With Depression, Knowledge Is Power

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Education | Comments Off on With Depression, Knowledge Is Power

According to the World Health Organization, depression affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide; yet fewer than half receive treatment. Despite an increased awareness of depression and other mental illnesses, a social stigma about these disorders still exists. Help fight it by educating yourself on depression and its common symptoms and treatment strategies.

Signs It’s More Than a Feeling
Friends and family of sufferers may confuse symptoms of depression with ordinary sadness, but they’re distinctively different. A sense of hopelessness or emptiness, loss of interest in hobbies or activities, and a lack of energy can overwhelm individuals dealing with depression for days and weeks at a time. Irritability and difficulty sleeping or concentrating are also common.

This complex condition can stem from many potential factors, including genetics, trauma, faulty mood regulation in the brain, life circumstances and other health conditions. Creating a personal treatment plan with the guidance of a medical or mental health professional is key. This may include talk therapy, medication, lifestyle changes or a combination of the three. An array of resources is available for additional information.

How You Can Help Others
Countering depression requires action, but those who are depressed often have a hard time taking even the smallest step toward treatment. If someone close to you is showing signs of depression, you can help by being supportive and expressing your concern in a tasteful, nonjudgmental way. Be an empathetic listener and avoid giving advice. Encourage them and offer unconditional support throughout the process.

Though depression looks different in each individual, understanding common triggers, symptoms and treatment options is useful for both your sake and the sake of your loved ones.

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