Depression is a feeling of sadness, distress, helplessness and despair which many people experience. It requires professional medical help, and is treatable. It comes in varying degrees of severity. Always remember it is an illness, not a personal failing! The following also has some big words, but hopefully it helps you understand how understood and normal it is.
The symptoms of depression vary, and every person has a different experience. Often, the onset of symptoms are slow and unnoticed, and people assume that they are transitioning into a ‘normal stage of life’. This is not true. For a list of symptoms of depression, check out the article ‘symptoms of depression’.
The mildest form of depression is also called Dysthymia, which often gets ignored or treated as a period of regular sadness. Left untreated, dysthymia – which has symptoms including change in eating habits, sleeping habits, decreased energy, low self esteem, poor concentration, and feelings of hopelessness – can turn into clinical depression.
There are 3 types of clinical depression: reactive, unipolar and bipolar. Reactive depression is a reaction to life circumstances. Unipolar is hereditary (from you ancestors – you are born with it) and brought on by a life circumstance, and bipolar depression is characterized by episodes of extreme happiness (elation) which dramatically switch into episodes of extreme depression.
Remember that you are important. Your life counts, and you can make a difference in this world. If you ever need to talk about this or anything else, feel free to get in touch with us. We’re here for you.