Life comes with a myriad of moods, emotions, and feelings. Many of which are very gratifying, amazing and overall just feel good. But the fact of life is that these also come with, at times, feelings that aren’t that pleasant. Insecurity, loneliness or just general sadness. We all experience these feelings and for most of us they pass relatively quickly. These thoughts and feelings don’t hang around long enough to hinder our lives or debilitate us in a serious way. But for some these feeling of emptiness, worry and overall hopelessness become all-consuming to the point that life becomes, to a point unlivable. Old hobbies and interests fall to the wayside, socializing with friends and family seems less important, and even eating and sleeping regularly becomes disrupted. Depression, which can also be labeled as “clinical depression” or “depressive disorder” is a mood disorder that can cause some distressing symptoms that effect how you think, feel, and how you handle your daily life. Typically to be diagnosed you need to have these types of feeling every day for about two weeks.
So generally speaking, there are two different types of depressive mood disorder. The first one is called “Major Depression”. This is characterized with periods of extreme sadness or hopelessness. Very little activity, physically or emotionally. Any sort of activity or interaction takes a lot of effort to participate in. Whether it is getting dressed in the morning, going to work, or even just talking to a friend. It is very difficult to accomplish these seemingly simple tasks. These episodes can last from a few hours to up to two weeks.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
The other common form of depression is called “persistent depressive disorder”. This form of depression is a little more difficult to cope with. It is generally characterized with very long periods of time where symptoms go from mild too severe, sometimes lasting for years at a time. With this type of depression, the symptoms never really go away there is no real reprieve when un-treated just symptoms that range wildly in severity.
What Causes Depression?
The cause of depression isn’t fully understood yet, but most researchers agree that there are many factors that attribute to the onset of depression. Some such factors are genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological elements. Depression can also coincide with other illnesses. There are many serious diseases and conditions that can make depression worse and vice versa.
Someone who has been diagnosed with depression may be seen as simply “a sad person”. But the symptoms are far more ranged than that, some people that do suffer from depression wouldn’t ever put feeling sad as a symptom they commonly suffer from. There are many different facets of life that this disorder can manifest itself in. Some symptoms include but of course are not limited to just these.
- Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating, or appetite loss
- Aches, pains, Headaches, or cramps that won’t go away
- Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Getting Help For Depression
For people that do feel as though they suffer from chronic depression there are a few different schools of thought for dealing with the disorder. From medical, holistic, and therapeutic methods there most likely is a combination of treatments to grant some reprieve to the sufferer. The most well-advertised treatment of depression is medication. Anti-depressants are very popular in treating depression. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the most effective form of treatment. We’ve come to understand that depression is more than just a chemical imbalance in the brain. And while anti-depressants may help relieve some of the symptoms it doesn’t cure the underlying problem. Also some of these medications come with side effects and safety concerns, especially in teens and young adults. Finding a mental health professional such as a therapist that is trusted can also go a long way in helping someone that is dealing with depression. And unfortunately, it may take a few tries to find a combination of medication and a therapist that really works for the person suffering from the disorder. But it has been shown to be highly beneficial to have a trained professional to guide someone through the types of feelings and emotions that commonly occur. There is also a myriad of holistic approaches to dealing with depression. Many that center around a healthy living lifestyle. The idea behind it being that if you eat a healthy balance of food, you exercise regularly, and have a consistent sleeping schedule, then that can be a huge factor in the way someone thinks and feels about themselves. Along with certain vitamins great strides have been made in dealing with depression.
When faced with depression the road ahead can seem pretty daunting. The disorder in itself breeds a sense of giving up before one starts, almost as though there is no way out. But with these methods of treatment is it likely there is a combination of them that will work. The key is keeping up the determination to find the right set of things that work. It may be that no single form of therapy will work but striving towards the answer is what really counts. These treatments, along with a strong support base many people have recovered and managed their depression.