Depression is as old as our civilization. It is often described as one of the diseases that were noticed by ancient healers. The word depression comes from the Latin word “deprimere” which means: to press, to imprint, or to dent. Depression is often related to the feeling of sadness, but depression is much more than that.
Depression is a state of grief/sadness and resentment that must last at least 15 days and should not a direct result of substance abuse or physical illness.
There are three basic symptoms of depression – lack of satisfaction, depressive mood, and loss of energy/ feeling of chronic fatigue. There are few other symptoms related to this disease – reduced concentration, feelings of inferiority and guilt, reduced self-confidence and self-esteem, sleep disorder, lack of appetite (or episodes of great appetite), pessimistic view on the future, and plans for the future are usually related to failures.
There are also three different types of depression: mild, moderate, and severe depression. Severe depression is characterized by the presence of three main symptoms and at least six other symptoms. There are several severe symptoms. Patients simply can’t function properly at work and socially and they also have problems completing regular daily and personal tasks.
What is a major depressive disorder?
As we have already mentioned, there are many different types and sub-types of depression and one of the most frequent terms used in cases of people suffering from depression is a major depressive disorder. This disorder belongs to the group of mood disorders. It is also known as clinical depression and unipolar disorder. In this case, the depressive behavior of the sufferer is characterized by self-isolation, insomnia, a decline of vital dynamism, pessimism, loss of appetite, a sense of helplessness and hopelessness, slow thinking, and a bad mood.
Severe depression symptoms
Just like any other disease or disorder, severe depression comes with certain symptoms. This is a short list of symptoms related to severe depression:
- Excessive sleeping;
- Drug and/or alcohol abuse;
- Lack of interest in activities that were once attractive to the sufferer;
- Suicidal thought or attempts;
- Continuous thought or feeling that something bad and unpleasant will happen;
- In the most severe cases, it is not unusual for individuals to experience psychotic symptoms like delusions or hallucinations.
Is fatigue a symptom of depression?
This is a very common question and the simple answer is yes. Depression is directly affecting our physique and overall health. There are many people who feel pressure in their chest and lack of energy to perform anything due to depression. In addition, some of them have a regular sleep routine, but they still wake up tired. This is a direct result of the presence of depression. It is crucial to remember that this is both a physical and emotional disease.
How do you know if you have depression?
Besides understanding the basic signs and symptoms of depression, you should also perform an examination of your moods. Are you frequently down or sad? Do you have periods when you don’t have any type of emotions running through your head? Do you often think about giving up on everything? Do you have problems finding the energy to complete everyday tasks and you don’t enjoy the things you used to enjoy? If the answer to all these questions or some of them is yes, then it is very likely that you are suffering from some type of depression.
Severe depression causes
There is a myriad of causes that lead to severe depression and these causes have been confirmed by researchers and psychologists. There are some causes that emerge naturally from the person and others are triggered by the environment. It is very important to determine the cause in order to find adequate treatment. Now let’s highlight some of the causes of severe depression.
Any change in brain activity usually results in severe depression. The reduced activity in the left frontal lobe affects the condition. Some changes in brain activity that lead to depression are childhood trauma, major life events like working a very stressful job, losing a person close to you, financial problems, and some other similar situations. In addition, some hormonal changes can also result in severe depression.
How long does a major depressive episode last?
In case the individual doesn’t treat severe depression one episode can last for about half a year. There are episodes that last for more than two years in some people. About 50% of all these episodes end spontaneously.
How To Deal with Severe Depression without Medication
1. Change your diet
Even though the changes in diet are usually associated with weight loss and weight gain, the fact is that a positive change in the diet can help people deal with severe depression too. One of the most important issues is the control of sugar intake. Scientists and researchers have found a direct link between depression and serotonin levels. Sugar temporarily increases serotonin levels in our brains. Even though sugar improves our mood and suppresses our appetite, it provides only short effects.
By regulating the intake of sugar you will be able to control unnecessary variations in your mood. Instead of eating sugary products and junk food, you need to eat real food like fruit and vegetables. When you have a diet that is well-balanced your body will experience chemical changes that will make you feel better.
This is another piece of advice that many people associate with weight loss. However, regular exercise supports the release of endorphins in the center of pleasure located in our brain. This makes people feel more energetic and alive.
3. Develop a sleep routine and have a rest
Sleep deprivation and insomnia are some of the main reasons why people feel cranky during the day. It was proven that chronic fatigue leads to severe depression. Try to sleep between 7 and 9 hours a day. It is also a good idea to have a nap during the day.
4. Go outside
By absorbing sunlight you will improve the production of white blood cells and red blood cells in the body. What is even more important is that sunlight helps people produce higher levels of serotonin and similar endorphin’s which are great mood boosters. Of course, you should limit exposure to sunlight because staying too much under the sun can lead to other problems.
5. Stay active
In case you feel that your friends can’t help you, try to find new people. It is always a good idea to meet new people and hear different opinions. Of course, you should also maintain your connections with your old friends. People are social beings and isolation is not natural. During this period, try to stay away from friends that often irritate you and make you feel bad.
Another thing that you can do is trying new things. Take some time to visit the local park, a new restaurant, develop a hobby, read a book – in other words, stay active.
Severe depression is a very serious condition, so don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about their opinion. Keep in mind that even though this is a difficult period in your life, severe depression can be cured.
For patients battling severe depression, therapy with transcranial magnetic stimulation could be the turning point that’s often needed at such a difficult time.