1.Life is not always in our own control, especially in times of unpredictable pandemic Covid-19. We may develop a state of depression due to financial hardship, mental breakdown due to the consequences of locking down.

2.Depression is a common mental health problem that causes people to experience low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.

3.A study showed that the prevalence of depression in Malaysia is estimated between 8 to 12 percent. However, there may be more as not all depressed individuals seek medical attention and advice.

4.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 8.1 percent of American adults ages 20 and over had depression in any given 2-week period from 2013 to 2016.

5.Depression is a very serious medical condition and will cause destructible consequences to the affected.

Depression is more than just a constant state of sadness…

Men

  • Mood: anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness
  • Emotional well-being: feeling empty, sad, hopeless, self-harming
  • Behavioral changes: loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicide, drinking excessively, using drugs, engaging in high-risk activities
  • Sexual desire: low sex drive and lack of sexual performance
  • Cognitive abilities: inability to concentrate, difficulty completing tasks, delayed responses during conversations
  • Sleep patterns: insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness, not sleeping through the night
  • Physical well-being: fatigue, pains, headache, digestive problems, loss of appetite

 

Women

  • Mood: irritability
  • Emotional well-being: feeling sad or empty, anxious or hopeless
  • Behavioral changes: loss of interest in activities, withdrawing from social engagements, thoughts of suicide, self-harm
  • Cognitive abilities: thinking or talking slowly
  • Sleep patterns: difficulty sleeping through the night, waking early, sleeping too much
  • Physical well-being: decreased energy, greater fatigue, changes in appetite, weight changes, aches, pain, headaches, increased cramps

 

Children

  • Mood: irritability, anger, mood swings, crying
  • Emotional well-being: feelings of incompetence or despair, crying, intense sadness
  • Behavioral changes: getting into trouble at school or refusing to go to school, avoiding friends or siblings, thoughts of death or suicide
  • Cognitive abilities: difficulty concentrating, the decline in school performance, changes in grades
  • Sleep patterns: difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Physical well-being: loss of energy, digestive problems, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain

 

Pregnant ladies

  • changes in appetite or eating habits
  • feeling hopeless
  • anxiety
  • losing interest in activities and things you previously enjoyed
  • persistent sadness
  • troubles concentrating or remembering
  • sleep problems, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • thoughts of death or suicide

 

Depression causes

1.Family history

2.Early childhood trauma

3.Brain structure: higher chance of depression when the frontal lobe is less active

4.Medical conditions: the presence of  chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

5.Drug or alcohol misuse

6.Low self-esteem or being self-critical

7.Personal history of mental illness

8.Certain medications

9.Stressful events, such as loss of a loved one, economic problems, or a divorce

 

Don’t ignore depression, if left untreated; it may cause…

1.Weight gain or loss

2.Physical pain

3.Substance use problems

4.Panic attacks

5.Relationship problems

6.Social isolation

7.Thoughts of suicide

8.Self-harm

 

Types of depression:

1.Major depressive disorder is a more severe form of depression. It is a state of persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that don’t go away on their own.

2.Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a milder, but chronic, a form of depression.

 

 

Treatment

  1. Medications: antidepressants, antianxiety & antipsychotic medications
    – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
    – Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
    – Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
    – Tetracyclic antidepressant
    Dopamine reuptake blocker
    5-HT1A receptor antagonist
    5-HT2 receptor antagonists
    5-HT3 receptor antagonist
    Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
    Noradrenergic antagonist
  2. Psychotherapy
  3. Light therapy: exposure to white light to regulate mood
  4. Alternative medicine: herbal supplements,  omega 3 fatty acids, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), vitamin B6, vitamin B12 & use bergamot essential oil
  5. Exercise 3 to 5 days a week, at least 30 minutes per session
  6. Avoid alcohol and smoking
  7. Learn to say “NO”