An illness that affects a persons lifestyle, mood, and body
Types of Depression:
There are several types of depression that are described as intense feelings of sadness, and losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed. All forms of depression affect a person's daily functioning.
Major Depression: a severe mood disorder that usually results in symptoms that last for about two or more weeks. These symptoms may include feeling irritable or frustrated over little things, feeling sad and unhappy, and loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed.
Dysthymia: a milder form of depression that occurs slowly and lasts for two or more years. Symptoms include eating too much or too little, feeling tired all the time, having a feeling of hopelessness and low self-esteem.
Bipolar Disorder: quickly changing periods of feeling extremely happy and extremely depressed. Symptoms for low mood include: low energy, changes in appetite, irritability, and sadness. Symptoms for a happy mood include: great energy, rapid talking, risky behavior, and having a smaller need for sleep.
Other Types of Depression:
Atypical Depression: a type of depression described by oversleeping and overeating, decreased energy, and extreme sensitivity to rejection. Instead of feeling tired people with this unusual depression feel agitated.
Seasonal Affective Disorder: a form of depression that usually occurs during the fall and winter months when there is decreased sunlight. People with this disorder feel fatigued, sleep more, and have a bigger appetite for carbohydrates and junk food.
Postpartum Depression: a type of depression that occurs to women after giving birth. This is caused by hormonal changes that are associated with giving birth and normal stress that comes with having a child.
Signs and Symptoms
Different types of depression can have many different signs and symptoms. There are two main types of signs and symptoms, there is the mental and emotional side to it and then there are the physical symptoms. Depression has signs and symptoms under both of these topics.
Mental and Emotional Signs and Symptoms that may occur are...
-Anger, irritability, or lashing out at friends and family
-Being unable to focus
-Losing interest in activities that you enjoy
-Feeling overwhelming sadness and hopelessness that lasts for weeks
-Changes in sleeping and eating habits
-Loss of confidence
-Thoughts of suicide or death
Physical Signs and Symptoms include...
-Unexplained aches and pains
-Trouble sleeping or too much sleep
-Always feeling tired and lacking energy
-Body movements seem slow, restless and agitated
Having depression may also cause people to have less common symptoms such as...
-Hearing voices that aren't there (hallucinations)
-Having false but firmly held beliefs (delusions)
People who believe that they have depression usually go to a trained professional to make sure they actually have it. Depression is confused with every day sadness very often, this is why there are psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals trained to help people with depression. There is no lab test that can be done to find out if a person has depression. The method that most professionals use include asking the patient questions about how they have been feeling lately. They try to read the patients body language to figure out what is going on.
Once someone is diagnosed with depression there are many different treatment options. A very common treatment would be counseling or therapy, etc. The professionals working with you might ask about your family history with depression, the history of the patients symptoms, when the symptoms started, how long they have lasted and how bad they were. Another treatment for depression could be something as simple as going outside and getting fresh air, exercising regularly, spending time with friends and family, eating healthier food, and getting more sleep. If this treatment does not work, a very common treatment would be antidepressants. This is a type of medication that works mostly on the chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters, scientists have found that these particular chemicals are involved in controlling mood, but they are unsure about the way it works.
Why Depression Occurs
There are many different reasons why a person may get depression.
Genetics: If there are other people in your family who have depression, you may have similar genes and have a higher risk of getting depressed.
Family Problems: A death/loss in the family, or conflict among family members might cause someone to become depressed. (Death, traumatic events, divorce, etc.)
Feeling bad about yourself: Being put down, abused or neglected or if you are having trouble with school or other activities. (Bullied, social problems, etc.)
Loneliness: Feeling as if no one understands you, if you feel different from others in a negative way.
Depression Affecting the Body
Depression affects the nervous system. Nobody is really sure what causes depression but what scientists and researchers have found out is that it has something to do with the imbalance of chemicals, called neurotransmitters, in a persons brain. The neurotransmitter's job is to send messages and communicate with nerve cells in your brain. When these chemicals get out of balance, they can affect a person's mood greatly. There are other chemicals in the brain too, such as serotonin which also helps regulate a person's mood. When these chemicals get out of balance, depression or other mood disorders can be the result.
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