Depression

What is depression?
Depression is a mental state characterized by negativity, self-pity, sadness, lack of interest in day to day activities etc. Depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. Your relationships, lifestyle and coping skills matter a lot. Depression occurs in different forms. It may be mild, severe, seasonal, or in extreme cases, people may contemplate committing suicide, in which case, expert advice and treatment is a must.

Causes of depression

  • Divorce, relationship problems.
  • Loss of job.
  • Chronic or terminal illnesses.
  • Loss of a loved one.
  • Fear of losing a loved one to chronic or terminal illness.
  • In-laws/relatives with a negative attitude towards you.
  • Post-partum depression
  • Hormonal changes during PMS, miscarriage, pregnancy, menopause in women.
  • Financial problems
  • Issues like divorce, loss of a loved one, relationship problems

The people involved have to face a range of emotions: anger, sorrow, frustration, bitterness, insecurity about the future and a question “Why Me?” . Feeling of low self-esteem, betrayal and reluctance to mingle with people persist after a divorce, loss of job, loss of a loved one etc. This is when depression creeps in, as the same thoughts keep recurring in your mind.

How to cope:

  • First and foremost, release pent up emotions. Its absolutely okay to cry, scream, speak to someone about your feelings and emotions.
  • Take long walks outside, mingle with friends and like minded people who can empathize.
  • If possible, speak with someone who has faced a similar situation and has overcome depression.
  • Its okay to speak with a professional counselor. A counselor will not judge your character.
  • Join support groups. Many churches and social service NGOs offer support.
  • Finding help lets you move past your problems.
  • Taking initiative to find help is a sign of strength.

Financial problems
Debt, low income, being compelled to live frugally etc. trigger anxiety and depression. Turn in to friends, senior persons in the family or a financial counselor/advisor for proper money management tips. Decide your financial priorities. Worrying will not solve your problems. You can even chat with online financial counselors of repute.

Mother-in-law issues
A mother who brings up her son lovingly feels insecure when a new woman enters his life. She feels that she may no longer be important to her son. This may cause her to find faults in her daughter-in-law to degrade her in front of her son and relatives. Any relation needs time to grow strong. Being a daughter-in-law treat your mother-in-law well, not in a subdued manner, but confidently. Showing fear enables anybody to control you. Listen to her. In certain areas, she is more experienced than you. Acknowledge this fact and take tips from her for issues like planning your monthly budget, caring for babies etc. That way, she feels important and won’t try to subdue you by finding faults.

In case of persistent nagging, ignore comments by going away to some other room. Continually ignoring comments will put an end to nagging, as the person will feel that her motive is not being achieved. The most common mistake is to retaliate and shout back as the argument will never end. Don’t think, “why should I ignore and keep quiet” Do it as it is a sure shot remedy for nagging. At the same time, do not show any kind of disrespect in any way. Just IGNORE COMMENTS.
Treat her as you would like her to treat you.

Never complain to your husband. Show him that you care for your mother-in-law. Do not expect him to correct his mother as husbands prefer to stay out of this even if they don’t say so. Assure him, all will be well soon.

Share this problem with friends. If your own parents are not very sensitive and overly protective of you, you can share it with them, else they may worry and make matters worse.

Daughter-in-law issues
A daughter-in-law may have had wrong notions about her mother-in-law before marriage, possibly triggered by her own mother, out of concern, or by some friends/neighbors who have had bad experiences. So she misbehaves with her mother-in-law to show her authority and prevent any form of harassment in future.Being a mother-in-law, treat your daughter-in-law well and gain her confidence and trust. Donot force your views on her. Wait for some time before giving advice unless she asks for it. Treat her like you would like her to treat you.

Dos and Don’ts
This is a very delicate relationship and needs time to mature. A confident smile, listening attitude, taking care when ill and lots of patience will help in the long run.

Avoid arguments and counter accusations. Take deep breaths and count till 100.Do not stop till you have finished counting.That will calm you down for the moment. Then go to some other place in the house.

Do not hesitate to seek legal advice or help from a counselor if there are issues of physical harassment. Remember you have just one life and it is a sin to keep quiet and suffer for the whole of this life.

Terminal illness and depression
In terminally ill patients, depression is treated by a combination of psycho therapeutic intervention, cognitive approaches, and behavioral interventions. Friends and family play a great role in providing emotional support. Counseling helps these patients to realize coping strategies. Counselors can be family members, friends, social workers, clergy etc. The best person to speak about handling depression in terminally ill would be their physician, health care provider or psychiatrist.

Hormonal changes in women

  • Post partum depression : New moms face this kind of depression. Researchers feel this happens due to hormonal changes before and after pregnancy. New moms feel restless, anxious, fatigued and worthless. Some get nightmares and feel no one loves and understands them. Fights with husbands are commonplace. Some worry they will hurt themselves or their babies. The best person to confide in is your health care provider. Medicine and talk therapy can help you get well. Eat well, listen to your favorite music. Ask close friends to visit you, esp. those who have had babies.Postpartum depression takes some time to go away completely. So don’t feel irritated if your symptoms come and go. Just keep doing what is suggested above.
  • Premenstrual syndrome and Menopause: Research shows that low serotonin levels trigger mood swings and depression during during PMS and Menopause. For this, changes in diet, mild forms of exercise, relaxation techniques and breathing help combat depression.

Seeking professional and medical help
If depression is chronic, you are getting suicidal thoughts and physical problems like migraine, increased heart beats etc.
seek immediate help from a medical practitioner/psychiatrist. Appropriate treatment by good medical practitioners can get you out of depression completely. For depression treatment centers in Indian cities like Mumbai, visit justdial.com

General rule of the thumb
When you are depressed stay away from anything that will make you even more depressed like crime news,
negative people who gossip, junk food, carbonated drinks, tea, coffee etc.

You can spend your entire life blaming a host of things/people for your depression or you can choose to live and learn
from this experience and create a new beginning. The choice is in your hands.