When being sad starts being a problem

Depression is not a form of weakness.

It is like any physical conditions ie diabetes and high blood pressure, and it requires treatment. More people are publicly discussing about their depression and celebrities are coming forward to share about their experience and recovery process.

Symptoms of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder is not only about feeling sad or crying. People  may experience symptoms that are persistently there for at least 2 weeks, such as:

  1. Depressed or low mood
  2. Poor sleep or excessive sleep
  3. Loss of weight
  4. Feeling tired
  5. Reduced interest in activities you used to enjoy
  6. Poor concentration
  7. Slowing down of thinking and movement
  8. Feelings of worthlessness
  9. Thoughts of ending your life

Why do I feel this way?

Depression is a result of chemical imbalance (low serotonin, for example) in your brain. If you have a family member with depression or any mood disorder, this also increases your risk. Other factors such as your personality, previous experiences and current stress might contribute too.

medications - for life?

Contrary to what many people believe, you do not get dependent on anti-depressant medication.

They do not contain any sleeping pill component and thus you do not have to be worried about being dependent on the medications.In fact, some antidepressants improve your sleep without the need for you to start on sleeping pills.

Taking medication for depression is like taking a course of antibiotics. It is not advisable to stop the medication prematurely – discuss with your psychiatrist on a suitable time to tail off the medications. Many people recover from the episode of depression and can be medication free.

Can I get well again?

Patients from all walks of life have received treatment and recovered.

The goals of treatment are to eliminate the symptoms of depression and to return to your work and normal social or family life. Treatment can include medication and psychological/family therapy.

Talk to your psychiatrist about the treatment options and make a choice to improve your quality of life now.