Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Depression
If you are going through it yourself. Or, if you are concerned about a loved one that is depressed. There are often a lot of questions that arise about the condition. Arming yourself with knowledge can help in the fight against depression. It can make it easy to understand the process that causes people to become depressed. It can also assist in determining ways in which you can improve the condition. So if depression is on your mind, keep reading to discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know.
What is depression?
Depression is a psychological condition. It encompasses low mood, the inability to feel joy and sometimes self-hatred. There are several types of depression, which express themselves in different ways.
Major depression is probably the one that we recognize the most easily. It is when the sufferer has symptoms for longer than two weeks. These symptoms include trouble sleeping, feeling of guilt and feeling tired. It can also include the inability to feel happiness from pleasurable things.
Then there is dysthymia, which is a persistent depression that is less extreme than the one above. But that has lasted for over 2 years.
There is also manic depression, now known as bipolar. This is when the sufferer has extreme spurts of energy and feels confident that they can do anything. This is then often followed by periods of depression and a lack of motivation to do things.
There is also postnatal depression. This occurs due to the hormonal imbalances and situational challenges of becoming a new mother.
Lastly, there is PMDD which is premenstrual depressive disorder. This is again based in hormonal changes in the body, due to the female reproductive system. It occurs during the luteal phase of menstruation and is only now just being recognized as a debilitating condition.
Who gets depression?
Unfortunately, anyone can get depression as it can be caused by a problem in brain chemistry. Or, by situational factors that the sufferer is finding it difficult to cope with. But there are some people that are more at risk from suffering with this condition.
For example, older people that are living on their own have a higher risk of depression as their situation is difficult. Also, those with challenging and stressful jobs may be more at risk of having a depressive episode. Especially if they do not have constructive ways of dealing with their stress.
Of course, there is some evidence to suggest that depression is a genetic disease. So if you have a family member that have suffered from a form of depression in the past, it can make it more likely that you are at greater risk.
In addition, there is particular biological issue that can increase your vulnerability to depression. These include becoming pregnant, giving birth, and being diagnosed with a major illness.
Depression is one of the most common ailments in the Western world, with up to 1 in 4 people suffering from this condition at some time. But there is something that can be done about it. If you or a loved one is depressed, it is important that you seek out treatment.
Some people choose alternative therapies for depression including crystal healing and acupuncture. They also take supplements like St John’s Wort and Turmeric, which you can read about at HealthyButSmart.com.
However, if you do choose to go this route, it is important to speak to your doctor about them first. They should never replace medical treatment. Most people use them in conjunction with the traditional methods listed below.
The are a range of traditional treatments available for depression, that are endorsed by the medical community. It’s often the case that you will have to try a few before you find one that fits. Often the first port of call for someone that is depressed is to pay a visit to the doctor.
They may recommend a course of antidepressants such as SSRIs like Prozac. They may also suggest some therapy.
People have a negative view of therapy, mostly based on the outmoded style of Freud’s psychoanalysis. But therapy has moved on a long way since then. In fact, much therapy such as DBT and CBT is based around challenge the negative assumptions that a mind makes in a depressed state. This can help us put distance between what we think and what we believe is true. Which allows the depressed person to be in control of how they are reacting to their thoughts.
Exercise has also been proved to help alleviate low mood associated with depression. It is a good treatment as it’s something that most people can do to help improve their condition. You can read more about this at https://www.psychologytoday.com.