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Understanding Depression

ARTICLES ON DEPRESSION

Avatar Sep 25 2021 8:37PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Narrative: There is no point in suffering with so much pain and distress

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A person affected with depression can recover with appropriate treatment or therapy

 

 

Nitin, 16, a hardworking and intelligent boy, lives with his parents in Bangalore. Nitin also enjoys playing cricket and has represented his school in several inter-school cricket matches. He was in the 10th standard when he was affected with depressive disorder. Here is a narration of Nitin's story:

It all started when I was an adolescent. I starting losing interest in studies although there was no pressure either from the family or from school. It was very difficult to concentrate on my studies because I had lost interest in them and was also feeling tired and weak on most days

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Avatar Sep 25 2021 8:32PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Narrative: I couldn’t understand my sister’s unpredictable behavior

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I did not know about bipolar disorder until my sister was diagnosed with it. My sister completed her studies and went on to become a teacher. When she was about 24 years old, our family noticed a change in her behavior. She barely slept at night, and only up to five hours on the nights that she did. We could hear her all night, moving the furniture around in her room. On some days, we noticed that she spoke very fast and a lot of her words made no sense at all. She did not bathe for days and wore inappropriate clothes to school even though she knew that there was a dress code for teachers. There was a marked change in her behavior because she would become overly aggressive for no apparent reason. This was different from the sister I knew before all this started

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Avatar Sep 25 2021 8:27PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Depression Myths and Facts

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Myth: Depression is a weakness and not an illness.

Fact: Depression is not a weakness or laziness, but a serious mental health condition that is caused due to various reasons. Depression can affect anyone at any time in their life.

Myth: Malnutrition and poverty are not linked to depression.

Fact: Poor nutrition may be one of the causes of depression. Carbohydrate-rich foods help in the production of chemicals such as serotonin and tryptophan that promote the feeling of wellbeing.

Myth: Depression runs in the family and people with depression should not get married.

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Avatar Sep 25 2021 8:21PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

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Kiran is 29 years old. She has two children - a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. Kiran feels extremely cranky and irritable when she is on her period. She's not able to concentrate on her work; she gets very anxious and tense about her deadlines, which she manages with ease during the rest of the month. She also feels very low and ends up crying about trivial matters. She feels guilty for getting angry at her children for no reason but feels helpless. Kiran's mood swings affect her social, personal, and professional life. When she considers seeing a psychologist, her husband says she’s ‘just PMSing'. When Kiran does meet a doctor, she finds that she has PMDD, and begins consulting a psychologist.

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Avatar Sep 25 2021 8:16PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Bipolar Disorder Myths and Facts

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Myth: Bipolar disorder is just another name for mood swings.

Fact: Mood swings are typical changes in mood when one is upset, angry, irritable, or feeling less motivated. They last for a short period of time. But the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are very different and extreme and can affect every aspect of a person's life and activities.

Myth: Bipolar disorder is a rare condition.

Fact: Bipolar disorder is not a rare mental disorder.

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Avatar Sep 25 2021 8:12PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Bipolar Disorder

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Raman, an IT professional shared this story: “My colleague behaves strangely sometimes. He becomes ecstatic for a moment, speaks continuously on random topics, or sometimes boasts of highly ambitious plans like owning a company and making millions of dollars. But after a few days, he becomes extremely quiet, does not interact with anyone or complete his work on time.

Once, when we were out for a team lunch, he threw the plate at the waiter because his order was not brought on time. We were shocked at his behaviour. Over time, his behaviour became unpredictable and it affected his work and relationship with colleagues. Eventually, he was asked to leave the organization.

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Avatar Sep 25 2021 7:56PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Depression in women

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Q What is depression in women?

A

Women go through several biological phases in their lives - puberty, pregnancy, motherhood, post menstrual phase and old age. Each stage can be overwhelming in its own way. In some cases, these stages may cause physical ailments that could persist for a long duration. Trying to cope with such ailments may affect the woman's mental health and lead to the development of depression or anxiety disorders. It is estimated that one in five women suffer from depression during some phase in their lives.

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Avatar Sep 25 2021 6:04PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

How should I tell my partner about Depression?

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Ritika Dhaliwal

1 in  6 people in India lives with depression. Going through depression can affect your relationship and this, in turn, can have an effect on the way you manage the depression. Strong and healthy relationships have the potential to help cope with the symptoms of depression. On the other hand, it can make it difficult to maintain supportive and fulfilling relationships.

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Avatar Sep 25 2021 5:52PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Geriatric Depression

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Sundar, a 60-year-old man began complaining about frequent body aches, though he was quite healthy. On some days, he would get irritated for no reason, throw tantrums and grumble at his family members. His son was worried about the sudden change in Sundar’s behavior. They consulted a psychiatrist and Sundar was diagnosed with depression..

This fictional narrative has been constructed to aid the understanding of this disorder by placing it in a real life situation.

Q

What is geriatric depression?

A

Geriatric depression (depression among the elderly) is rarely identified or treated

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Avatar Sep 25 2021 5:50PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Depression and anxiety in children and adolescents

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As a high achiever in school, Arshiya put pressure on herself to be the topper in her class. In her final year, she began getting anxious: Would she do well in the board exams? Would she get into a college of her choice? What if she did badly in the examinations? She was constantly feeling low, and had occasional thoughts of suicide. She was unable to focus on her studies, was constantly feeling tired and would complain of headaches.

When Arshiya’s parents sought help for her, the counselor helped them understand that Arshiya had built her entire sense of self on being academically excellent.

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Avatar Sep 24 2021 8:18PM
SOURCE: WHITE SWAN FOUNDATION

Depression and other mood disorders

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Depression

Q

What is depression?

A

Depression is a mood disorder with symptoms that affect a person's thoughts, feelings, behavior, and daily functioning. In some severe cases, it can also lead to thoughts of death or attempts at self-harm or suicide. 

Everyone experiences sadness during a period of grief or a stressful situation. In the case of depression these feelings persist over a long period (more than two weeks); can recur frequently; and disrupt a person’s daily life. Its diagnosis is made with careful consideration to commonly experienced feelings like sadness, along with other symptoms that characterize the illness.

Even though it is one of the most well-recognized disorders, it is still widely stigmatized.

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