Depression impacts one in ten people and does not discriminate based on age, gender, or social status. Sadness, feeling down, and losing interest or pleasure in daily activities are familiar feelings for all of us, but when they persist and affect our lives substantially, the issue may be depression.
Depression is ongoing and can last for several weeks, months, or years. Some people may try to hide it or may not realise they have depression as some symptoms can be less obvious. What’s more, some people are unable to put their feelings into words fearing negative stigmas.
Signs and symptoms of depression
Look out for these symptoms and if you think you may have depression, talk to a doctor as soon as possible.
Reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Appetite and weight changes
Changes in sleep habits
Alcohol or drug use
Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
Loss of sexual desire
Agitation and restlessness
Slowed movement and speech
Fatigue or loss of energy
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or an attempt at suicide.
New research, published in the Psychiatry Journal, reveals that 39% of people (in the study) were able to enjoy a happy, healthy mindset after receiving ongoing treatment for their depression. The study defined recovery as,
Experiencing happiness or life satisfaction every day for at least a month
A full year without depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or substance abuse
Positive social and psychological wellbeing.
Depression is like Kintsugi
For some who have managed to break their depression, recovery has been compared to the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi.
Kintsugi involves repairing broken objects and painting the repaired areas in gold, accentuating rather than hiding the imperfections. Similarly, with the right treatment you can heal and live a fulfilled life.
If you or a family member are struggling with feelings of hopelessness and symptoms of depression, speak to your doctor.
Learn more about depression symptoms, diagnosis, causes and treatment on Our Mental Health, a website featuring professional insights and lifestyle advise for people living with depression and their caregivers.