We have all heard of the word depression and claim to understand its meaning. Nevertheless, those suffering from major depressive disorder express that the people around them do not understand the significance of this condition. When it comes to depression, it is a mood disorder characterised by persistent feelings of hopelessness and sadness. Additionally, to be diagnosed, one needs to experience five symptoms from the following for at least two weeks (Truschel, 2022).
1. Significant change in weight (loss or gain)
2. Persistent sadness.
3. Loss of interest in activities
4. Loss of energy
5. Inability to concentrate
6. Reduced physical movement
7. Recurrent suicidal thoughts.
8. Feeling worthless
Depression is not just Sadness
The Degrees of Depression
There are varying degrees of depression, and different people have different responses to these intense feelings; with some seeking help and others attempting to hide their symptoms. When one doesn’t seek help, the feelings may become overwhelming and might lead to suicide. It is important to remember that suicidal thoughts and ideations
are a symptom of depression itself and hence professional help can help you treat this illness.
Depression is not a sign of weakness and even if it cannot be cured, it can be treated through counselling, exercise and medication (Haltiwanger, 2014). Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that it might take time for one to find the combination of treatment that is beneficial for the person’s individual needs. Additionally, antidepressants require a minimum of 4 weeks until they start working. Thus, one needs to be patient and allow the process to work. Those on antidepressants should be monitored closely because increased suicidal thoughts might occur at the start of treatment or when there are any changes (“Depression”, 2021).
Why is it a ‘silent killer’?
Depression is known as a silent killer when left untreated. It could lead to physical symptoms such as obesity and sleep disturbance as well as other mental health disorders including the progression into major depressive disorder and anxiety. If you feel that you fit the criteria for depression seek professional help and surround yourself with loved ones who can support you (Goswani, 2018).
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.
1. Depression. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (2021). Retrieved 8 July 2022, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression. 2. Goswani, H. (2018). How Depression May Be Harming Your Health. Resources To Recover. Retrieved 8 July 2022, from https://www.rtor.org/2018/07/12/how depression-harms-your-health/.
3. Haltiwanger, J. (2014). A Silent Killer: 10 Reasons Why Depression Is Nothing At All Like You Think It Is. Elite Daily. Retrieved 5 July 2022, from https:// www.elitedaily.com/life/culture/depression-mental-illness-help/706413.
4. Truschel, J. (2022). Depression Definition and DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria. Psycom.net – Mental Health Treatment Resource Since 1996. Retrieved 5 July 2022, from https://www.psycom.net/depression/major-depressive-disorder/dsm-5- depression-criteria.