Depression has always been a problem everybody has struggled to deal with at one point of their lives or another. Approximately fifteen percent of Americans have experienced it. Ninety percent of people of commit suicide have depression if not other diagnosable mental disorder.
It’s natural to speak of how “depressed” people are. However, the occasional sadness everyone feels due to life’s disappointments is very different from the serious illness caused by a brain disorder. Depression profoundly impairs the ability to function in everyday situations by affecting moods, thoughts, behaviors, and physical well-being. Manic depression, now more commonly known as bipolar disorder, is a condition where a person can be depressed and lethargic one minute, elated and overactive the next. Prominent figures such as Virginia Woolf, Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, to name a few, have been clearly diagnoses with having such a condition.
Virginia Woolf, the writer who came up with the famous novels: Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Orlando, was said to have had manic depression at an early age. She was driven to depression by incidents of deaths in the family and sexual abuse from her half brothers, After multiple breakdowns, she had been admitted to a nursing home to have people look after her. She was given antidepressants to get her to sleep. She attempted suicide by overdosing on her medication but was successfully revived. She recovered from her depression for some time, and when she felt that the dreaded condition is coming back, she tried to claim her life again. She finally succeeded by drowning herself.
Winston Churchill, a prominent British politician and a Nobel Prize winning author, also suffered from depression. Earlier is his life, his father and several other relatives had died young and were diagnosed as manic depressives. He grew paranoid about ending up with his father’s illness that it triggered his own depression. His depression was not as grave as that of his father’s, but it affected him enough to not want to speak in front of the Parliament. He sought refuge in colors by painting.
Depression is brought about by many things. It can be hereditary, where the depressive tendency runs in the family; drug-induced, caused by over-consumption of depressants, or “downers”, which are chemical agents that diminishes function or activity of a specific part of the body; or caused by external factors such as pressure from work among other things.
Overcoming depression is better than just treating its symptoms. Many health professionals encourage a combination of drug therapy and psychotherapy, but studies show that medication is unnecessary if the sufferer receives the right sort of help. Clinical diagnosis of symptoms is the initial steps required to determine the level of depression the sufferer is experiencing. Psychotherapy for depression wherein patients are explained the facts of their disease and how to cope with it through counseling. During counseling sufferers will learn to cope with negative emotions, identify and change how they think, improve their relationships with others, and deal with their problems constructively. The underlying causes of the depression will also be explored. it can be pursued in an individual, group, couples, or family setting. This is not considered the most efficient therapy as it sometimes makes the depression worse. If talk therapy doesn’t work, antidepressants are given to control the depression. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to gain optimum effectiveness.
Depression is not something to be taken lightly. Some have died because of uncontrollable, chronic depression. It may be just a simple case of the blues now, but if it continues for no reason at all, and it starts disrupting the way you live, you might have clinical depression. Like the quote says, “for every cloud there’s a silver lining,” so don’t feel depressed for every little thing that goes wrong.