The Anxiety and Depression Association of America revealed some alarming statistics as per the year 2017. The results need to be acknowledged and all relevant preventive steps in that regard should be taken. According to the ADAA, about 16.1 million Americans suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. The women being more vulnerable than men. Among the affected population, 6.7% constitute people who belong to the age group 18 or older.
These statistics surely paint a very unfortunate picture. Depression is on the rise not only in the USA but throughout the world. The worst part is that people often do not realize that they are inflicted with the condition. Failing to recognize only worsens the problem than solving it.
The effects of depression
The discussion of this article is going to be centred around the effects of depression. Sounds pretty straightforward right? However, there is one other side we need to consider and acknowledge. For certain, there are some textbook symptoms of depression. That mainly include mood disruption, nervous breakdowns, loss of appetite etc. There is no denying in any of these symptoms as they are likely to be present in anyone who suffers from the condition.
On the other hand, there are some other effects of depression we normally never talk about. There is not much research available on these effects which leads to a general air of unawareness. To make matters even worse, people don’t really know how to even cope with some of these consequences.
Let us now look into some of the effects of depression that are rarely talked about.
A negative effect on relationships
It is a very unfortunate reality. People who become a victim of chronic depression find their relationships to be affected because of the condition. In a study conducted, it was found that depression becomes one major reason for breaking away of ties in a relationship.
It is reasonable to infer how the illness may truly have an impact. People who suffer from the condition feel emotionally drained. They may feel that they are not loved and are utterly alone in this world. On the flip side of it, they may also find it extremely hard to reciprocate the love in a relationship. Together this leads to a deadlock situation.
A person suffering from chronic depression may find no reason to put in any type of emotional investment. That is not something he/she does it on purpose. The thought-pattern during the illness may work in such a way as to inculcate this belief in the person’s mind. In addition, depression can also severely affect the sexual life of the two partners. It leads to lower levels of testosterone which can impact the sex drive. There may be no feeling of intimacy and closeness present. As a result of all of this, depression may make the person frustrated coupled with a strong feeling of loneliness.
Forcing the person to “quit”
One other effect of chronic depression that is rarely talked about is the loss of original identity. The illness can make the person lose his/her own self inducing a situation of crisis.
This loss of identity may come about when the condition forces the person to deviate from work he/she initially enjoyed. Let us first talk about how depression can ultimately lead the person to quit his/her“job.” It usually starts off with sick leave for a couple of days. The illness forces the person to bed, making him/her believe that there is no underlying purpose of continuing to work. In a later stage, it combines with other illnesses to worsen the problem. That is what psychiatrists would refer to as “hysteria.” The patient may feel that he/she is inflicted with some other illness that causes the sheer amount of discomfort. In fact, the real story is that depression is exhibiting its psychological symptoms in physical form.
If not forcing to take sick leave, depression can surely take away the motivation embedded within the job. Patients feel severely demotivated with the job they perform. It starts appearing monotonous and mundane with no interest attached to it whatsoever. This feeling of demotivation contributes to “quitting” what the person initially enjoyed.
Talking more about on the loss of interest, people suffering from chronic depression will often miss out on social gatherings. That usually happens due to two main reasons. Firstly, the condition creates a communication gap with the friends making it difficult to fulfil that void. In the second case, meetups can be difficult especially when depression combines with social anxiety. Collectively, chronically depressed people will avoid meetups altogether.
Guilt and Overthinking
If a person suffers from depression alongside anxiety disorder, these two things are likely to be exhibited. The mind starts swirling around a range of thoughts that may put the person in a vicious cycle. These thoughts are mostly embedded with negativity leading to a total feeling of disarray.
Guilt in depression makes a person regret whatsoever had happened in the past. This, as a result, would make him/her undo that particular thing as to get out of this feeling of negativity. Guilt can account for self-loathing and feeling undervalued. This combined with overthinking can be painful to deal with.
Take for example, a house party you missed for new year. Now your brain will lead you to think that it is entirely your fault. You could have compromised and visited regardless. Now, what if your friends start hating you as a consequence of this? Will you be left all alone for not visiting the new year party?
This is one simplistic glance of how overthinking and guilt works in depression. Its not just about one party you missed. It can encompass a whole range of other things, be it refusing to do homework at night. Even the negative thoughts can center around the most trivial of the aspects like not taking out your dog for a walk. Blaming your own self that stems from depression and anxiety is referred to as “gaslighting.”
Feeling a lot frustrated
The above three effects do give you somewhat a clear picture of how depression feels like. Imagine experience all of those effects. What happens as a result? You feel utterly frustrated with yourself. That is what ultimately happens with patients suffering from chronic depression.
Frustration, in the wider scheme of things, means unable to fulfill your day to day objectives. You had something planned in your mind that you wanted to achieve. But then your depression stuck in and drained you of all the motivation you initially had. What is the final result? That work remains incomplete making you feel severely frustrated.
Even the recovery process of depression can also be frustrating for the patient. Being on medications for long periods of time, visiting therapist on regular intervals, and finally nerve-wrecking mood swings. The recovering stage of depression can surely induce such a feeling of frustration.