BY ANDREW ALPIN
Depression is one of the most traumatic mental disorders associated with anguish, guilt and a host of emotional problems. Around the world approximately 350 million people are afflicted with depression regardless of age and boundaries. According to WHO, depression will become the second highest cause for disability in the world by 2030. The first being HIV.In order to help those with depression and gain considerable insight on this painful condition that brings much anguish to individuals and families, here are 10 facts about depression every person needs to know.
1Women are prone to suffer from depression twice as much than men
Women are twice more likely to suffer from depression over men as their genetic disposition leans towards the risk of the condition. In comparison to men, women’s hormonal levels are constantly fluctuating due to childbirth, pregnancy and menopause. According to the American Psychological Association, in comparison to earlier statistics, the current rate of physical and sexual abuse faced by women is much higher contributing majorly to depression. Colored woman are at higher risk of depression than Caucasian women because of racial discrimination, low income, unemployment and uneducation.
2Depression makes people dream more than they normally should
Psychologists in the seventies found that depression victims dreamed more than the average individual. Even the natures of dreams were intriguing and emotionally intense. Nightmares and dreams with a negative theme were also associated with conditions of insomnia and low deep sleep; As such depression victims featured a low quality of sleep waking to a sensation of exhaustion and tiredness.
4Psilocybin can be used as a treatment for depression
Psilocybin, the main ingredient of magic mushrooms or psychedelic mushrooms can help treat depression by stimulating the growth of new brain cells. They could be used in treatments of PTSD and depression. Researchers induce intense psychedelic trips in 12 human subjects with high doses of psilocybin. They were all free from depression in a week. 3 months of treatment cured 5 of the 12 subjects completely from depression. According to scientists involved in the research, subjects received a sort of awakening akin to spiritual enlightenment to become more positive.
5Breast feeding reduces the risk of depression by 50%
As per a study involving 14,000 new mothers, breastfeed babies reduce their risk of contracting post natal depression by 50%. As per data from WHO, 1 in 10 women develop depression after delivering a child. According to senior parenting advisor at charity NCT Rosemary Dodds “Mothers often experience pressures after the birth such as pain, shortage of sleep and anxiety. Breastfeeding can help to relax mothers and reduce stress, so it might play a part in preventing mental health issues developing’.
Studies have found a direct link between mood of mother and child and experts advocate further research into this subject.
There is a link between cat bite and depression
Among facts about depression, researchers found that in 1.3 million records of people collected over 10 years, there was a link between cat bite and depression. 41% of people who showed up at a medical facility for cat bite also required treatment for depression. 86% of them were women. Researchers found that depressed people showed a liking towards cats and as such their behavior put them at risk of cat bite. Several animals responded to owners mannerisms in different ways.
7Ayahuasca, a Brazilian drink is known to have the potential to treat depression
Ayahuasca a psychedelic drink found in Brazil has been researched by studies for its depression treating properties. In a study involving six people, researchers found that the drink reduced levels of depression within a few hours and its effects lasted for weeks. It’s most likely that Ayahuasca contains compounds that alter serotonin in the brain in the same manner as anti depressants.
8Studies proved that spirituality and religion protects against depression
A study at the Columbian university shows that spirituality and religion protects against depression by thickening of the brain cortex. Professor Lisa Miller of the Columbia University revealed how meditation and spiritual practice was associated with this phenomenon by studying 103 adults with depression. It was found that among them, those who observed spiritual and religious practice had a thicker brain cortex than those who didn’t. The areas of thickening were in the same areas of those who had thin cortices and who didn’t observe any form of religion.
Comedians are usually more depressed than others
Who would have thought funny man Robin Williams would take his own life. Research at Oxford University found an unfortunate truth from questionnaires filled in by 523 comedians (404 men and 119 women) to evaluate their psychological traits. The volunteers were from the US, UK and Australia. This is what professor Gordon Claridge from Oxford University’s experimental psychology department had to say after the evaluation “On the one hand, they were rather introverted, depressive, rather schizoid, you might say. And on the other hand, they were rather extroverted and manic. Possibly the comedy – the extroverted side – is a way of dealing with the depressive side. Of course, this is not true of all comedians.” Some experts feel that the ability of making people laugh and incite laughter stemmed from the individuals own efforts to deal with inner conflict and turmoil.
10Those that spend more time on the internet were more likely to be depressed
As per studies it was found that among facts about depression, those who spent long hours on the internet were possibly introverted, alone and at greater risk of being mentally unstable and suffering from depression. It was also observed that the more people used social media the more the likely they suffered from depression. As per Sara Thome the lead author of one such study ‘’It was easy to spend more time than planned at the computer (e.g., working, gaming, or chatting), and this tended to lead to time pressure, neglect of other activities and personal needs (such as social interaction, sleep, physical activity), as well as bad ergonomics, and mental overload.”