In a world where there are many struggles and challenges that people experiences, feelings of hopelessness and sadness normally occur but if these feelings occur for a long period of time and affect one’s way of living, it becomes an illness known as depression. We’ve been facing a major trial in our life to make us strong and depend on the decisions we’re making. With that, a lot are suffering from depression where darkness is the only thing you see. It is the lack of expressions a person can do or face.
Depression is a common mental illness that can happen to anyone. In fact, about 1 out of 5 women and 1 out of 10 men might suffer from depression at some point in their lives (MedBroadcast.). As common as it is, a lot of people are still lacking out of knowledge and understanding towards it. A lot of times, people with depression are not taken seriously and get the misconception of it being an ordinary sadness, a sign of laziness, and weakness when it is a serious medical illness that needs attention. In fact, depression is the second greatest disability in the world and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease (World Health Organization, 2018). In knowing about its symptoms, causes, effects, and treatments one can gain a deeper understanding of it. Depression can affect one’s performance, attitude or behavior, and your physical health.
It might be difficult to recognize a person experiencing depression because unlike any other illness, there are no physical symptoms revealing it or it might also be for the reason that some people are just good at hiding it. Not to worry, because there are several signs to be aware of. Signs like feelings of sadness, guilt, helplessness, worthlessness, and emptiness, losing interest in activities once enjoyed, changes in appetite or weight, having trouble sleeping, difficulty thinking, concentrating, and remembering, having thoughts of suicide (American Psychiatric Association, 2017). Moving on to the factors that contribute to having depression.
There are factors contributing to having depression which include genetics, brain biology and chemistry, and environmental factors. Depression is said to be inherited by a person if it appears in the family background. In fact, scientists believe that about 40 percent of people with depression have been found to have a genetic link and according to research, people who have a first-degree relative like for instance a parent or a sibling that have depression are two to three times greater of a risk of having depression (Legg, 2016). The next factor is brain biology and chemistry, people nowadays accepted the fact that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. These chemical imbalances are found on chemical messengers called neurotransmitters and there are specifically three of them that play a role in mood regulation: serotonin which is responsible for happiness, norepinephrine for stress, and dopamine for pleasure (Schimelpfening,2018). Lastly, depression can be triggered by environmental factors such as a traumatic event like the death of a loved one, social isolation, bullying, relationship conflicts, and other health issues (American Psychiatric Association, 2017). Moving on to the impact of depression on the person experiencing it and the that others affected by it, depression can lead to a variety of sociological, mental, and physical problems that can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Depression affects one’s living and for instance, one’s way of socializing. According to most social scientists, socialization plays a big role in our process of learning throughout our life course and it plays a central role in influencing others (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018). Socialization is important for a person not just because by nature but it might also be for the reason that people need to socialize to survive and fulfill one’s needs. Depression causes a person to withdraw from socializing and as a result, takes away its advantages. Depression also affects the productivity of a person, especially in schools and workplaces. In fact, Neurocognitive dysfunction is common to people experiencing depression-like having difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and remembering (Sigurdsson, 2018). Depression also affects one’s physical health. In relation, to depression and the dysregulation of the neurotransmitter serotonin and norepinephrine, people with depression are prone to pain especially back pain, having gastrointestinal problems like an upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation (Schimelpfening, 2018). Depression causes changes in weight and appetite, it can be either malnutrition or obesity and you might also develop insomnia (lack of sleep) or hypersomnia (too much sleep) (PsychGuides,2018). Depression increases the level of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which weakens the immune system and depression is more prone to Heart diseases and substance abuse (Goldberg, 2018). Lastly, Depression might lead to suicide and about 66 percent of suicides have depression as a factor (PsychGuides,2018).