We all experience periods of emotion fluctuations especially when faced by various life events such as losing a job, loved one, illness or breaking up of a relationship. However, we can overcome them and move on. But when the situation persists, most of us fall into a chronic depression which is serious medical condition. In fact, depression is among the common mental conditions in Australia. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they are depressed until when it’s too late.
What Is Chronic Depression?
Commonly referred to as dysthymia, chronic depression is the persistence of depressive symptoms for a long period. It may be for some years, but a minimum of two years. It is a mental condition that involves temporary episodes of sadness that can last for days. The condition has severe impacts on you as a patient. It affects everything and everyone around you negatively. You may find yourself losing interest in normal daily activities, lower your self-esteem and so on. If you have a persistent depressive disorder that can’t even subside even on happy occasions, then you likely to be struggling with chronic depression.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey 2014-15 results, the prevalence of depression and other mental conditions had increased from the previous survey. The survey showed that 4.0 million Australian struggling with mental conditions with depression taking 2.1 million people.
Symptoms Of Chronic Depression
The symptoms of chronic depression can be mild, moderate or severe. In addition, most of these symptoms are similar to individuals who have a major depressive disorder (MDD) but are few in number and also not intense. These are the main chronic depression symptoms:
- Poor eating or overeating
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Low self-esteem
- Poor concentration
- Feeling hopelessness
Causes Of Chronic Depression
It is estimated that about 45 percent of Australian will suffers from mental conditions some times in their lifetime. What’s even scary is that an estimated 1 million people suffer from depression every year. However, we can reduce these numbers by dealing with causes. Some of the causes may require medical intervention. The following factors are discussed below:
Depending on the history of your family lineage, studies show that a family history of depression increases the chances that an individual will have depression. For example; if one of your parent or both have a depression problem, there is a possibility of you having the same problem. This proves that depression can be genetically inherited.
Realities exist in life beyond our control. For example, the death of a loved one, divorce, and retrenchment from work. These represent some of the most critical cases that are hard to cope with, leading to an individual becoming depressed.
Most of the individuals who suffer from chronic diseases find it hard to accept their condition leading to depression. HIV/ Aids, cancer, heart attack, stroke are examples of terminal illness that have been found to cause chronic depression. Some studies say depression can cause pain to such individuals leading to more suffering.
Workload, meeting deadlines, financial worries, pollution, crime and so on, cause distress to all human beings. Moreover, the standard of living is increasing, and so much pressure imposed on people to meet their daily needs may lead to depression.
An individual’s inability to cope with their existing environment may cause depression. Some people care too much about what other people say and that affect their self-esteem. That’s why people are getting depressed because of a Facebook post or not getting the attention they want. These are just a few of the social influences that can lead to depression. These are causes that we can avoid by teaching people how to build confidence in themselves.
Treatment Options For Chronic Depression.
Treating chronic depression is not easy. Like most of the mental conditions, you need to have the individual accept that they have a problem. That is the first step to healing. However, that is not to do said since most depressed people do not accept that they have a problem. Most of them are always in denial. That’s one reason that makes treating chronic depression difficult. However, they are medical interventions that can help deal with the problem. Here are some treatment options to consider:
- Antidepressant medication.
- Psychotherapy- this is by paying a visit to your counselor or taking online therapy test.
- Work towards a healthy lifestyle by changing or improving eating habits and exercise.
- Learn to challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. This may include the use of daily affirmations and listen to motivational videos.
- Engage in social activities and also support group as it helps to make friends to avoid loneliness.
- Use reducing stressors through relaxation techniques such as meditation and also deep breathing.
Chronic Depression Complications
Some of the major complication associated with the condition include suicidal thoughts, chronic pain, family conflicts, developing other medical conditions and so on.
Chronic depression is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Apart from medical attention, you also need a lot of counseling to get your life back. If you need help with chronic depression, don’t hesitate to contact us.