After a slew of celebrity confessions and shocking suicide cases, you need to know this about depression

While actresses Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma have spoken about it, a multi-layered approach is required to dealing with a sensitive medical condition like depression.

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Everybody has not-so-happy life stories to tell. And rightly so; it’s only natural to feel low when something terrible happens (from a heartbreak to failing an exam, for instance). However, if your low mood continues over a long period of time, it’s about time you paid attention. You may be experiencing clinical depression. Yes, it sounds like it would never happen to you but the fact is that depression can hit just about anybody.

After the sudden demise of TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee, who ended up taking her own life due to an alleged state of stress and depression, the spotlight is once again back on the mental condition. Soon after the news broke, Karan Johar posted a message on social media about the incident being yet another wake-up call for families that don’t consider depression a medical condition.

The condition received much attention last year in January, with one of Bollywood’s most sought-after actors, Deepika Padukone, opening up about her battle with the condition.

 Even in this day and age of information, we talk about all kinds of ailments, but this–probably one of the deadliest mental disorders–is shunned away and is considered to be a stigma.

According to the World Health Organisation, depression will be the most widespread epidemic within the next few years.

Here are some of the symptoms you need to look out for, if you think a loved one could be in the ambit of this mental disorder:

” Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight
” Sleeping much more or much less than usual
” Extreme restlessness or lack of movement noticed by others
” Frequent thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plan, attempted suicide
” Feeling hopeless
” Feeling really tired or lacking energy

While a psychologist and counselor would be your best bet, some of the most common methods of treatment used for dealing and managing depression are as follows:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy used to treat depression works on an assumption that a person’s mood is directly related to his or her patterns of thought. Clinical psychologists work accordingly, and over a few sessions are able to treat the patient.

Psychotherapy: Talk therapy works towards lifting one’s mood and helps patients with depression improve coping skills.

Depression Medicines: In severe cases, medicines come to rescue. Some antidepressants can fight the condition and calm the patient.

Also read: Deepika Padukone is doing her bit to promote mental well-being in the country

In addition to psychotherapy and medication, treatment can also be tailored to the prevalence of a few symptoms. However, you can help a depressed person by convincing them to indulge in activities that will help fight negative feelings. Below are some of the ways you can help out a person suffering from depression.

  1. Laugh a lot: Watch a funny movie or talk to someone who makes you laugh. Exposing yourself to things that make you happy is an important part of feeling better.
  2. Talk it out: Talking to people you can trust about your feelings and concerns, will make you feel better. Sharing your feelings with someone else can make you feel like a weight has been lifted off your chest.
  3. Start exercising: The feel-good chemicals that are released (endorphins) during a workout may also have a positive impact on people with depression.
  4. Relax: Take out some ‘me’ time. Practice meditation and breathing exercises to calm yourself.
  5. Try something new: When you’re depressed, you’re in a rut. So, pushing yourself to do something different is a good idea. You can go to a museum, purchase a book and read it or just enroll in a dance class.
  6. Sleep well: Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try not to just take a nap, but have a sound 8-9 hour sleep.
  7. Socialise more: Get out in the social circuit and mingle with people, it will help you feel much better.

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