Are you suffering from a depressed state of mind, or have you dealt with bouts of depression over your life time? Do you know people who suffer from depression? Some people get upset or sad over circumstances, and they may be in a state of temporary depression that lasts for a short time. However, a depressed mood that is long term is classified as clinical depression.
According to PsychCentral, clinical depression goes by many names -- depression, "the blues," biological depression, major depression. But it all refers to the same thing: feeling sad and depressed for weeks or months on end (not just a passing blue mood). This feeling is most often accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, a lack of energy (or feeling "weighed down"), and taking little or no pleasure in things that gave you joy in the past.
A person who's depressed just "can't get moving" and feels completely unmotivated to do just about anything. Even simple things -- like getting dressed in the morning or eating -- become large obstacles in daily life. More details can be found at this website: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/depression/ .
Sadness or downswings in mood are normal reactions to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness, according to Help Guide online.
Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief. Although depression varies from person to person, there are some common symptoms:
· Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
· Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
· Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
· Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
· Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
· Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
· Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
· Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
· Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
· Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. Thoughts of death or suicide are a serious symptom of depression, so take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It's not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide: it's a cry for help. Much more detail on depression can also be located at this site: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm .
The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that each year depression affects 5-8 percent of adults in the United States. This means that about 25 million Americans will have an episode of major depression this year alone, but only one-half receive treatment. Without treatment, the frequency and severity of these symptoms tend to increase over time. All age groups and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups can experience depression.
Depression can lead to serious impairment in daily functioning and even suicide, as noted earlier in this material, which is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Researchers believe that more than one-half of people who die by suicide are experiencing depression. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and represents a global public health challenge.
According to the World Health Organization, it is the forth-leading contributor to Global Burden of Disease, and by 2020, depression is projected to be the second-leading cause. Devastating as this disease may be, it is treatable in most people. The availability of effective treatments and a better understanding of the biological basis for depression may lessen the barriers that can prevent early detection, accurate diagnosis and the decision to seek medical treatment, as reported by NAMI. See more detailed information here: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=depression .
Depression is a disorder of the brain according to the National Institutes for Health (NIH). There are a variety of causes, including genetic, environmental, psychological, and biochemical factors. Depression usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30, and is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter.
Depression is one part of bipolar disorder. There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants and talk therapy. Most people do best by using both. More resources can be found at this website: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/depression.html .
According to NIMH (National Institute for Mental Health), Depression, even the most severe cases, can be effectively treated. The earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is.
The first step to getting appropriate treatment is to visit a doctor or mental health specialist. Certain medications, and some medical conditions such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A doctor can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. If the doctor can find no medical condition that may be causing the depression, the next step is a psychological evaluation.
The doctor may refer you to a mental health professional, who should discuss with you any family history of depression or other mental disorder, and get a complete history of your symptoms. You should discuss when your symptoms started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, and whether they have occurred before and if so, how they were treated. The mental health professional may also ask if you are using alcohol or drugs, and if you are thinking about death or suicide.
Other illnesses may come on before depression, cause it, or be a consequence of it. But depression and other illnesses interact differently in different people. In any case, co-occurring illnesses need to be diagnosed and treated.
Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder, often accompany depression. PTSD can occur after a person experiences a terrifying event or ordeal, such as a violent assault, a natural disaster, an accident, terrorism or military combat. People experiencing PTSD are especially prone to having co-existing depression.
Alcohol and other substance abuse or dependence may also co-exist with depression. Research shows that mood disorders and substance abuse commonly occur together. Depression also may occur with other serious medical illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.
People who have depression along with another medical illness tend to have more severe symptoms of both depression and the medical illness, more difficulty adapting to their medical condition, and more medical costs than those who do not have co-existing depression. Treating the depression can also help improve the outcome of treating the co-occurring illness. Additional significant information on this topic can be also located at this site: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml .
Regardless of your mental state, clinical depression must be dealt with by professionals. Anyone with this state of mind can be a danger many times to themselves and to others. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression, seek a counselor, minister, or professional medical advisor to assist you in finding a solution. Being depressed is no laughing matter.
Until next time.