The sudden deaths of iconic fashion designer Spade and celebrity chef Bourdain have left the entire world in shock and focused a bright light on the tragedy of suicide.
According to a report published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45000 people in the United States committed suicide in 2016 alone, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death.
Social media has conditioned us to display only happy and shiny parts of our lives. In our bid to keep up with Joneses we have learned to put up a brave and happy face despite how we are feeling inside.
It has resulted in a steep increase in the number of individuals who are high functioning and successful but suffer from crippling anxiety or severe depression in silence.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 18.6 percent of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders and 6.7 percent live with depression.
Depression is a serious illness and it is time we start to understand the nature of the illness and remove the stigma around mental health that causes many individuals to suffer in silence.
Depression is not just about feeling sad or lonely. What separates depression from sadness is that the latter is about melancholy while depression persists.
A person suffering from depression struggles with overwhelming feelings of grief, hopelessness, worthlessness, and emptiness on daily basis. The severity of these feelings can actually rob the person of the simple inertia to even perform day to day functions.
Depression can manifest in the myriad number of forms and can be triggered by a number of causes.
Identifying the types and symptoms of depression is the first step toward healing.
Different types of Depression and healing modality:
1) Situational depression
Situational depression is caused when you have trouble dealing with a sudden or stressful event in your life like divorce, loss of a job or loved one or while changing careers or moving to a new country.
The psychologists may refer to this as “Stress Response syndrome” and they can help you in this transition phase through counseling and psychotherapy.
2) Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder is the most common form of depression.
If you feel any five or more of the below-mentioned symptoms over a persistent period of time lasting at least two weeks, you are likely suffering from Major Depressive Disorder:
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- The feeling of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, shame or worthlessness
- Feelings of irritability or restlessness
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- Persistent feelings of emptiness and sadness.
The severity of these symptoms will vary from person to person and in extreme cases, it can cripple your ability to work, sleep, study, eat or experience life in general.
This type of depression can be treated by a combination of psychotherapy or medications like Antidepressants.
3) Pain/Injury/ Illness related
People suffering from chronic illness or debilitating diseases often face depression or anxiety caused due to the emotional and physical distress of going through these diseases.
Talk therapy and medication can go a long way in treating illness related depression.
4) Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression
Women who have major depression in the weeks and months after childbirth may have Peripartum (postpartum) depression.
This is different from normal baby blues. Massive hormonal and physical changes and changes in lifestyle and responsibility can cause stress and depression for some mothers. Almost 10-15% of women experience postpartum depression.
This can be treated with counseling support and psychotherapy.
5) Seasonal Affective Disorder
The seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that happens in particular seasons like winters or monsoons. It is believed that less sunlight can lead to the change in mood and irritability and therefore many people feel blue at the onset of winters or monsoons.
SAD can be treated with antidepressants or light therapy which requires you to sit in front of a special bright light box for about 15-30 minutes each day.