“Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Feeling down is something that we may experience from time to time and could be normal. Depression, on the other hand, may be present when you experience hopelessness and lack of motivation that is persistent and may significantly impact your life. It may affect the way you think, feel, and function in daily activities. You may feel overwhelmed and find it difficult to eat, sleep, work, perform at school or handle daily tasks which may seem insurmountable.
What are the types of depression?
The most common and well known is Major depression and there are several other types of depression, but not limited to depression as part of a bipolar disorder (manic depressive), perinatal depression, experienced during pregnancy while post-partum depression may affect women after child delivery. Some women may undergo through Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Seasonal depression is common in areas where the sun rays are scarce and situational depression could be triggered by different causes, for example divorce, job difficulty or other life issues.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Not everyone will experience all symptoms of depression. Depending on life events and severity of the symptoms, depression may include a combination of the following symptoms: sadness, irritability, difficulties remembering or concentrating on tasks, lack of enjoyment in activities which used to be enjoyable, social isolation, difficulties sleeping or sleeping too much and noticeable changes in appetite and weight. Hopelessness and thoughts about hurting oneself could be present when depression is more severe.
What are the causes of depression?
There is no single cause for depression. It can be triggered by a variety events and/or caused by different triggers such as loss, trauma, divorce, illnesses, or major life issues. Past experiences of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse can render a person to experience depression later in life. Some individuals may be prone to develop depression due to genetic vulnerability and with an experience of stressful life events, symptoms of depression could erupt.
What are the best therapies for depression?
Psychotropic medication may be indicated for some individuals experiencing depression, depending on genetic vulnerability, severity of symptoms or difficulties coping in major life areas. The National Alliance on Mental Health indicates that DBT has been shown to be effective in the treatment of mental illnesses, including depression. Other common methods are used alone or combined, including cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy.
If you experience depression, check with your medical doctor to rule out any medically based reasons for depression. Psychological therapy is recommended to help you gain effective coping skills, replace ineffective thought pattern to gain happier life. When depression is more severe, you can consult with a psychiatrist for suitable psychotropic medication.
If you feel hopeless and suicidal, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255 to get the help you need in a timely manner as depression does not have to last forever.