With the increasing rate of diagnosis of depression and suicide rates, it really feels as if depression is no longer what we used to know it to be. The question then becomes, has depression evolved and do we have the interventions to handle it?
Depression has evolved: Hippocrate versus Millennials
The truth is, depression has not changed, the symptoms that were experienced by those that existed before us are the very same ones we experience today. Nonetheless, the concept of depression has been molded over time in a bid to understand the complexity of it. Its definition goes as far back as the 240-370 BCE; today, WHO describes depression as an ongoing or recurring sadness and lack of interest and pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyed. When comparing depressive symptoms or states from the time of Hippocratesto today, it is evident that the symptoms of depression have remained the same but what is different is how people experience or go through it. Whilst some may start doing drugs to alleviate depressive symptoms, others may over or under eat.
What then makes it seem as if this generation is experiencing a different strand of depression? Back in the day, the formula was: go to school, work hard, get a job, and settle down and be happy. Today, that formula does not work; millennials have found themselves going to school and working hard but not getting the job they desire or not getting a job at all. Studies have suggested that work-related circumstances push millennials into a further depressive state, the situation is so bad that a lot of millennials have quit their jobs because of mental health related issues. Frustrations, such as the one mentioned above, has led this generation of millennials to see their mental health decline at a faster rate than the generation before.
Do we need new interventions?
Due to low wages and high living expenses, it is difficult for millennials experiencing depression to access adequate mental health. This means that this generation is not financially able to fend for themselves in terms of getting the correct interventions to alleviate depression. What then does one do when they are caught up in such a situation? If you are experiencing relatively mild symptoms of depression, which means your symptoms do not affect your daily functioning, you can visit Aware to help you cope with life stressors. But if you are experiencing more severe symptoms, such as feeling like harming yourself, text “hello” to 50808 and there will be a person on the other end of the line to assist you.
Keeping afloat is extremely important at this time because we are more isolated now more than ever. Depression can slowly creep in when we are not paying attention to our emotions and thoughts and addressing them accordingly. One way of keeping tabs on our mental health is journaling. When we write our feelings or thoughts down, we are able to take a step back to assess and evaluate them. This helps us to see our thinking pattern and also we can always use it as reference to see any progress we have made mentally and emotionally.
Not everyone though likes journaling, some people prefer using apps to assess or keep their emotions and thoughts in check. Applications, such as Healthy Mind, are brilliant when you are bothered by something and need expert advice. Another great app is Moodfit, this app has almost everything in it, whether you need to journal, or meditate or take breathing exercises or restructure your thinking, it will assist you in almost everything that affects your mental health, including setting your goals and taking medication.
There are a lot of other options to explore out there, just find what will work best for you. During these uncertain times, it is important now, more than ever, to take care of your mental health because we can not see friends or family members as often as we would like and things like depression strive in isolation