What Is Depression, and How Do You Recognize It?
Why do I feel so down?
- What is depression : The definition of depression is feelings of severe despondency and dejection. It comes down to a lot more than this. Depression iso a common treatable mental illness, often coupled with feelings of anxiety.
- What are the symptoms of depression?
- Persistent feelings of sadness, low energy, and hopelessness.
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and hopelessness.
- Loss of interest in normal life activities such as work, hobbies, or spending time with friends and family
- Feelings of anxiety.
- Difficulty sleeping, or staying asleep .
- Unexplainable aches and pains such as headache, back pain, digestive problems.
- Irritability and anger
This is not an exhaustive list by these are the most prevalent signs. When symptoms persist for over 2 weeks it is considered clinical depression. Many times a person doesn't even know they are depressed, they've forgotten what it feels like to be happy.
Different types of depression :
- Major Depression : Having symptoms of depression most of the day nearly every day for more than 2 weeks. It interferes with your ability to go about normal life at work and at home, even disrupts your eating.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder: Symptoms of depression continue for over 2 years. You may go in and out of major depressions during this period.
- Perinatal Depression : Depressive episodes during or after pregnancy
- Seasonal Affective Disorder: Comes in late fall or early winter, going away during spring and summer.
What causes Depression
- Depression is caused by a mix of genetics, environmental and psychological factors.
- Women have depression more often then men.
- Men when depressed are likely to be irritable and angry. Men are much less likely to seek help for depression.
- Younger children with depression may fake sick to get out of school, cling to a parent worrying they might die.
Potential triggers of a depressive episode are death of a loved one, divorce, traumatic events,hormone changes and addictive behaviors.
- The NIMH says that treatment for depression involves medication and possibly psychotherapy.
- There is also the option of brain stimulation therapy.
- If a person starts taking depression medicines they must be closely watched for the first few weeks. It may have the opposite effect and make the patient's symptoms worse.
- If you know someone who is depressed the best thing you can do is fully support them. Love and kindness goes a long way. You should never ignore comments about suicide and immediately try to get them to talk to their doctor.
Cognitive Behavioral therapy
On my last note I want to mention CBT. CBT is one of the latest treatments for depression and it's having a lot of success. I go into more details in other articles about it and I plan on writing more in depth about CBT and REBT therapy.