There are many types of depression. It is very misunderstood and only recently has sociaty "accepted" it as the illness that it is and now it is being talked about more often. However, there are still alot of myths surrounding this illness and I want to educate about this.
A lot of this information I have aquired by doing some research online and offline. I got a lot of information here. And also from my personal experience with depression, i hope to inform and educate.
Life is full of changes. Coping with them can be difficult. Many people feel overwhelmed and "crazy" for a while. Then they get things under control. If they don't, and they become persistently gloomy, angry, and unable to cope, and the feelings persist for more then 3 weeks, then they may be depressed. However, if it follows a traumatic event, like a death, it is quite normal for someone to feel like that. Though when people are feeling sad and gloomy for a long period of time it is recomended that they seek treatment.
One of the most scary emotional experiences a person will ever suffer during their lifetime is to experience a form of depression. Over 1 in 5 Americans can expect to get some form of depression in their lifetime. Over 1 in 20 Americans have a depressive disorder every year. Depression is one of the most common and most serious mental health problems facing people today.
Many people still carry the misperception that depression is a character flaw, a problem that happens because you are weak.Depression is not a character flaw, or is it simply feeling blue for a few days. Most importantly, depression is not your fault. It is a serious mood disorder which affects a person's ability to function in every day activities. It affects one's work, one's family, and one's social life.
Mild Depression (Dysthemia)
This condition is classified by having a persistant feelings of sadness, gloomyness, poor self esteem, and symptoms of major depression. However the difference between mild depression and major depression, is that the person with dysthmia can still "function" when nesscesary, though they may find it difficult.
This may or may not have a triggering event. When it doesn't have an event linked to "why" the person feels the way they do, it makes them feel as if it is their fault and something is wrong with them because they just cant "snap out of it." This can be confusing for the person and the persons family and friends.
People also tend to call this severe depression or serious depression. In any case this causes despair and feelings of hopelessness in the individual. It becomes so serious that it affects the persons whole life. They can barely function and find difficulty in performing even the simplest tasks, like washing their face or even eating. Getting out of bed in the morning seems like such a huge task that the depressed individual may lie in bed for hours trying to get the energy to get up.
This illness may cause other symptoms not as easily recognized as depression. Such as, weight loss or gain, anxiaty, irritability or agitation, difficulty concentrating, loss of labido, sleep disturbances. (ie- insomnia or sleeping all the time), lack of energy, and suicidal thoughts. Some of these symptoms may be present in Dysthemia too though and only a doctor can determine if and to what degree a person is depressed.
Bi-Polar (Manic Depression)
This illness involves episodes of severe depression, alternating with "manic" stages. The mania in Manic Depression, is racing thoughts, hyperness, insomnia, lack of apetite and can soemtimes feel really creative and energetic. Commenly many people that suffer from Bipolar get panic attacks and are plagued with anxiaty, although this is not the case for all sufferers.
Typically, after a manic episode, the depression follows. They "crash" and have gone from one extreme to the next. Becoming lethargic, and having many of the symptoms from Major Depression. That is why Bi-Polar sufferers find it so hard, because they are never or rarely just neutral.
Seasonal Affective Disoder (S.A.D.)
This shares commen symptoms of mild depression (dysthemia) except the difference is, is the person only gets these feelings in winter. It is thought to be caused from lack of light and shorter days. People with disorder crave sleep and experience daytime drowsiness. These feelings typically only happen from the months of November through until March. Then when spring returns, they feel better. It is normal to get the winter blues, but when it interferes with daily functioning it may be S.A.D.
For information on treatments and online resources go to my help page....
I hope i have educated you on the topic of depression. It needs to be talked about more openly so it can be understood. Depression is an illness. Like diabetes, and needs to be treated. If it is left untreated it can lead to suicide or suicidal behaviour. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, seek help. Go to a family doctor or someone you trust and talk to them. There is help out there, you just need to reach out and embrace it.