What Is Depression
- Severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy
- A condition of mental disturbance characterized by such feelings to a greater degree than seems warranted by the external circumstances, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life
Major depression is a serious mental illness that affects the entire body. It is a state of mind that causes negative feelings and a sense of inadequacy, sadness, and low self esteem. Depression goes far beyond normal feelings of sadness experienced by people from time to time. Major depression is persistent and can interfere significantly with thoughts, behaviors, moods, and physical health. Episodes of depression can last up to two weeks and can make daily activities as simple as getting out of bed seem extremely difficult or impossible.
Depression is the leading cause of disability due to a mental illness in the United States and many other developed countries. Depression can affect anyone of any age, race, or gender; however, for reasons unknown, is it twice as likely to occur in women than in men. Depression usually begins in adolescence and effects approximately 5 to 8 percent of youth.
Symptoms of depression include constant sadness and irritable moods, difficulty concentrating and remembering, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and emptiness, reoccurring thoughts of death and suicide, unexplained physical illnesses such as headaches that do not respond to medication, not wanting to interact with other people, difficulty sleeping, lack of motivation, no self confidence, and overall negativity or pessimism. Different people experience different symptoms and severity of the illness.
What depression is notLike bipolar, depression is not a simple character flaw or weakness. It is a serious mental illness that you can not just turn off or snap out of without professional help and medication.
What causes depression?There is no single cause of depression: biological, psychological, and environmental factors all play a part in its development. It is believed that depression is mostly a biological illness due to a chemical imbalance of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.
Genetics are also a factor for those who have depression. There is an increased risk of developing the illness when there is a family history of it. At the same time, there are a lot of people who develop depression without having a family history of it. Some life events, such as death, stress, major changes, or drug and alcohol abuse, may trigger episodes of depression, but episodes can also be spontaneous and develop for no reason at all.
The original episode of depression may not be evident at first, as symptoms usually begin gradually and increase as time goes on.
Can depression be treated?Depression can be treated. Many different treatments are available and are prescribed based on the individual person and the severity and patterns of their illness. There are three main types of treatments for depression including medication, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Recovery can also be promoted through peer education and small lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and quitting smoking.
Medications can begin to work within two to four weeks, but it typically take between six and 12 weeks before they are fully effective. In this time, individuals begin to feel better with the return of normal energy levels and the ability to take action, but depression is still severe. Family members should still be cautious as suicide and dangerous behavior can increase temporarily during this time.
What happens to people with depression?Although depression is a severe illness, there is hope for those who suffer. Between 80 and 90 percent of people who are treated for depression can return to their normal activities and go on to live fulfilling lives.
This ariticle intended to provide you with an overall understanding of what is depression. There are many great resources on the web, and many articles discussing topics surrounding depression and anxiety
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