“Ugh! I am so depressed”, is a line that we hear almost every other person saying casually. You too must’ve used it. But are you really depressed or plainly sad? There is a huge difference between the two. Being sad is an emotion but feeling depressed is a mental health disorder. There are very few who understand this.
In simple words, depression is a serious medical illness, a mental health disorder that is not short-lived, involves feeling low, sad and leads to loss of interest in activities which one would have otherwise enjoyed. Depression, however, can be treated.
Some of the most common symptoms of depression in general are:
- Feeling low/sad for a long time or more than two weeks
- Loss of interest in activities you earlier enjoyed
- Change in eating habits, losing appetite, and unintentionally losing weight
- Change in sleep patterns (finding it difficult to sleep or sleeping too much)
- Feeling worthless
- Having difficulty in performing everyday tasks
- Death and suicidal thoughts
These symptoms can, however, vary from person to person depending on the kind of depression he/she might be going through. While there are many forms of depression, given below are the most common forms.
It is another term for clinical depression. This kind has majorly got to do with mood fluctuations. A person suffering from Major depression undergoes mood swings and is most of the time feeling low and upset. He/she also feels worthless and fails in finding pleasure in any activities. In this kind of depression, a person also has suicidal thoughts. The major physical symptoms of this depression are trouble in sleeping, weight loss, and loss of energy.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
More commonly known as ‘dysthymia’, includes feeling low for two continuous years. This kind, however, most of the times, does not lead to major depression. People suffering from this depression are usually able to perform the normal day to day activities but feel low and are hardly joyful. In addition to symptoms of weight loss, disturbed sleep, low appetite, one also feels hopeless, has low self-esteem, feels angry and irritated, and has low energy levels.
Those suffering from Bipolar disorder do not feel depressed continuously but go through episodes of depression. In this, people usually are seen having high energy levels. The symptoms of this disorder are opposite the usual ones which include having unrealistic and grand ideas, unusually high self-esteem, overspending, the strong will of taking risks, wanting to seek pleasures quite often, including sex. Since these symptoms are manic, it can lead to self-destruction if not treated in time.
This depression occurs mainly in pregnant women. This kind is a combination of major and minor depressive episodes. This occurs during pregnancy or in the first 12 months after delivering a baby. Irritation, anxiety, mood swings, trouble in bonding with the baby, and panic attacks are some of the common symptoms of Perinatal depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
This is a periodic kind that occurs when winter approaches and when the days start getting shorter in winters. This occurs due to the disturbance in the normal circadian rhythm of the body. When the light enters the body through the eyes, the rhythm gets disturbed leading to feeling depressed. This kind unlike the others which are treated with therapy, counselling and medication, is mostly treated with light therapy.
Depressions of any kind can be treated. Anyone can slip into depression with or without reasons and irrespective of the age. If you feel you or anyone around you is suffering from depression, consult a therapist or doctor. Get help!