Article in brief: Everyone has heard of Depression, most of us have experienced it (either mildly or strongly), and some of us even know of people who are depressed. However, how much of it do we understand?
Depression impacts over 120 million people worldwide; (6% of men and 9.7% of women). According to the World Health Organization depression is the 4th leading cause of disease burden worldwide, predicting that it will jump to number two by the year 2020. Depression is also known to be the number one cause of suicide worldwide.
Depression is classified broadly into two categories, “Situational Depression” and ‘Clinical Depression’. The first type is temporary and usually starts with a trigger such as going through a major life crisis like losing a loved one or a job or falling very ill, but with time eases and eventually goes away.
The second type however is more serious and is considered a disease. Although going through a major life crisis and illness can be one of the causes of this depression, other factors include hormones or chemical imbalance in the brain, and hereditary reasons can also cause depression.
Scientists have so far discovered three major neurochemicals that can help in eliminating a disease like depression through medications or antidepressants. Antidepressants restore balance within the structures of the brain that regulate emotion, reactions to stress, and the physical drives of sleep and appetite.
Mood swings, sadness, emptiness, worthlessness, irritability, lack of interest in anything, social impairment and low consternation are all psychological symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, there are physical symptoms as well, the most common effect of depression is fatigue, and others include headache, joint pain, digestive problems, and insomnia.
The good news is there are many ways to help overcome or reduce the effect of depression, medicine aside. Depression is usually linked to lifestyle as well, going through a healthy diet can help improve the way a person feels as it helps a person feel good about themselves. Adjusting ones routine can also help, getting out of the usual places, changing one’s environment and/or job can also help. Socializing is also a great factor in improving a person’s mood, surrounding oneself with people is important to help minimizing the load.
Note from the author: As muslims, we believe that Allah does not burden oneself with more than what the person can take for verse 286 in Sorat Al Baqara in the Quran says exactly that. Muslims are also known to saying the following two phrases when in a depressing state: “‘in Your Name Allah, I put my trust in Allah, and there is no power or force except with Allah’ (Bismillahi Tawakalto ala Allah wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah)”, “‘God suffices me and He is the best guardian’ (Hasbuna Allahu wa Ni’ mal Wakeel)”.
- Depression: a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.
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