When a child or a teenager feels neglected by the parent or by both parents or even by family, the teenager can spiral deep into depression. Some children aren’t built for this kind of mind onslaught and so they tend to feel depressed after a while. Though it may be mild in some children, but for others it could be very severe.
When a person is abused physically, sexually, mentally or emotionally and the person has no way of fighting against this abuse, the person could spiral deep into depression and a deep sense of regret.
Unequal parental treatment
When parents begin to display unusual favoritism of one child over the other, it may cause the child to start having a sense of neglect hence depression sets in. Most often than not, these children end up irritated, sad and lonely due to the lack of parental affection extended towards the child.
This is a cause of depression mostly in men. Due to the deep sense of having to be responsible for the family but one can’t be due to lack of employment, this may cause the man to go into over thinking and eventually could lead to depression.
Stress from work, school, family etc. can cause a person to enter into depression. In Africa for example, once a woman doesn’t give birth to children after the first five years of marriage, the family members begin to question or doubt her capability to produce children. This may lead the woman into worry and depression.
Fun fact: Do you know that depression occurs more in women than in men?
A medical diagnosis
Some people after receiving a diagnosis about their health most especially if it is a dreaded one for example one’s HIV status or one having cancer, the person could spiral into depression.
These are only but a few factors that can cause depression. Others may include menopause, financial problems, bullying, relationship problems, divorce or separation etc. Let’s take a look at the signs one should notice if you think you may be sliding into depression or that your neighbor, colleague, spouse, friend, child or loved one may be depressed.
The feeling of loneliness, sadness and/or emptiness
Once a person is depression or he/she starts experiencing depression, one of the very first signs to see is the feeling of sadness and loneliness. The person starts to feel as if it is only he or she against the world and then begins to withdraw and then starts feeling empty or worthless.
Frustration and/or mood irritation
Once a person is depressed, every little thing becomes irritable to him. That which he usually finds pleasure, joy and happiness doing them, he no longer finds happiness within them. The person gradually starts to feel frustrated and eventually anger may set in.
Fast Fact: Do you know that depression could be genetic?
Loss of sexual appetite and desire
Once a person who used to enjoy sexual activities seem to have a sudden or gradual prolonged loss of sexual desire, the person may be suffering from depression.
Low or lack appetite and unintentional weight loss
A person who is depressed may experience lack of appetite as regards food. The lack or reduced food intake will lead to a reduced nutrient intake and then the person begins to experience weight loss and likewise may begin to waste away.
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Once a person begins to experience depression, the person may not be able to sleep thereby leading to insomnia or the person may begin to sleep too much leading to hypersomnia.
Inability to think adequately or concentrate while engaging in an activity
The person may be experiencing inadequacy to think adequately and he or she would be unable to make certain life decisions that may be very important to him or to those around him. He or she may not be able to concentrate for a long time while engaging in a serious or effective activity. Hence, the person may be experiencing a low drive to life.
Suicidal thoughts or eventually suicide
The person may begin or may have begun experiencing thoughts to “simply end it all”. The person would likely become suicidal and may eventually die as a result of suicide if no help comes.
There are so many treatments that one may use even while experiencing the early stages of depression. But the first thing the person needs to do is to TALK TO SOMEONE. A person feeling depressed, sad and lonely needs to talk to someone maybe a psychiatrist or a physician about what he or she is going through. Millions go through depression every day and most don’t make their way to a physician. Depression may lead to psychotic breakdown or even suicide.
According to the most recent CDC data, the rate of suicide increased by about 1.2% as at the year 2016 leading to a number of approximately 44, 965 deaths that year. Many of these deaths are caused by severe depression and it is this high because most people don’t get the help they need or require to overcome depression.
So, if you are feeling depressed or you know someone who might be gradually sliding into depression, please get help for that person and if it is you, please kindly meet someone to talk about it today. Don’t let depression lead you into suicide when you can easily get help. Know this, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE.