Depression

Depression is a mental health issue that mandates critical attention. Many people experiencing depressive disorders have lost their motivation to set goals and ambitions and may lack the energy to persevere through each day. Those battling with disorders need assistance, not stigmatization, and society needs to be educated about depression to effectively provide support. For more information regarding depression, please refer to the question and answer section below.

Looking for the rainbow through the rain,
But all I see are clouds, and all I feel is pain.
It’s difficult to see the light when darkness hovers about;
I feel hopeless and helpless, filled with sadness and doubt.
I’m looking for a way to escape the chains which entangle me
From these burdens of loneliness and depression, I need to be set free.
Can anybody point me in the direction of the sun?
Trying to find the path to the light but so far I’ve found none.

Depression

“Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life.” – Jean Paul

Surrounded by people who love me, but I still feel so alone;
Blessed by living my dreams, but I still feel empty to the bone;
And I have everything I could ever need,
But I still have pain, and I still bleed.
I need to find a way to fly and be set free,
But anguish and misery often beset me.
I can’t understand why everything seems wrong
When I’m living my life and I’m singing my song.
I don’t have the answers, only the fear,
But I know that you care for me and I know that you’re near.

Suggested Songs

  • All the Kids are Depressed – Jeremy Zucker
  • As Tears Go By – The Rolling Stones
  • Bad – Call Me Karizma
  • Born Sad – Mary Lambert
  • Demons – Imagine Dragons
  • Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.
  • Not Today – Twenty One Pilots
  • Save Your Goodbye – Mike Posner

FAQs

What is depression?

Depression is a mental health condition generally characterized by extreme sadness for prolonged periods of time. People who experience depression generally have feelings of despair, helplessness, hopelessness, and loneliness. They may also feel isolated and misunderstood and are often socially disconnected from other members of society. Yet, not all characteristics associated with depression can be easily recognized. For example, people who are depressed may not seem sad but, rather, very highly irritable and unmotivated. In addition to affecting mental, emotional, and soulful health, depression also has numerous physical repercussions.

Why is it important to seek help for depression?

It is important to realize that depression is not a choice; rather, many people experiencing the disorder feel entrapped within their body and don’t know how to break through their feelings. Seeking to escape from their mental disorder, many people who suffer from depression have tendencies toward self-harm or suicide. They also may experience difficulties communicating effectively and explaining how they feel inside. While there are varying stages of depression, it is advisable that all people experiencing the disorder seek help. In addition to the infliction of pain towards one’s self, some of the other key factors that may also indicate treatment is urgent are prolonged feelings of grief or tetchiness, feelings of fretfulness, feelings of tiredness and and lack of motivation for extended periods of time, feelings of inner emptiness, tendencies towards isolation from others, and such physical symptoms as loss of appetite. Depression should be dealt with appropriately at early stages to lessen the long-term toll that it can take on total well-being.

Who is affected by depression?

Millions of people varying in age experience a depressive disorder. Depression affects a wide array of people regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and level of education. Although depression and anxiety differ, they share common characteristics, and many people who suffer from anxiety also suffer from depression.

What causes depression?

Depression can vary significantly among individuals who experience the disorder. This can be partly attributed to the fact that there are many factors that can cause depression. Some of the most common factors to which depression has been linked are genetics, in which genes that are responsible for making proteins to assist in the body’s function fail to operate properly; stress, which if prolonged in the body may perpetually create chemical reactions which trigger depression; trauma and loss, especially loss experienced at an early age; dysfunctions of the body, such as hormonal imbalances of the thyroid; illnesses, such as heart disease; side effects associated with some prescription drugs; and abnormalities to the circadian rhythm, also known as the body’s internal clock. Since the connection between the nerve networks and the brain plays a major role in assisting the body to function properly and any hiccups in its operation can cause major complications, such as depression, it warrants further attention. Many researchers believe that if there are abnormalities to the neural circuits or the brain’s functioning, then the body is more likely to prompt depression. For example, if the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that controls emotions, produces neurons very slowly or if the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for recollecting emotional memories, works overtime, then the changes in activity may trigger depression. The levels of certain neurotransmitters found within the body can also significantly impact bodily functions. For example, serotonin, which is known to regulate mood, sleep, and appetite, can cause complications, such as contributing to depression, when levels are reduced.

What are some symptoms associated with depression?

While there are many types of depressive disorders which can produce symptoms that vary in severity, all depression impacts the physical, mental, emotional, and soulful well-being. Physically, people struggling with depression may experience physical ailments, pain, muscle tension, and loss of appetite. While many who are depressed often feel fatigue to the point where they find it difficult getting out of bed, they also suffer from insomnia which prevents them from acquiring adequate rest. Furthermore, they may also have a lowered immune system which makes it difficult to combat infection. In addition to physical ramifications, depression can cause those who suffer from the disorder to lack focus, concentration, and the ability to recall information; experience severe mood swings and be easily excitable; and lack motivation.

Is depression treatable?

Depression is treatable. Yet, depression can differ considerably per individualistic basis. Therefore, it may take some time to determine which treatments will work most effectively for each individual suffering from a depressive disorder. Some of the treatments used are medication, psychotherapies, and brain stimulation therapies.

Why are some people who suffer from depression reluctant to obtain help?

While treatment is available, people who suffer from depressive disorders need to be made aware that resources are available and be educated about the treatments that exist. Some people struggling may not know that there is hope. Others may find it difficult knowing who they can trust as depression may cause them to isolate themselves.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking medication as a treatment?

Medication is often administered in the form of antidepressants which are aimed at assisting the brain and nerve networks to function more effectively. Antidepressants work by engendering new neurons, developing new nerve connections, and increasing chemical messengers which help control mood and stress. Yet, these activities generally take between a few weeks to a month to accomplish. While the rewards of feeling better may warrant taking the medication, there are a few cautions to heed. First, those seeking to take medication need to be aware that there are a variety of antidepressants, and it may take a while to determine which ones work most effectively as their effects can vary per individual. In addition, people taking antidepressants need to be aware of the possible side effects that could accompany taking the prescribed drugs. Moreover, people taking the antidepressants need to be alert to the fact that, even if they start noticing improvements, it is not advisable that they cease taking the medication without the assistance of their medical practitioners as adverse conditions, such as the return of the depression or withdrawal symptoms, may arise.

What other types of intervention may be helpful for depression?

Other forms of intervention that may be helpful include a variety of therapies and counseling. CBT, also known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is one example of psychotherapy which combines learning and behavior to try to alter the thought process, redirect actions to those that are positive, and instruct by presenting effective coping skills. ECT, which stands for Electroconvulsive Therapy, is one example of brain stimulation therapy, a technique by which electric currents being sent through the brain are aimed at impacting the neurons and chemicals of the brain. ECT is reserved primarily as a last result for cases of severe depression in which medication has not been effective. It is highly controversial and has been associated with a number of possible negative accompanying results including memory loss; physical ramifications, such as pain of the body and nausea; and disorientation.

What other measures should people suffering with depressive disorders implement?

In addition to receiving medical treatment, people struggling with depressive disorders are encouraged to engage in healthy lifestyles that include proper nutrition and routine exercise as these practices can help provide strength to the body and mind. Additionally, they should attempt to set goals based on their ambitions and take steps towards achieving their goals. Moreover, they should surround themselves with support networks who have their best interest in mind and will guide and motivate them through their struggles.

What should people do if they know others who are suffering from depression?

People should encourage those who they suspect are struggling with depression to seek assistance from health professionals and support groups. They should also let those who are battling with depression know that they are not alone and be willing to listen attentively without judgment. Moreover, it is critical that people become aware of the indicators that could signify suicidal tendencies and encourage those who are contemplating harming themselves to seek intervention with urgency. It is important for people trying to help to make themselves present every step of the way, through recovery and beyond.

How can music serve a significant role in helping people that are suffering from depression?

Music has several positive benefits in assisting people who struggle with depression. As listening to music can often be relaxing and comforting, people suffering with depression may discover that music helps them enter peaceful meditative states where they feel rested. Additionally, listening to music has been linked to lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol within the body, which is beneficial because if the level of cortisol remains elevated in the body it can trigger depression. Moreover, many researchers have purported that listening to music can elevate moods by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters within the body; for example, the levels of both serotonin, which helps regulate moods, and dopamine, which can contribute to feelings of pleasure, are believed to increase as people listen to music. Furthermore, music is a powerful motivator and can help people to feel inspired, encourage them to set goals, and provide them with a stimulus to which they can look forward. Music, which is available 24/7, can also serve as a support when people battling depression feel isolated and can help them to relate as some artists share messages through their songs regarding their battles with depression.