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What You Need to Know About Depression?

1) There may not be any reason or cause for Depression.

Depression is often misunderstood as just feeling sad, but it is a complex medical condition. Sometimes people may feel depressed due to obvious reason. Most common stressors known are Career setback, relationship breakup, losing loved ones, etc. However, in many instances there doesn’t have to be a reason for how you feel. Our mood is regulated by chemicals in brain which if gets out of balance, it can make one feel bad even though when everything is going well.

2) The cause is Multi factorial.

It can never have a single causing factor. According to research the cause for depression is always multi-factorial. It is caused by combination of factors, such as environmental factors, genetic tendency towards depression, individuals coping abilities against stress, social support, etc.

3) Sadness is not Depression!

Being sad is very normal. Sadness is a normal emotional response to pain. Depression however is an illness that comprises certain set of symptoms, and most importantly, it causes difficulties in functioning at work, home and in society.

4) Depression can happen to all age groups.

No particular age-group is immune to Depression. Depression in adults is a well known fact. However, the trend of depression in children is increasing at an alarming rate in recent times. Struggle for peer acceptance, bullying in school are some unique stresses found to result depression in children.

5) Depression is real like any other medical illness.

Depression is not a sign of weakness, but it is a clinical entity, a medical illness. It can happen to anyone. It is now scientifically proven that an underlying chemical imbalance in the brain neuronal circuitry is a direct cause for depression. These chemicals are known as Neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters regulate our mood and emotional state.

6) Can Depression be treated? Yes!

Depression is like any other medical illness. It is definitely treatable. The treatment includes medications and psychotherapy. There has been major advances in the medications with minimal side effects and larger benefits.

7) It can worsen if not treated.

Depression is a leading most cause for disability. It is most common cause for suicide. According to recent Mental Health Survey, 90 percent of those committing suicide are suffering from mental illness.

Understanding the Stigma in Mental Health

Stigma in mental health has been prevalent for centuries. Most of us within society still view the symptoms of mental health problem as unpredictable and dangerous. For decades, individuals suffering with psychiatric problems, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, are considered insane or “mad”. They often have to face exclusion either within society, workplace, and at times even within ones own family.

Anxiety, Depression, Substance use are still considered as signs of weakness and not as biological disorders of brain. These are treatable health problems like any other medical conditions to which people refuse to seek professional help due fear of exposure and stigma.

There is no denying that the society is becoming more aware than before, especially with many high profile celebrities such as Deepika Padukone or Catherine Zeta-Jones discussing openly about their illnesses in media. Yet, there are some firmly held beliefs and stigmatising attitudes that continues to prevail in our society.

The stigma can be of two types: A social stigma, which is a discriminating attitudes against those suffering from mental health problems as a result of the psychiatric diagnosis/label they have been given. The second is a perceived stigma, which is their perceptions of discrimination, internalised by mental health sufferers. It can significantly lower their self esteem, instil a feeling of shame, and most importantly leads to poor treatment outcome.

Following are some commonly held misconceptions and beliefs-

1) The common being that people suffering from mental health problems are dangerous and violent, especially those with schizophrenia or bipolar.
2) Some believe that problems of depression and anxiety are part of normal living and can be dealt with by just “being positive”and “being more social”.
3) There is a general belief that eating disorders and substance abuse are self inflicted.
4) Still many consider that people suffering from mental health problems such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar are unemployable.
5) Getting “dependent” or “addicted” to psychiatric medicine is another common misconception that is widespread, even amongst the educated.

Research suggests that significant number adolescents with mental health problems face stigma and discrimination within their own family, peers, teachers and school staffs. Surprisingly, there is a widespread stigma amongst the medical professionals as mental health is given low priority by hospitals, physicians and doctors of other specialties.

What has caused stigma?

Historically, the cause of mental health problems were believed to be due to demonic or spirit possession, such explanations would almost certainly give rise to reactions of fear and discrimination. Media too had played an important role in perpetuating stigmatising stereotypes of people with psychiatric problems. The cinematic depictions of ECT (electro convulsive therapy) or so called “Shock treatment”, or schizophrenia are often stereotypic and characterised by misinformation about mental health symptoms and its treatment. There is strong negative portrayal of schizophrenia in movies, showing the schizophrenia characters as being violent, homicidal and aggressive.

Stigma not only leads to social exclusion, low esteem, poor quality of life, but also poorer treatment outcomes and recovery from mental problems. It has been seen that people tend to hold to these stigma regardless of their age, background or education. Stigma is evident in the way laws, social services, and the justice system are structured as well as ways in which resources are allocated. The solution may not be so simple but needs to be multifaceted. Simply raising voices and providing information will not help, but their is a need to challenge the existing negative stereotypes especially as they are portrayed in general media as well.

How To Handle A Breakup: 7 Effective Ways

Going through a break-up?

Going through a relationship breakup is like getting trapped in the stormy brain chemistry of loss and rejection. The feelings include of anxiety, depression, feelings of grief and addiction, also the desperate attempts to deal with the emotional pain of rejection; this all is a result of the drops in serotonin and dopamine levels during the phase of a relationship breakup. One would often struggle to resist the temptation to stalk, plead, and make a needy fool of oneself. The ultimate goal here is to come through this ordeal in one piece and perhaps even stronger.

Following are some healthy coping ways to help you deal with a breakup:

1) Block them from your facebook/whatsapp.

Unfollow or block them; because you need space and time to heal. Seeing your ex on Facebook wall or seeing him pop up on Whats app/Instagram, can trigger flashbacks of your past memories with your ex and can send you in obsessions of stalking him/her on social media.

2) Don’t trash-talk your ex too much.

It may feel good to talk about your ex with your best friends, and hearing them bring down someone who made you feel sad, but your happiness need not be contingent on someone else’s pain.

3) Don’t consider to “stay friends’.

During this awkward breaking-up period, its very difficult to know whether you both can be friends or not. Generally, one person wants to be friends and other wants more. You gotta work this out before it can be a healthy relationship.

4) Moderate to intense physical exercise or work out does help.

Working out can be a great stress-buster. May be some intense sport like badminton, boxing, etc. It can really help you get rid of that negative tension and physical stress.

5) Spend more time outdoors.

Make a routine where you spend at least couple of hours under sun in fresh air. Create an ex- free environment by getting rid of stuff that reminds you of your ex. Donating them is one good way to do it.

6) Deal with your emotions and not avoid them.

It’s okay to feel ‘bad’. Do not try to distract yourself or escape from whatever you are feeling, but observe your feelings gently and without judgement. The more you observe, the better you’ll know that no emotion is static or permanent.

7) Finally, stop blaming yourself.

The problem wasn’t just you, but you two as a couple. It always takes two to breakup a relationship.

Spend your time with people who appreciates you. Feel confident, optimistic, and authentic, and remember that your success is the best revenge!

 

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