Are you depressed?

Almost 40% of the population die prematurely from heart disease and circulation problems which they have largely created by their own behaviour, whether it is a poor diet, insufficient exercises, too much stress, smoking, anxiety or manic behaviour. But majority of them felt healthy in their life. But in fact they were not safe. Are they healthier if they survive the heart attack, or a depressed mood is not powerful enough to have a heart attack?

Very few people know that depression can cause heart attack. A study in Baltimore, Md., found that depressed people of all ages are more likely to have a heart attack in the next 14 years following the study. It is clear that there is a real problem as medical doctors often miss the diagnosis of depression. Research is still in its early stages, but some researchers feel that depression may be as much of a factor in heart disease as high cholesterol and blood pressure. Depressed people are more likely to have a heart attack and, heart attack victims are more likely to be depressed.

The word depression is derived from the Latin word deprimere, “to press down.” What was previously known as Melancholia and now it is known as clinical depression, major depression, or simply depression and commonly referred to as major depressive order by many health care professionals.

If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from depression. 

  • You can’t sleep or you sleep too much.
  • You can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult.
  • You feel hopeless and helpless.
  • You can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try.
  • You have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating.
  • You are much more irritable and short-tempered than usual.
  • You have thoughts that life is not worth living (Seek help immediately if this is the case).

Depression in teens 

While some depressed teens appear sad, others do not. In fact, irritability—rather than depression—is frequently the predominant symptom in depressed adolescents and teens. A depressed teenager may be hostile, grumpy, or easily lose his or her temper. Unexplained aches and pains are also common symptoms of depression in young people. 

Left untreated, teen depression can lead to problems at home and school, drug abuse, self-loathing—even irreversible tragedy such as homicidal violence or suicide. But with help, teenage depression is highly treatable.

Depression in women 

Rates of depression in women are twice as high as they are in men.  As for signs and symptoms, women are more likely to experience pronounced feelings of guilt, sleep excessively, overeat, and gain weight. Women are also more likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Women can also feel depression after giving birth or Bereavement.

Depression in men

Depression is a loaded word in our culture. Many associate it, however wrongly, with a sign of weakness and excessive emotion. This is especially true with men. Depressed men tend to complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest in work and hobbies. Other signs and symptoms of depression in men include anger, aggression, violence, reckless behaviour, and substance abuse.

Depression causes and risk factors

Some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward. If you have diabetes, you take insulin. If you have appendicitis, you have surgery. But depression is more complicated. Depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, and is not simply cured with medication. Experts believe that depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. 

Causes and risk factors for depression

  • Loneliness
  • Lack of social support
  • Recent stressful life experiences
  • Family history of depression
  • Marital or relationship problems
  • Financial strain
  • Early childhood trauma or abuse
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Unemployment or underemployment
  • Health problems or chronic pain

Make healthy lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes are not always easy to make, but they can have a big impact on depression. Lifestyle changes that can be very effective include:

  • Cultivating supportive relationships
  • Getting regular exercise and sleep
  • Eating healthfully to naturally boost mood
  • Managing stress 
  • Practicing relaxation techniques
  • Challenging negative thought patterns

Seek professional help

If support from family and friends, positive lifestyle changes, and emotional skills building aren’t enough, seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and alternative treatments. Learning about your options will help you decide what measures are most likely to work best for your particular situation and needs. 

I am a Registered Psychotherapist and I can help you to treat your depression. Please feel free to call me at 905-781-8194 or email me at atul@atulmehra.com

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