What does depression feel like?

by | Jan 11, 2021

Human beings are full of emotions. These can be broadly described as affects, which are short-lived emotional responses to an idea or event.

The state of mind is a sustained affective response that we reflect and accompanies us most of the time. We assume that all the psychological and behavioral processes in our mind, whether normal or not, are due to their normal function or to disorders of brain function.

Depression is one of the most common disorders faced by healthcare professionals and surprisingly, it is also one of the leading causes of suicide and disability worldwide.

Every person has a different personality and therefore, different ways of managing their daily life. Some people are in a good mood, some are in a bad mood, others have a variable mood, and others reach states of rage. This state of mind or emotion is the consequence of a setback in any ordinary day, a loss or simply, as Freud said, “Everyday misery.” All of these are our response to environmental stimuli.

In this article, we will analyze depressive moods, the effects on our body and mind, and their repercussions on daily life.

What is a depressed mood?

Depression is a mood disorder in which generalized and persistent sadness prevails most of the time.
The common characteristics of all depressive disorders are: sadness, the feeling of internal emptiness, discouragement, apathy, reluctance, lack of motivation, irritability, frequent crying, loss of the ability to enjoy, accompanied by changes in ideation (pessimism) and in cognitive functions, which significantly affect the individual’s ability to function.

How does depression feel?

The reason this question is constantly being asked is that there is no set of particular feelings that one can experience when depressed, as everyone experiences it in a very particular way. It affects each person differently. Some feelings could be:

1. Hopelessness (no hope for the future)

Hopelessness is total exhaustion where we lose not only our energy and constantly feel tired, but the dreams, motivations, and illusions that we had in our life are turned off. We feel at the bottom of an abyss with no light of hope in sight, where feel that all is lost. Although we can sometimes pretend to be okay and hide this feeling, inside we are devastated.

2. Helplessness (now no help is possible)

We assume that we are a burden to the family. We don’t have the ability to think about anything. We begin to lose our sense of purpose and find ourselves struggling silently and alone, even when we are not. We feel like we are lost somewhere in the dark.

3. Uselessness (feeling of inferiority and inadequacy)

People who are depressed see themselves as deficient in the qualities that we value most in life: intelligence, achievement, popularity, attractiveness, health, strength, among others. We feel low self-esteem. We start to lose positive qualities and emotions.

4. Physical symptoms

The physical symptoms of depression can be numerous. Some of them are:
– Heaviness of head
– Body pain
– Reduced energy and interest
– Fatigue
– Loss of appetite
– Loss of sexual drive
– Insomnia or hypersomnia almost every night
– Significant weight loss or gain

5. Psychotic characteristics

When a depressive disorder is very severe ,symptoms appear that prevent us from continuing in contact and within what we call reality. These characteristics can also be varied:
– Auditory or visual hallucinations
– Inappropriate behavior
– Stupor
– Delusional guilt
– End of the world ideas, nihilists
– Self-harm thoughts

Friends, family and doctors should always take with caution the states of depression, even more so when suicidal ideas are perceived.

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What Causes Depression?

Depression is considered to be caused by multiple causes that are well understood in the biological, psychological and social (biopsychosocial) model; the three defining components of the human being.

A. Biological theory

1. Genetic basis and family history
2. Decreased serotonin or adrenaline in the brain
3. Hypersecretion of cortisol
4. Chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, cancer, chronic pain, etc.

B. Psychological theory.

1. Fixation on the oral phase of psychosexual development
2. Negative cognition and learned helplessness

C. Social factors

1. Stressful events
2. Relationship with family, friends, religion, beliefs, taboos

How can you help a depressed person?

As a friend, family member, or close friend, if you want to help someone with depression, don’t encourage them with advice that is more counterproductive than supportive, such as:

“Don’t worry, it’s alright”
“Do your part, I’m sure you can do it yourself”
“Look around you. There are many people who are sadder than you. They don’t even have food, and they still have work. You must feel lucky.”
“We all have to go through these situations” …

Instead of spilling false hope and sympathy, we should:

• Give them space
• Create a home and healthy environment
• Create a bonding relationship with friends to help them while they go to the doctor
• Help them with treatment
• Listen to them patiently
• Encourage them to carry out activities they are interested in

Education plays an important role in the treatment of depression. Providing accurate information and clarifying misconceptions about the illness to the family and the patient avoids painful stigmatization.

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