Depression is a mental illness that affects millions of people all around the world. It can be incredibly difficult to deal with, and it often goes untreated. This is because many people don’t understand depression or the ways in which it can manifest.
In this article, we will discuss 16 things about depression that you probably didn’t know! We hope that this information will help you better understand this condition and how to deal with it.
Things You Didn’t Know About Depression
While most people are aware of the symptoms of depression, they may not be familiar with some of the lesser known facts about this condition. Here are 15 things you may not know about this serious mental health disorder.
#1 – It is a real medical condition
Depression is more than just feeling sad or down. It is a real medical condition that can have serious consequences if it goes untreated. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and it can be hereditary.
It is not simply something that you can “snap out of” and people who say this are uninformed and unhelpful. If you are struggling with depression, please seek professional help.
#2 – Lack of sleep can make depression worse
If you are already struggling with depression, lack of sleep can make it worse. Depression can cause insomnia and vice versa. It is important to get enough sleep if you are dealing with this condition.
There are many ways to treat depression and insomnia, so please talk to your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping.
#3 -People of any age can experience it
Depression is not just something that adults experience. It can affect people of any age, including children and teenagers. If you know someone who is struggling with depression, be there for them and offer your support.
You should also talk to a professional if you are worried about someone in your life.
#4 – Lack of sunlight can worsen depression
If you live in a place with long winters and little sunlight, you may be more prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year.
Symptoms of SAD include fatigue, hopelessness, and weight gain. If you think you might have SAD, please see a doctor.
There are treatments available that can help. Light therapy, for example, is a type of treatment that involves exposing yourself to artificial light. This can help improve your mood and energy levels.
#5 – There is a difference between feeling sad and depressed
Depression is more than just feeling sad. It’s a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy. It can also be accompanied by physical symptoms, such as fatigue and headaches.
If you think you might be depressed, please see a doctor. Depression is a treatable condition. With treatment, you can start to feel better.
#6 – It can shorten life expectancy
Depression is a serious medical condition that can have a negative impact on your life. It’s been linked to shorter life expectancy. This is because depression can lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
Depression can also make it difficult to take care of yourself. This can lead to health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. If you’re depressed, it’s important to get treatment. Treatment can help improve your mood and give your life back.
#7 – Major depression can change the functioning of your brain
Depression can change the way your brain functions. It can shrink the size of your hippocampus, which is the part of your brain that controls memory and learning.
Depression can also lead to changes in the way your brain processes information. This can make it difficult to concentrate, remember things, and make decisions.
#8 – There are natural treatments for depression
You may be able to treat your depression without medication. Some things you can do on your own are exercise, eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
You can also try therapy. There are different types of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help you change the way you think about and handle your depression.
If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. They can help you find the treatment that’s right for you.
#9 – Antidepressants are not enough
Antidepressants are a common treatment for depression, but they’re not the only option. If you take medication for your depression, you may also need to do other things to manage your condition. This can include therapy, exercise, and self-care.
You may need to try a few different medications before you find one that works for you. And even then, it may take a few weeks or months to start working. Don’t get discouraged if the first medication you try doesn’t work. It may take some time to find the right one.
#10 – There are also physical symptoms
Depression can also cause physical symptoms. These can include fatigue, pain, and weight changes. Depression can make it hard to concentrate or make decisions. You may have trouble sleeping or you may sleep too much.
#11 – Children may experience different symptoms than adults
Children and teens may experience different symptoms than adults. They may be irritable or angry instead of sad. They may have trouble sleeping or they may sleep too much. And they may not do as well in school as they used to.
Teens may also engage in risky behaviors, such as drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or using drugs.
#12 – You can treat severe cases with magnets
In severe cases, people with depression may be treated with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnets to stimulate the brain.
TMS is usually done in a hospital or clinic. It is not yet known if TMS is effective for treating depression.
#13 – Carbohydrates have been linked to depression
A diet high in carbohydrates has been linked to depression. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that people who ate a diet high in refined carbohydrates were more likely to be depressed.
Eating a diet high in carbs can cause blood sugar levels to spike and crash. This can lead to fatigue, irritability, and mood swings.
#14 – People who are depressed suffer from colds more frequently
People who are depressed suffer from colds more frequently than people who are not depressed. A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that people who were depressed were more likely to catch a cold.
The reason for this is not yet known, but it may be due to the fact that people who are depressed have weakened immune systems.
#15 – What are the emotional symptoms?
The emotional symptoms of depression include: feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless; feeling anxious, irritable, or angry; losing interest in things you used to enjoy; feeling guilty or ashamed; and having low energy levels.
These symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy activities you once enjoyed.
Depression is a serious mental health disorder that should not be taken lightly. It’s important to educate yourself on the different aspects of depression in order to better understand what people who suffer from it are experiencing. If you think you may be suffering from depression, please seek professional help.