What is Depression?
Do you feel down, sad, or in despair? Are you feeling as though every day is a struggle? Do you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning? Is your appetite being affected? Maybe you’re struggling to eat enough, or even overeating? Many people find it hard to sleep at night, and keep up with household chores and so on. These are some common signs of depression.
People with depression are frequently unable to feel enjoyment or passion for doing things, or even function in daily life. Sufferers often have difficulty getting out of bed to do household chores or go out. They may get “moody”, have a poor appetite, general fatigue, or an ability to sleep or concentrate properly. Weight loss or gain can be an issue. People often have a lack of confidence and feel hopeless. Suicidal feelings are frequent.
If you can relate to some or all of these things, you may be a sufferer.
Don’t Beat up on Yourself
But you mustn’t blame yourself. This is an illness, and it’s vital to understand that. Many sufferers blame themselves for things that have gone wrong in their lives, but they do have a medical condition, which is like any other illness.
Having said this, people may not realise they have an illness until its too late, when the damage has been done. They search for a treatment after a crisis has occurred, when it might have been better to do so before. In my opinion, it’s usually better to realise you might have a problem and try to work on it before it causes issues. Preventative action is the way to go.
Consequences of Depression
Depression affects every facet of our lives. It can affect our ability to succeed in business, in relationships, in financial matters, and can adversely impact our physical health.
Our ability to do almost anything in life is dependent on our mental health. Think back on your successes and failures in life. I bet your mental well-being or otherwise has played an important part in these. It certainly has in mine. Some things are beyond our control, but even then, you can control your reaction to what has occurred, and good mental health definitely improves the chances of a positive outcome.
So, What Kinds of Depression are there?
Not all sufferers are affected in the same way. There are several types of depression and, of course, everyone is different.
There is major depression/major depressive disorder, which is particularly severe. Depressive episodes can occur once, or on a semi-regular to regular basis. Sufferers experience constant, severe symptoms and often cannot function properly. Episodes usually last for at least a couple of weeks, but often continue for several months at a time.
Dysthymia or chronic depression is a long lasting, milder form of the disease, which continues for over two years.
Bipolar disorder is less common than the previous two varieties. Sufferers go from feeling extreme emotional “highs” to the then subsequent “lows”. These periods can last from hours to days, to weeks or longer. During the “highs”, people may feel ecstatic and go on spending sprees or do something extreme. This kind of behaviour can be extremely destructive in numerous ways, not only to the sufferer, but also to friends and family. Then the “lows” come along when the afflicted often struggle to function.
Things that work for one set of sufferers won’t necessarily be effective for other types. Naturally, peoples’ brain chemistry also differs from one person to the next. But one thing is certain. It’s vital that you get it treated sooner rather than later.