Early 2020 saw the Covid-19 pandemic strike fast and furiously across the globe. Governments quickly imposed strict stay-at-home orders, nationwide lockdowns, and heavy restrictions on any form of social interaction, all designed to curb the spread of the deadly virus. The resulting fall out of such sweeping measures may take many years to repair, as months of stress, loneliness and isolation have had a huge impact on people emotionally.
Studies show that any major catastrophic event affects people psychologically, and over the last 18 months there has been a continued and marked increase in all types of mental health problems, including anxiety, substance abuse, addiction, and depression.
Affecting an estimated 300 million people, depression is the most-common mental disorder. It is thought to affect roughly one in six people at some point in their lifetime, and according to the World Health Organisation one of the world’s leading causes of disability.
Everyone has periods in their life when things feel difficult, or they feel down and blue, when these feelings last for an extended period, it could be a sign of something more serious.
Described by the American Psychiatric Association as “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” Depression is characterised by a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which destroys the ability to act and live normally and engage in everyday activities.
Depression comes in many guises and types, major depressive, bipolar, post-partum, and persistent depressive disorder, to name just a few, and with symptoms ranging from relatively minor to severe. It hits indiscriminately and can have a negative influence in all areas of someone’s life – work, relationships, and physical wellbeing.
Depression can affect anyone, irrespective of age, race, or social class, and it can materialise at any time. Some people may suffer a depressive incident once, possibly as a response to a life-changing event or illness. Others may struggle with crippling depression throughout their lifetime.
It is believed that depression is often the consequence of a combination of factors rather than one single reason. Genetics, emotions, and situations will all play a part. Nevertheless, there are certain considerations that can leave someone more vulnerable to it.
Abuse – Physical, mental, or sexual abuse in childhood, or later as an adult can leave an individual prone to depression and other mental health conditions.
Trauma – Any traumatic event or series of events: death of a loved one, sexual or physical assault, war, divorce, losing a job or money worries, all cause the body and mind stress which in turn can trigger a depressive episode.
Genetics – A family history of depression and mental health illness does not guarantee that someone will struggle, however genes combined with environmental factors can increase the risk.
Loneliness and isolation – There are links between loneliness and depression. People with little or no social contact and support are at more risk of developing mental health problems and sufferers often cut themselves off from loved ones compounding the issue.
Serious illness – Being diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer or heart disease can lead to feelings of despair and powerlessness, also those dealing with chronic pain on a regular basis.
Medication – Certain drugs can have a negative effect on you emotionally. If you are taking any medication and you are feeling low, it is best to talk to your consultant or GP to see if that could be the cause.
Gender – Women are twice as likely to suffer with depression, it is thought that one in three women will experience some type of depression in their lifetime, possibly because of hormonal changes. Men are less likely to recognise the symptoms of depression or seek any treatment for it.
Substance abuse – This is the chicken and egg situation. Some people will self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to ward of the feelings and symptoms of depression; and using substances can lead to depression. Whichever comes first it is thought a third of individuals struggling with depression will also be misusing drugs or alcohol.
Here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for.
• Extreme or extended feeling of sadness, feeling tearful.
• Decline in interest with life, no motivation to engage in hobbies.
• Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, emptiness, or guilt.
• Loss or gain in weight, changes in appetite or eating habits.
• Changes in sleeping. Too much or too little, and insomnia.
• Withdrawing from family, friends, loved ones and social situations.
• Feeling more than usually irritable or angry.
• Thoughts of harming oneself or suicide.
This list is not exhaustive, and depression affects everyone differently. However, most medical professionals agree that if you experience one or more of these symptoms for longer than two weeks then it is worth getting it checked out as it could be a sign of an underlying condition.
Here at the luxury residential rehab centre in Ibiza, we have a team of highly qualified staff that are experienced in a range of therapies, to assist with the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. We are also able to offer transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on-site as a part of our wider treatment program.
TMS is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation therapy that has proved effective in the treatment of neurological and mental health conditions such as depression and general anxiety disorder.
For information on all the therapies available here at our rehab centre in Spain, and details on admissions contact firstname.lastname@example.org