Wallowing in Depression: What is It?

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In this blog, we will talk about wallowing in depression, and also cover related topics like what depression is, signs and symptoms of depression, types of depression, causes of depression, risk factors, and also answer frequently asked questions. 

Wallowing in Depression: What is It?

Wallowing in depression refers to the state of a person’s mental health when they are so stuck with their mental health issues, they are constantly spiraling down, and feel that they can never come out of this state.

It also means that they are quite okay with how they are because they have lost hope, feel worthless, and feel helpless. 

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental health condition that is usually characterised by a loss of interest in thighs that were once enjoyed by the person, prolonged sadness, and feelings of hopelessness. 

Depression affects a large part of one’s life as it affects your feelings, your thoughts, and also your behaviour. 

Depression is a rather common name used to refer to clinical depression or major depressive disorder (MDD). A person who has depression might find it very difficult to even carry out basic tasks like taking a bath, making up their bed, brushing their teeth, dressing up, etc. 

It numbs joyful experiences, isolates individuals, stifles creativity, and, in the worst-case scenario, kills hope. It also frequently causes severe mental anguish not only to the person who is experiencing it, but also to their immediate family and friends.

Depression often dulls your pleasure experience, disconnects you from others, and also leads you hopeless. It creates major emotional distress.

Depression is not the same as sadness or laziness. It is not a lack of will or change. It is genuinely believing that no change in your life is possible, this pain will never end, there is no hope and there are also feelings of helplessness. 

Signs and symptoms of depression

What is a good indicator of depression if not sadness? If you’ve had at least five of the following symptoms for at least two weeks, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is the diagnostic guide used by most mental health professionals. 

Signs of depression include-

●  Constant feeling of helplessness or worthlessness

●  Having little interest or pleasure in your work, hobbies, friends, family, and other things you once enjoyed.

●  Dramatic changes (increase or decrease) in your appetite or your weight not related to dieting

●  Often feeling restless or tired for no apparent reason

●  You have trouble concentrating or making decisions

●  You often find yourself moving your hands, pacing or showing other signs of anxiousness, restlessness — or the opposite, moving or speaking more slowly than usual.

●  You struggle to fall asleep or sleeping too much

●  You have recurrent thoughts of suicide or death

It is normal to have these symptoms for a while (like some hours or days). But with depression, these symptoms start to interfere with your day-to-day functioning.

Make sure that your symptoms aren’t due to medical ailments like thyroid problems, a brain tumour, or a nutritional deficiency.

Types of depression

1. Persistent depressive disorder (PDD)

PDD, formerly known as dysthymia, is diagnosed in patients who experience at least two main depression symptoms for at least two years. Sometimes the person can also experience double depression. Double depression refers to experiencing a range of symptoms, as well as having both PDD and MDD at the same time. Rather than being recognized as having a treatable condition, people with PDD are generally seen as irritable, gloomy, moody, or pessimistic.

2. Bipolar disorder

Formerly known as manic depression, is marked by mood swings that alternate between phases of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression), with intervals of normal mood in between. Bipolar disorder affects 2.8 percent of adults in the United States or approximately 6 million people.

3. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

It is a type of depression that strikes at the same time every year, usually in the fall and lasting into the winter. SAD is linked to variations in sunlight and is frequently followed by increased sleep, weight gain, and carbohydrate cravings.

4. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) 

The more serious version of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is PMDD. PMDD commonly appears a week or two before a woman’s period and disappears two or three days after her period begins.

5. Postpartum or perinatal depression (PPD)

It is a diagnosis given to moms who experience substantial depressive symptoms immediately after giving birth. PPD is caused by a number of causes, including abrupt changes in hormone levels after childbirth. The “baby blues,” the relatively moderate symptoms of despair and anxiety that many new moms experience, are significantly stronger and endure longer than feelings of acute sadness, anxiety, or weariness.

What are the causes of depression?

 Depression can be caused by various factors and they are discussed below:

  1. The chemistry of the brain: 

In persons with depression, there may be a chemical imbalance in areas of the brain that control mood, thinking, sleep, food, and behaviour.

  1. Hormone levels: 

Hormone levels are important. Changes in the female hormones estrogen and progesterone during various stages of life, such as the menstrual cycle, postpartum, perimenopause, and menopause, can all increase a person’s risk of depression.

  1. Family history: 

If you have a family history of depression or another mood disorder, you’re more likely to acquire depression.

  1. Early childhood adversity: 

Several occurrences that happened over the childhood can also have an impact on how your body reacts to fear and stress.

  1. The structure of the brain: 

If your frontal lobe is less active, you’re more likely to get depression. Scientists are unsure whether this occurs before or after the beginning of depression symptoms.

  1. Other Medical Problems: 

Chronic sickness, insomnia, chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, heart attack, and cancer are among illnesses that can increase your risk.

  1. Use of drugs/alcohol: 

A history of drug or alcohol abuse can increase your risk of having depression. 

  1. Pain: 

People who are under emotional or chronic bodily discomfort for an extended period of time are more likely to develop depression.

  1. Other Risk factors

There are various medical, social, genetic, biochemical or circumstantial factors that can predispose a person to depression.

Sex- women are twice more likely to suffer from MDD than men.

Genetics- If you have a family history of depression, you are at a higher risk of developing it due to the genetic component. 

Social and economic standing-Your socioeconomic status, which includes financial difficulties and a sense of poor social status, can increase your risk of depression.

Medications in particular- Certain medications, such as hormonal birth control pills, corticosteroids, and beta-blockers, have been linked to an increased risk of depression.

Deficiency in vitamin D.- Low vitamin D levels have been linked to depression symptoms.

Gender identity- Gender identity is a complex topic. According to a 2018 study, transgender people have a nearly 4-fold higher risk of depression than cisgender people.

Misuse of a substance- Around 21% of people with a substance abuse problem also suffer from depression.

Illnesses of the body- Other chronic medical diseases are linked to depression. People with heart disease are nearly twice as likely as those without to suffer from depression, and up to 1 in 4 people with cancer may also suffer from depression.

How can depression be treated?

You might be able to manage your symptoms with only one type of treatment, or you could discover that a combination of treatments whichever is the most effective based upon your symptoms and intensity of issues.

Combining medical and lifestyle interventions is frequent and include the following:

Medications

  1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are the most widely administered antidepressants and have few negative effects. They work by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitter called serotonin in your brain, which helps you feel better.

Certain medicines, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and, in some situations, thioridazine or Orap, should not be taken with SSRIs (pimozide).

Pregnant women should speak with their doctors about the hazards of taking SSRIs throughout their pregnancy. 

If you have narrow-angle glaucoma, you should proceed with caution and discuss with your healthcare provider before taking any medication. 

  1. Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants

TCAs and TECAs are other types of antidepressants that work by boosting the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.

TCAs are more likely to cause side effects than SSRIs or SNRIs. TCAs and TECAs should not be used with MAOIs. 

Tricyclic antidepressants include various drugs under it. Some examples are amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), trimipramine (Surmontil), desipramine (Norpramin), nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl), and protriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl) (Vivactil).

Psychotherapy

Several methods of psychotherapy are rated as highly effective treatments for depression as psychotherapy is quite an effective line of treatment.

Behavioural activation therapy- The goal of this therapy is to encourage you to seek out experiences and activities that bring you joy, therefore reversing the downward cycle of sadness.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy(CBT)- CBT focuses on modifying specific negative thought patterns so that you can respond more effectively to difficult and stressful situations.

Interpersonal counselling- This time-limited, highly controlled kind of treatment focuses on identifying and improving problematic personal relationships and circumstances that are directly linked to your current sad mood.

Problem-solving therapy- his therapy is a type of cognitive behavioural therapy that teaches take-charge techniques to help you deal with real-life challenges and stressors, both major and minor, that contribute to depression.

Self-control/self-management therapy- This sort of behavioural therapy teaches you how to control your emotional reactions to events and to stop punishing yourself with negative behaviours and thoughts.

Lifestyle changes

Making art, journaling, exercising more, and practicing yoga or mindfulness can all help to ease depression and the stress that might exacerbate it. 

Dietary modifications can also improve your mood by lowering inflammation and ensuring that your brain receives the nutrition it requires to function properly.

Conclusion

Depression can be a short-term problem or a long-term issue. Treatment does not always result in complete recovery from depression.

However, therapies and medicines can often make symptoms more manageable. Finding the correct combination of drugs and therapy to treat depression symptoms is crucial.

Speak with your healthcare provider if one treatment does not work. They can assist you in developing an alternative treatment plan that may be more effective in assisting you in managing your condition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Wallowing in Depression: What is It? 

What will happen during the depression?

Depression is a serious mental condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It can lead to emotions of unhappiness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that linger for a long time. It can also cause physical symptoms like pain, a change in appetite, and sleep issues.

 What exactly are the symptoms of depression?

  • Sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or a sense of hopelessness.
  • Even over little issues, angry outbursts, impatience, or frustration might occur.
  • Most or all typical activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports, lose their appeal or enjoyment.
  • Sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleeping excessively.

Is there any treatment for depression?

The majority of persons with depression benefit from medication and counselling. Medications can be prescribed by your health care physician or a psychiatrist to alleviate symptoms. However, contacting a psychiatrist, psychologist, or any other mental health expert can help many people with depression as a combination of psychotherapy and medication is often a right step towards the betterment of the person. 

What behaviours are associated with depression?

  • Excessive sleeping or not sleeping enough
  • Irritability
  • Anger outbursts
  • Self-harming behaviours
  • Restlessness or anxiousness
  • Speaking too slow or other motor functions seem slower than usual
  • Withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed

Is it okay to wallow in self-pity?

Yes, it is okay to wallow in self-pity every once in a while and even cry but it is important to do it in a safe space and to make sure you don’t dwell in it and get back to taking care of your holistic health and other aspects of life. 

How can you tell if someone is suffering from depression?

You can tell if someone is suffering from depression by noticing little things about them like they might show slow speech, irritable mood, low on energy, lack of focus on their tasks, talk about death and self-harm. 

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression#natural-remedies-and-lifestyle-tips
https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression
https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/guide/
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression

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