Its a part of life to experience sudden ‘ lows’ in life. Everyone goes through these troughs in life every now and then. While many are able to conquer it and do their work normally. Others tend to show a constant degradation in their work output and feel it mundane to indulge in daily activities and that is where it is no more a normal phenomenon and thus called “Depression”.
Technically, depression is a result of lack of serotonin, a hormone also called as 5-HT (Hydroxy-Triptamine) which is a neurotransmitter that helps in normal functioning of brain and helps in normal regulation of daily activities without feeling depressed. Thus, it is quite evident that Drinks like Red Bull which contains phenyl-alanine, an amino acid which our body cannot synthesize of it’s own, elevates our mind, because the same protein is responsible for bio-synthesis of dopamine and serotonin. These both chemicals are anti-depressants.
However, there is a lot of confusion in understanding what really depression is. SO, here on iPackSixpack I have summed up some of the Signs of depression:
1. Weight Changes
There is a high propensity that depressed person will gain or loose weight at some point through the course of depression. This is mainly related to stress eating or sometimes the opposite happens where a feeling of anorexia is a manifestation of disinterest in food.
2. Sleep Changes
There is a high probability of people suffering from depression to undergo episodes of hyper or hypo-somnia. One particular sign here is that the depressed person might wake up several times at night with a feeling of confusion, and this progresses to become a daily routine where then the person may combine the sign 1 i.e. over-eating to combat for this sleep deprivation.
3. Physical Manifestations
Depression has also a physical side to it, as the patients may sometimes also complain of feeling sick to stomach, knots in the gut, a weak immune system and constant colds and flu, whole body aches and pains, and exacerbated chronic conditions (such as arthritis) etc.
4. Anger and irritability
Most people tend to have an endogenous depression where all the depression manifestations are hidden inside. When this happens, people often find that they feel angry all the time and have a sort threshold to any external stimulus. ere even a mild annoyance can cause rage or the things that usually don’t bother you might trigger outrage.
5. Lack Of Concentration.
Lack of the ability to concentrate on things for a period of 30 minutes to 3 hours might mean that you are suffering from depression. Also, this sometimes manifests in the form low efficiency, the inability to finish a task in the time it was supposed to be done.
6. Lack of Sex Drive
Lack of sex drive sometimes but not always means that you are suffering from Depression. If you are in a relationship, a total lack of desire for your loving partner can make you feel even more guilty, self-loathing and insecure—sometimes forcing you even deeper into depression.
There is no test as to this date that can confirm depression i.e there are no biological markers for this odious Disorder so the diagnosis is completely empirical. If you confirm more than 4 signs of depression listen in yourself, you still can’t be sure that you are suffering from depression. We however, highly recommend that you visit a Physician or precisely a Psychiatrist, as some studies have shown improvement in depression after counselling.
There are also studies that show meditations help shape the neurotransmitters and help the cause, so that might help too. You might try any form of prayer you are comfortable with or try Yoga irrespective of your religion as all these have some basic healing principles in common.
As for the pharmaco-therapy there are plethora of drugs available to treat all forms of depression but most preferred for chronic depression is Fluoxetine which comes under the brand name Prozac. Almost all of the drugs have serious side-effects and they are not OTC drugs in the most parts of the world so we recommend again to consult a Physician. I just included the drug name here to make you feel at ease as in case everything fails there is always medicines and there are so many of them.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
ECT is a recent addition to the solution of Severe depression that has not responded to any treatment.