It is a common & serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think & act, to the point where your day to day norms are affected.
The clinical definition of major depressive disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. It is the second most suffered mental illness worldwide, approximately 3.8% of the world’s population are affected (which translates to about 280 million people!!).
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe & can include (symptoms must persist for at least two weeks & must represent a change in your pervious level of functioning for a diagnosis of depression):
Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide.
Effects of depression on the human brain
Depression occurs when there is a reduced level of serotonin a.k.a the happy hormone. It affects the amygdala, hippocampus & the dorsomedial thalamus regions of the brain. Depression is common mental illness however it can become severe especially when it goes untreated, can actually change the brain, making episodes worse or more frequent. It also impacts the body and physical health, causing fatigue, digestive issues, pain, and other complications related to the poor decisions made when in a depressed mood. Treatment, especially dedicated residential treatment, can provide relief from depression symptoms and can begin to reverse the damage done to the brain and body.
People process/ experience pain differently. Everyone is entailed to their emotions!
At first when I guess I started experiencing depression, it did not click that it was depression. I was going through a lot I had just lost someone very important to me and my relationship with my family was on the rocks. My family background is shambles to say the least but I think this was my breaking point. The one person that I had on my corner was gone & I WAS ALONE.
My father thought it was just a cry for attention, that I was spoilt & looking for reasons to cover up for my declining grades. Things got worse I begun having black out moments (mind you i was still young so no drugs or alcohol was involved). I get migraines & horrible chest pains, however when I went for check ups the doctors would not detect anything. Further aiding my fathers claim that I am an attention seeker.
It got so bad that I begun to self harm as a coping mechanism, I don’t remember how it all begun (guess my brain blocked it out). I just remember it being a source of relief, relief from all the internal pain.
It was honestly one of the worst mistakes I ever made. With time the slices got deeper & the effects wore off faster, causing the urge for repetition. It was like a drug I hated the effects/ damage on my body but I could not stop.
It got to the point where i run out of places to hide the marks. I didn’t care I was done! suicidal I guess, my family begun to take notice, my father now apologizing realizing he messed up. They did try and make amends, put me in therapy and on meds. Fast forward I am in & out of depressive episodes each time I think YES I’ve beat it, it comes back.. with vengeance. But I made it this far & I am not going to give up.
No matter how many times you regress, keep on fighting depression can be a bitch but you got this! You’re not fighting alone ! DEPRESSION IS NOT A CHOICE!