J K Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, often says, “I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s there to be ashamed of? I went through a really tough time and I am proud that I got out of that.” Depression can give you a really tough time. It is up to you how you come out of it.
A common myth is, “Depression is a flaw in the character and a lifestyle choice. It shows a lack of willpower and people should just ‘snap out of it’.”
Eminent Psychiatrist Dr. Devendra Save clarifies the myth as follows:
Research shows that depression has nothing to do with being lazy or weak. It results from changes in brain chemistry or brain function.
What is depression?
Stress is something, which is inevitable and is experienced by almost everyone in metropolitan cities. It results in an effect on the body. When stress hits us, the vulnerable parts of our body manifest in the form of a disorder. Asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure), depression etc are/can be effects of stress.
We need to understand that depression is just a disorder as much as any other physical illness that can be caused with or without stress.
We have three neurotransmitters that are released in our brain.
- SEROTONIN: makes our thoughts slip away from our grip. Especially negative thoughts.
- NOREPINEPHRINE: deficit of which takes our energy away. .
- DOPAMINE: when reduced in certain parts of the brain takes our motivation and happiness away.
And this is what exactly happens in depression. As a result of neurotransmitter reduction, one may feel low, hopeless and guilty. There are general discontent, mood swings, change in behavior, excessive sleep or difficulty in sleeping, lack of concentration, thoughts of suicide, etc.