You probably come out of a particularly sad movie and said something like: “Man that was depressing”.In this case, you are talking about how at the moment the movie made you feel sad, discouraged hopeless and anxious. You probably won’t say like that was clinically depressing. The letter expression refers to a much different state of depression.

Clinical depression which is also sometimes called as major depressive order is a major depressive order which has lifetime incidents of up to 20% in women and 12% in men making it most common reason people seek out mental health services. Clinical depression is so serious that it interferes with someone day to day life essentially leading to that overall feeling that life isn’t enjoyable.

But what causes someone to feel this way?

Well, we don’t specifically know what causes clinical depression especially when it can so different between patients. It probably a combination of factors though that may include genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological is shown that the people’s with family members who have depression are 3 times more likely to have it to themselves, Biologically we can say that depression is caused due to three neurotransmitters, that are serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.

Now the question arises that why do we focus on these three?

Well, the medications that cause an increase in these three neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft is shown to be an effective anti-depressant. But the reason why these neurotransmitters decreased is unknown and the research remains ongoing. Environmental factors include specific events like loss of sexual or physical abuse.

Now, the question is how to diagnose depression.

First of all, patients must meet certain criteria that are outlined in DSM-5. They must have at least 5 of the following symptoms.

  1. Depressed mood
  2. Decreased interest in activities
  3. Significant weight loss/gain
  4. Inability to sleep or oversleeping
  5. Psychomotor agitation or impairment
  6. Fatigue
  7. Feeling of worthlessness
  8. Lower ability to think or concentrate
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death and suicide                

Research shows that over 50% of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. Suicidal thoughts may be fleeting or more frequent, passive(e.g “what if I died”)or active(e,g “thinking of ways to kill oneself,making a plan”).prepration of death such as giving away possessions or acquiring a gun is the cause of great concern. A sudden lift in a depressed person can be a warning sign that they are planning to kill themselves. Any level of suicidal thinking should be taken seriously.

Here I want to share a story  a person who suffered from depression:

“I thought the first year of college was going to be the best year of my life, a time to find myself and decide what I want to do with my life. After all, that’s what everyone had always hyped it up to be. But that wasn’t my experience. Instead, my first year of college was spent dealing with severe depression. And the worst part is I didn’t tell anyone what I was feeling or dealing with for six months.

I don’t know why I became depressed. I think it was a combination of being in a job where I felt worthless, having extremely toxic people in my life, and not having any idea what I should do with my life. Getting out of bed each day seemed impossible. I felt sick and like I couldn’t do anything. Meeting a friend for lunch felt like training for a marathon to me. Things that used to bring me joy had no effect on me anymore.

My self-esteem hit a new low and I didn’t want to exist. By not telling any family or close friends, I came across as cold and uninterested. Everyone thought I was being lazy for never getting out of bed; but the truth is, I was dying on the inside. I had no desire to let anyone know what was going on. For one, I thought no one would believe me. I’ve always been the one with a smile on his face who tried to cheer others up. I felt disgusted that now I was the one with the problem. In a world where we are so used to spilling every detail of our day on social media, I’ve never been that kind of person.

I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me and figured this was just a “sad phase” and would go away on its own. When my thoughts began to get darker, I knew I had to speak up. I refused to continue living my life in this never-ending cycle of sadness. I told a few close friends, and instead of being judged as I feared, they embraced me and made an effort to keep me active so I wouldn’t fall back into that state of mind. My family was supportive and got me the help I needed.

The reason I’m sharing this is that it’s so important that people who are feeling depressed speak up and let someone, specifically the ones in your life that mean the most to you, know what you are dealing with. Every person has people in their life who love them regardless of what they may think at the time.

It’s important to let them know what’s going on because keeping those feelings to yourself will just make you feel worse. They will eat away at you until your thoughts about yourself become darker and darker. Just telling one person and having them understand what’s going on in your head will feel like a boulder being lifted from your shoulders. Speaking up is the first step in beating the demon that is depression.”

We are living in a society which doesn’t pay attention to mental health issues at all. In fact, in our society, there are many people who are suffering from depression and they didn’t even know that they have severe depression. This attitude causes even more problems. Many people feel ashamed to talk about their mental health because of the fear that society will reject them. They are afraid to talk about their depression because they don’t want to be judged.

This cause even more problems.people should understand that mental health is as important as physical health. There is a strong connection between mind and body. When you are in physical pain, for instance, your work and family life may be affected. But this can also weaken your state of mind, manifesting itself in cases such as stress anxiety or depression.

The opposite is true as well According to studies mental health problems can cause your physical health to deteriorate. For example: if you have depression, you may have trouble sleeping; thus, putting your physical health at risk. So it is very important to pay attention to our mental health and seek help if need it. We shouldn’t judge people by their mental illness.

Depression can be a challenge to treat however, with right treatment 70-80% of patients with clinical depression can significantly reduce their symptoms, Treatment includes:

  1. Non-pharmacological (without medication)
  2. Pharmacological (with medications)

Clinical depression is tough right? Both for those experiencing and also for those who are trying to help treat it. Unlike many other illnesses, depression carries it with a lot of social stigmas and can lead to moral judgments which can make the person with depression even worse .we have to understand that all emotions pass, depending on what you are thinking and what you are doing, It’s up to you. Love and support from friends and family help tremendously and having a strong social support network has been proven to lead the better outcomes.

Submitted by “Fatima Batool