While everyone has periods where they are sad or just feeling down about something, others experience these feelings to such a degree that it begins to affect their daily life and interactions with others. This is a serious condition known as clinical depression.
Depression has several different forms, but the underlying issue for each is a debilitating sadness that makes it difficult to sleep, eat, work or enjoy everyday life. Symptoms can also include lethargy, fatigue, hopelessness, anxiousness, excessive sleeping or insomnia, ongoing physical ailments, and thoughts of suicide among others. These signs of depression may be similar across the different types, but each also has additional symptoms that differentiate one from another. These 6 forms include:
- Major Depression – Often marked by repeated episodes of depression, but can occur only once in a person’s life
- Persistent Depression – The depression symptoms last for a minimum of two years
- Postpartum Depression – Occurs after pregnancy, and occurs due to physical changes and hormone fluctuations that result in caring for a newborn becoming overwhelming
- Seasonal Affective Disorder – Occurs during winter when natural light decreases and resolves during the spring and summer
- Psychotic Depression – Occurs when a person has delusions or hallucinations along with the clinical depression
- Bipolar Disorder – Characterized by periods of intense depression followed by extreme highs
Who Gets Depressed?
Depression can affect anyone, and is believed to be caused by psychological, biological, environmental and genetic factors. Generally, one in ten adults suffer from the condition, with many experiencing numerous episodes throughout their lives. It is important to remember that depression and sadness are not the same. Every person experiences sadness and grief in life due to death, breakups and other situations. These emotions are normal in these situations, but when they occur for long periods of time or repeatedly, medical treatment is advised to improve their quality of life.
How to Deal with Depression
When a person is suffering from depression symptoms, he or she often becomes isolated from others and receives no joy from daily activities or interaction. While the symptoms can become pervasive and even life threatening, it can be treated.
Treatment options for depression can include a variety of methods. In many cases, counseling (psychotherapy) is included in an effort to help the person suffering from depression to better understand his or her condition, and how to deal with it. Certain medications are also used to control the symptoms.