Mental Health

What is depression and how does it affect the body health?

Depression in older adults

What is depression?

Depression is a moody disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which stops you from doing your normal activities. However, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.

Depression is not a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. It may require long-term treatment. However, most of the people who have depression problem feel better with medication, psychotherapy, or both.

Symptoms of depression

Although depression may occur only once during your life, people typically have multiple periods. During these periods, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day, and may include:

  1. The feeling of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness.
  2. Angry behavior, irritability, or frustration, even over small matters.
  3. Loss of interest irritability or frustration, even over small matters.
  4. Sleeping disorders, including insomnia or sleeping too much.
  5. Lack of energy and tiredness problem, so even small tasks take extra effort.
  6. Loss of weight and reduced appetite or increased cravings for food and weight gain.
  7. Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movement problems.
  8. Trouble makes thinking, focusing, making decisions and remembering things.
  9.  Recurrent or frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide.
  10. Unexplained physical disorders, such as back pain, or headaches.

For many people who have a depression problem, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities, or relationships with others. Some people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.

Depression symptoms in children and teens

There are some signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers that are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences.

  • In school level children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches, and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.
  • In teens, symptoms that may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using recreational drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.

Depression symptoms in older adults

Depression isn’t a normal issue of growing older, and it should never be taken lightly. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed and untreated in older adult age group people, and they may feel reluctant to seek help. Depression symptoms may be different or less obvious in older adults, such as:

  • Personality changes and memory difficulties
  • Physical aches or internal pain
  • Loss of appetite, sleeping problems, or loss of interest in sex not caused by a medical condition or meditation
  • Suicidal thinking or feelings
  • When to see a doctor

If you are feeling depressed, make an appointment to see a doctor or mental health professional as soon as you can. If you are trying to seek medical treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, any health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.

When to get emergency help

If you have some issues or you want to attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Consider these options if you’re having suicidal thoughts:-

  • Call your doctor or mental health professional
  • Reach out to a close friend, family members, or loved one
  • Contact a local authority, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community

Another way to get emergency help

If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. In this case, you can call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you are sure you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.