All about depression; What is causing my depression?

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today is Monday and although I had a semi-productive day, it was still a struggle to get up in the morning. I have all the signs of depression: trouble sleeping, lack of appetite but binge eating junk food, no energy or desire to do anything, and feelings of hopelessness and despair.

I don’t want to complain. I want to be happy. I just released a new poetry book, so why am I not happy?! What I wonder is what is causing my depression, which brings me to this post in which I explain all about depression, inspired by one of the videos I watched while taking the course on positive psychiatry and mental health on coursera.

As usual, posts like these involve a lot of research and thus take days to finalize. Multiple resources were involved and I was too lazy to link the sources, so I paraphrased everything.

It’s normal to have a depressed mood every once in a while. Especially since the pandemic has brought forth many stresses and isolation, job loss, deaths, and illnesses. However, if this depressed mood persists for more than 2 weeks, along with loss of appetite, energy, and sleep, then it is cause for concern. However, you cannot diagnose yourself with depression (even though that’s exactly what I did to myself). Rather, speak to a mental health professional if you suspect you may have depression.

Depression is a serious mental condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It can lead to long-term, intense unhappiness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities. It can also induce physical symptoms like as pain, changes in appetite, and sleep issues.

5 Major Causes of Depression:

  • Genetics (Family history)
  • Biology (Illness and health issues)
  • Lifestyle (Medication, drugs, and alcohol, exercise, diet, sleep habits)
  • Social (Personality, social status)
  • Psychological (environment, family problems, financial issues)

5 Characteristics of Depression:

  • Low mood/low interest in activities enjoyed previously
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Changes in appetite or sleep
  • Feeling hopeless/worthless
  • Thoughts of suicide

5 major types of Depression:

Stages of depression:

Depression can be described as mild, moderate or severe; melancholic or psychotic

  • Melancholic depression. This is the phrase for a severe kind of depression that includes many physical symptoms.
  • Psychotic depression. This illness causes you to have psychotic symptoms as well as depression-like despair and hopelessness. This includes perceiving, hearing, smelling, or believing in things that aren’t true. Depressive psychosis is particularly harmful since the delusions might lead to suicide ideation.
  • Clinical depression. Major depression, often known as major depressive disorder, is a more severe form of depression.
  • Severe depression. Severe depression occurs when a person’s depression symptoms are severe and interfere with numerous daily activities. A major depressive disorder and severe depression are not the same thing.
  • Moderate depression. Moderate depression was defined as a depressed mood along with the presence of somatic symptoms. People with moderate depression are more likely to have low mood, sleep problems, weight or hunger fluctuations, and increased/slowed psychomotor activity as key symptoms.
  • Mild depression. Mild depression has symptoms that are similar to severe depression but are less severe, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA). A person suffering from mild depression may experience sadness. a decrease in appetite, and sleeping difficulties.

5 Ways to Help Yourself Through Depression

  • Exercise. Take a 15- to 30-minute brisk walk every day.
  • Eat healthy foods. Some people with depression don’t feel much like eating. Others binge eat unhealthy foods.
  • Don’t dwell on problems. It can feel good to talk through a problem with a caring friend but don’t go on a rant about the same problem over and over.
  • Express yourself. Creativity is known to alleviate stress and depression. Whether you like to paint, draw, color, write, or design, get those creative juices flowing.
  • Notice good things. Practicing gratitude and mindfulness helps shift your focus from your problems and mood to your surroundings.

Before reaching adulthood, about 20% of all teenagers experience depression. At any given time, 10 to 15% of people experience symptoms. Only 30% of depressed teenagers are given treatment.

Recommended books for depression:

Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns MD.

Reasons to stay alive by Matt Haig

My blogging friend Ashley over at Mental Health @ Home has a few books on depression. Click here to go to her author page on Amazon.

What about antidepressants?

That’s for your doctor to prescribe. I won’t mention anything about them here.

Note: I spent some quality time with my son today. I have been begging him to spend time together for days and today he finally felt in the mood. It’s just that he had been in a pretend play mood lately and he knows I don’t like to play pretend. We ate ice cream together today and then played board games for 2 hours. I try my best to factor in quality time with my son, even when im depressed, especially when im depressed. It helps alleviate my mood.

What is your experience with depression? Do you or anyone you know suffer from it?

The online quizzes I take sometimes diagnose me with moderate depression, sometimes severe, but I don’t think I have a depressive disorder. I just go through bouts of depression mainly due to my marriage problems, pressures of parenting, isolation at home, lack of a social life, financial dependence, and unstable relationship with family. I don’t know if my family has a history of depression. If so, it was undiagnosed, but we all are sensitive to stress and possibly have PTSD.

My poor diet and bad sleep schedule are both causes and effects of my depressive moods.

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