16 Things You Didn’t Know About Depression… But Should from 16 Things You Didn’t Know About Depression… But Should

16 Things You Didn’t Know About Depression… But Should

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16 Things You Didn’t Know About Depression… But Should

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Depression is a real medical condition that causes its victims to endure both emotional and physical pain. Happiness is what they are striving for, yet they are stuck suffering in a negative mindset and are slowly losing control over their own lives.

*Related: 15 Ways to Tell if You’re Suffering From an Anxiety Disorder

Depression can cause cognitive changes, weakened immune system, aches and pains, fatigue, mood changes, and memory problems. Here are 16 things you don’t know about depression, but should.

It is a real medical condition

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Depression is a real illness that causes mental and physical suffering. It’s a mood disorder that causes people to feel hopeless, worthless, and sad. It requires understanding, treatment, and an excellent recovery plan. According to Psychology Today, “twenty percent of people suffering from depression eventually commit suicide, which makes it one of the deadliest diseases today.”

Lack of sleep can make depression worse

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Lack of sleep and depression are very much interrelated. According to WebMD, “physical or emotional trauma and metabolic or other medical problems can trigger sleep disturbances. Poor sleep can lead to fatigue. With fatigue, you exercise less and that leads to a decline in your fitness level. Eventually, you find yourself in a vicious cycle of inactivity and disturbed sleep, which causes both physical and mood-related symptoms.”

People at any age can experience it

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The World Health Organization said an estimated 350 million people of all ages were affected by depression. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) said “as many as one in 33 children and one in eight adolescents have clinical depression.” Also, according to research, women are 70 percent more likely than men to experience depression, and young adults aged 18–25 are 60 percent more likely than people aged 50 and older to have depression.

Lack of sunlight can worsen depression

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Exposure to sunlight has been linked to increased levels of a natural antidepressant in the brain. The brain produces more serotonin on sunny days than darker days. Therefore, people experiencing depression may feel fewer symptoms if they spend more time in the sun.

There is a difference between feeling sad and depressed

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Depression is often misunderstood, and many people are confused about the difference between feelings of sadness and a depressive state. Feelings of sadness are normal when encountering life struggles or going through a difficult experience. But in time, sadness fades and you bounce back to your normal self. However, if your sadness persists for more than a few weeks and you begin to find that it is interfering with your ability to function at home, at work, or in other parts of your life, then you may be encountering signs of depression.

It can shorten life expectancy

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Depression can lead to serious health issues, which in turn may shorten life expectancy. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, depression can lead to heart disease because individuals who are depressed tend to exercise less and smoke more than those who are not. In another study published in Psychiatric Services, researchers found that VA patients with depression died, on average, five years earlier than VA patients without depression.

It is very likely that you know someone suffering from depression

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Even if they are always wearing a smile, it is likely that they may be just hiding their internal pain. According to the DBSA, “major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year.” It is also the leading cause of disability worldwide among persons aged 5 and older.

Major depression can change the functioning of your brain

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Depression may have a direct effect on your brain structure. According to Dr. Mercola, “recurring depressive episodes reduce the size of your hippocampus, a brain area involved in forming emotions and memory; a smaller hippocampus equates to a loss of emotional and behavioral function.”

There are natural treatments for depression

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There are effective natural treatments for moderate and severe depression. Psychological treatments and antidepressant medications are common. However, natural treatments have also proven to be effective, including exercising, exposing yourself to sunlight, meditation, and eating a serotonin-enhancing diet.

Antidepressants are not enough

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Antidepressants such as Adapin (doxepin), Celexa (citalopram) and Desyrel (trazodone) are commonly prescribed by doctors to cure depression. Though these antidepressants can be helpful, they are often not enough. Psychological treatments may also be necessary — cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral activation, and interpersonal psychotherapy are common treatments for mild, moderate, and severe depression.

There are also physical symptoms

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Contrary to what many people believe, depression is a physical illness as well as an emotional one. Individuals suffering from the disease may complain about headaches, chest pain, muscle aches, back pain, and an upset stomach.

Children may experience different symptoms than adults

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One of the most common reasons for depression in children is family history. They may experience changes in mood and behavior; anxiety, irritable moods, and sleep disturbances are common. They are more likely to attempt to run away from home, lose interest in their usual activities, and suffer from poor performance at school.

You can treat severe cases with magnets

NeuroStar TMS Therapy uses targeted magnetic pulses and stimulates key areas of the brain that are underactive in patients with depression. It is an “FDA-cleared safe and effective non-drug depression treatment for patients who are not satisfied with the results of standard drug therapy,” neurostar.com explains.

Carbohydrates have been linked to depression

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A diet high in refined carbs is not only bad for your waistline, but it also may lead to depression in post-menopausal women. According to CBSNEWS, “researchers found that high dietary GI scores and consumption of added sugars and refined grains were associated with an increased risk of new-onset depression in post-menopausal women.”

People who are depressed suffer from colds more frequently

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Depression may have a negative impact on your immune system. It makes you more susceptible to the common cold and makes it harder to get over a sickness because your body has more trouble fighting off infections.

 

What are the emotional symptoms?

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Many people believe that depression is just feeling sad and hopeless. The truth is that depression causes tons of emotional side effects. It may result in a change of sleeping patterns, loss of concentration, lack of energy, low self-esteem, or change in appetite.