Depression brings a persistent feeling of sadness. A depressed person loses interest in everything with mood fluctuations, unlike people regularly experience in life. It is mostly a result of significant life events such as bereavement or loss of a job, and the feeling can last anything from a few weeks to a few years.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people of all ages experience depression. WHO continues to note that the condition is the world’s leading cause of disability, seeing that it keeps recurring in some people. Most of the patients are women. Luckily, the condition is treatable with treatment ranging from medication to psychotherapy.
Challenges of Living with Depression
A depressed person finds no pleasure in anything. The hobbies, sports, chitchat with friends, and steaming cups of coffee all feel futile once the condition kicks in. A person either sleeps too much or suffers insomnia and can’t sleep. This is accompanied by a loss of appetite that makes the person feel weak and lacks energy – something that can expose them to other health conditions.
Even the smallest of tasks become a struggle when the energy drains from the body. A feeling of anxiety and restlessness hangs over the depressed, making it challenging for them to focus and make any decisions.
One of the most challenging things about living with depression is the constant feeling of worthlessness. The individual blames themselves for their condition and this is where suicide thoughts come in. The feeling of hopelessness makes one think of taking their own life or act recklessly.
Is it a Disability?
The depressed person suffers a mental health condition that makes it challenging for them to lead a normal life. WHO classifies the condition as a disability. The US Social Security Administration classifies depressive, bipolar, and all related disorders as disabilities. Anyone with such disabilities qualifies for social security insurance assistance.
PTSD and Depressive Disorder
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and depressive disorder have almost similar symptoms. The two mental health conditions can attack an individual simultaneously. They present symptoms such as sleep problems, emotional outbursts, loss of interest in activities.
Individuals with PTSD are more likely to have a depressive disorder. Likewise, individuals with depressive disorders are likely to have more stress and anxiety common in PTSD.
Your doctor needs to determine which of the two conditions a patient suffers from to find the right course of action. PTSD is common with military veteran, but it can affect anyone else who witnesses a traumatic experience.
Treating Depressive Disorder
Up to ninety percent of depressive disorder patients who seek help can fight the condition. The clinician conducts a thorough evaluation, which includes a physical exam and sometimes a blood test. In some instances, the depressive disorder can result from a medical problem – the assessment and the tests show the root cause of the disorder. After the evaluation, the doctor handles the condition with:
• Medication – Here, antidepressants are used, but depending on the condition, the doctor might use other psychotropic medications.
• Psychotherapy – This is used alone for mild forms of the disorders and in conjunction with other forms of treatment for advanced conditions.
• Electroconvulsive therapy – This is used where a patient has a severe case of depressive disorder. It involves electrical stimulation of the brain.
Awareness can help alleviate cases of depression. For instance, for a military veteran, awareness can help them adapt to civilian life and avoid depressive disorder.