Mild Depression Symptoms and Treatment
Mild depression is characterized by a group of symptoms which include sadness, sleep disturbances (insomnia most often), appetite disorders, mood disorders associated with irritability and a decline in interest in daily activities.
But these symptoms are not as severe as Major depressive disorder: also known as recurrent depressive disorder, clinical depression, or major depression. They usually last just a few days, a week or two at most. The return to more optimistic feelings is usually rapid. Beyond two weeks of mild depression, the condition becomes a clinical depressive disorder, and requires medical treatment.
Risks and Factors
The main risk of the disease is to evolve in major depressive disorder which is increased by certain factors: living alone, widowhood, divorce/separation, and others. Unlike what most people think, mild depression is a real illness that must be treated properly to avoid complications. It is therefore important to understand that even if the manifestations of the disorder are not severe, they should not be taken lightly. Clinical depression is the leading cause of suicide: nearly 70% of people who commit suicide suffer from depression, often undiagnosed or untreated.
Common triggers of mild depression symptoms are personal and social dramas: financial hardship, loss of a loved one, war, layoffs, painful separation, car accident, and others. These events tend to lead to transient or mild depressive symptoms, which attenuate rapidly to disappear with personal resources and support or the disappearance of the situation. Mood usually returns to normal instants after the problem is solved.
Depression affects everyone at one time or another, as long as one is facing an unfortunate event. As they say, moments of “blues” and doubt are part of the maturation process. You need to face the disorder and get rid of it.
Depressive symptoms frequently occur in periods of overwork; this causes anxiety, stress and nervous exhaustion: emotional disorder that leaves you exhausted and unable to do normal things of life.
Certain diseases are also triggers of mild depression: asthenia (loss or lack of bodily strength) after seasonal viral infection, anemia, kidney failure, hypothyroidism and others. In fact, it is estimated that about 20% of people who have poor health are at triple risk of experiencing an episode of depression. The symptoms tend to persist as long as these causes are not addressed or stopped/treated.
Mild Depression Symptoms
The manifestations of mild depression are similar to major clinical disorder but with less intensity and duration, usually less than two weeks. Most common mild depression symptoms include:
- Seclusion or decreased social activities
- sleep disorders: insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, nocturnal awakenings
- sadness associated with mild anxiety
- loss of appetite or bulimic behavior
- trouble concentrating
- fatigue or lack of energy
- mild irritability
- feeling of guilt
- Poor self-esteem.
However, this condition does not prevent you from enjoying the pleasures of life and happy events unlike in the case of major depression. You still love to be comforted by friends and family and to project into the future without too negative anticipation. In other words, you feel depressed, but you are still confident that the problem is temporary and less serious. However, mild depression symptoms should not be overlooked; this can lead to complications and, possibly, suicide.
Mild Depression Treatment
In most cases, it is not necessary to get hospitalized or even see a psychiatrist, given the disorder tends to be transit, and often quickly goes away on its own. Instead, it is better to reflect on the causes of the disorder and take necessary steps to remediate them if possible.
However, the persistence of this state for more than two weeks or its regular repetition (whether legitimate reasons or not) requires a prompt consultation by a medical specialist. In case the disorder requires medical treatment, the following therapies can be recommended:
Exercise Program – regardless you are undergoing medical treatment or not, regular exercise should be a must in your fight against depression symptoms. No need to go crazy; regular simple exercise program is sufficient to help you get rid of the disorder. It is better to get involved in some aerobic exercises like brisk walking, swimming, jogging, dancing, and others. Depending on your health status or preference, you may also get involved in formal exercise programs which may consist of several sessions per week for 10 – 12 weeks.
Healthy Diet – It is very important to eat a healthy diet containing plenty of anti-depression foods. For more info, visit Anti-Depressant Foods and Supplements
Specific Counseling – in some case, mostly if you are depressed due to a specific circumstance, counseling can be necessary. For instance, if the reason of your mild depression is related to marital problems, abuse, death of a loved one, or sexual problems, you may be recommended some sessions with a counselor to help you deal with the problem, and if possible, solve it.
Talk Therapy – although sound similar, talk therapy is different from counseling sessions. During this therapy, you will be asked to talk about your feelings to a health professional or sometimes to a close friend or family member. It is found that just sharing their thoughts with a trustworthy person depressed people start feeling better without taking any medication. By the end of the therapy, they learn several self-help programs which can help them treat the depression.
Antidepressant Drugs – taking antidepressants are quite common in the treatment of moderate or serious depression. However, it is not recommended to take drugs for a mild depression; they can cause more health issues than the depressive disorder itself. Nevertheless, in certain cases, certain physicians may prescribe antidepressants medications to their patients who suffer from mild depression. This happens mostly when the other treatment measures are not effective in curing the disease or in case the patient has a history of moderate or severe depression in the past.