Anyone who has suffered from some form of mental health will know how bad it can be. Those who have been lucky enough not to have had any mental health issues will struggle to understand the problem. Additionally, mental health is as varied and diverse as anything can get.
Similarly, mental health-related problems can be brought on by a myriad of causes. Traumatic accidents, emotional abuse, substance abuse, congenital disabilities, genetics, and much more can be at the root of some peoples’ problems.
Mental health problems can manifest in many ways. Depression is among the most common. Worryingly, depression is thought only to be diagnosed in 25% of those who see their doctor. This means millions of people are battling depression and they may not even know it.
Depression, like many other mental health problems, is more than just one or a particular set of symptoms. Depression can result in opposites in the mood. For example, suffers can be overly happy and ecstatic (manic) and then suddenly down in the dumps and gloomy (depressed). Anger outburst disproportionate to the cause can also be a tell tale sign.
Anxiety, nervousness, feelings of guilt, social anxiety, and much more can all be symptoms of depression. This is what makes it so hard to identify in some cases. The biggest misconception is that depressed people are miserable and unhappy all the time. This simply is not the case, and the general public needs to take careful note of this.
Undiagnosed depression is thought to be the leading cause of suicide between the ages of 18 and 31 in the United States of America. Unfortunately, there seems to be a stigma associated with going on ‘the happy pills.’ This reference is a terrible misnomer if we ever did see one. They are simply not designed to make you happy.
They are intended to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects neurotransmitters. When these chemicals aren’t present, your brain will not transmit messages as useful as it needs to. This results in abnormal mood patterns and brain dysfunction.
Left untreated, this type of dysfunction can cause lasting damage to the brain. But, in most cases, it is entirely reversible following treatment with antidepressants. Imagine you own a car. Everything is fine with it except the engine misfires every once in a while. You take it to the garage, and you’re told the spark plugs are dirty. Once you clean the spark plugs, does the fuel burns better and your car runs like a charm.
This car example is kind of like your brain. When you’re depressed, electrical impulses aren’t being transmitted correctly, making you sad, anxious, angry. Taking medication corrects this, restoring the spark plug/your brain to former glory.