What is depression?

depressionWe’re all a little sad sometimes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re depressed. How can you tell when you’re depressed and you’re more than just “a little sad?” Sometimes years and years of stress and low self-esteem can have a larger impact on you than you know, and you become depressed. Read more about depression in this article.

Feelings of sadness usually pass within hours or days, but when you suffer from depression, it can have a much larger impact to your life. It interferes with sleep, eating, and enjoying the things you used to enjoy so much. Depression, although common, is a very serious illness. Depression is real and impacts the brain: it’s a medical illness that affects how you feel, think, and act. It’s not all in your head! In fact, scientists believe that depression is the result of a combination of a change in hormone levels, genetics, medical conditions, and your surroundings. Depression occurs in at least 21 percent of women in the U.S and in 12 percent of men in the U.S.

Different kinds of depression

Depression is a disorder that is pretty difficult to pin down, because there are several forms of depressive disorders. You could have seasonal affective disorder or major depression. It’s not fair to confine yourself to just the general category of “depression.” It’s best to find out what kind of depression you suffer from, so that you know how to treat it more effectively. Forms of depression are:

Major Depression: When depression is starting to interfere with sleep, eating, working, and enjoying life in general, you know it’s bad. This falls under “major depression,” and more people than you think suffer from it. An episode of major depression could happen only once, but most of the time you’ll have several episodes.

Persistent Depressive Disorder: Have you ever felt sad and down? Sure you have. Have you ever been in a depressed mood for at least 2 years, though? If so, you probably suffer from “Persistent Depressive Disorder.” There are a couple of subcategories to this condition, so read on.

  • When you have severe depression symptoms in combination with a form of psychosis, you suffer from “psychotic depression.” Symptoms of “psychotic depression” include delusions and hallucinations.
  • When you give birth to a baby, your body releases extra “happy” hormones so that you’ll feel euphoric for a while after you have the baby. This is all fine and dandy, but you won’t always have these extra hormones. When they wear off, you could have the “baby blues.” It could, however, turn into “postpartum depression.” That’s much worse than a simple “baby blues”: the hormonal changes become really overwhelming, and you become depressed. “Postpartum depression” can get dangerous when the depression turns on a person, causing them to act out violently towards themselves or their newborn.
  • When we get less sunlight, we can become depressed. This change in our mood is most likely caused by “seasonal affective disorder” (or SAD). It’s a seasonal depression that can be treated with light therapy and medication.

Symptoms of depression

Depression affects behavior, as well as emotions and thought. Your overall psychical health is at stake when you suffer from it. Most people with depression suffer from at least a couple of these symptoms associated with depression below:

  • A general feeling of sadness, feeling hopeless or even feeling excessively guilty. You could be easily irritated, have angry outbursts, or a loss of interest in family and activities that you used to like. Depression can also cause a significant change in libido.
  • Where it used to be easy for you to cut to the chase, it’s grown to be more difficult as depression hit you. Depression affects concentration, and this, in turn, could make it difficult to make decisions or remember things. This serious mental and medical illness can give you hallucinations and make you think about harming yourself (or people around you).
  • Withdrawing from people is common for those who suffer from this illness. It’s also not unheard of that people with depression intentionally miss work or school. Substance abuse, although extreme, is also common.
  • Depression can not only affect your mind, but your body as well. You could feel tired, have unexplained pains, lose or gain a significant amount of weight, or sleep a lot more or little than you used to.

Treating depression

Don’t worry! Depression is not untreatable. In fact, when you notice that you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, we urge you to talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Medication is very useful when it comes to treating depression, and a doctor could rule out any other medical conditions that might be linked with the symptoms you are experiencing. A doctor will not prescribe you with medication right away, for you must first undergo a psychological evaluation. This is done by a mental health professional. This professional will determine what kind of depression you suffer from and what should be the proper treatment for you.


Article written by: MirandaTempelman
Times read: 2175x
Added: 29-11-2015 18:50
Last modified: 13-12-2015 22:14

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