Is Depression an Umbrella Label?

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Modern lifestyle and depression are inseparable. Normal life today undergoes a lot of ups and downs that change the condition of moods. Sadness has become a routine reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. There is much more reactions to depression than just being sad. Everyone is depressed in some way or other and it is let out in feelings and emotions. But it is not felt in the same way at every time.

What is depression?

Clinically, depression is describes as a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer. Some describe it as having a feeling of impending doom and some explain it as a “life in a black hole”. But there are also some depressed people who do not feel sad at all—instead, they feel only lifeless, empty, and apathetic.

Whatever may be the definition of depression or however different may be its symptoms, depression definitely engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. It fills you with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness, if it is not relieved in time.

 Diagnosing depression

Though most of us depressed in various ways, all the “depression feelings” may not represent true depression. A physician may need to question all the patients’ symptoms and consider the possible causes for them. If you are particular to know about your depression, you may have an interview with a mental-health specialist to get an accurate diagnosis. It may cover your physical and emotional symptoms, and your family, work, your personal medical and psychiatric history. An experienced medical professional can diagnose and treat emotional disorders and also the role of life events or medical problems that trigger your depression.

Panic leading to depression

Though the exact cause of depression is yet to be defined, many researchers believe it is caused by some chemical changes in the brain. This may also be due to a problem with your genes, or triggered by certain stressful events and more likely, it is a combination of both.

The most common cause that leads to depression is some panic disorder. You can be unaware that you are having panic attacks, though you may often sense that you are anxious. Psychiatrists commonly find that sad people have social anxiety and other anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and psychosis. Depression in the true sense may be caused by bereavement, disappointment, or demoralization caused by painful events like death of a beloved person, loss of job, or some serious disease.

Symptoms of depression

Consumer Reports On Health Magazine December 2010 reports that sadness is the first symptom of depression. Diseases such as anemia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and some hormonal problems trigger the symptoms of depression. Side effects of some medications also can be blamed for causing depression.

Is depression an umbrella term?

Depression is generally an umbrella label for various types of unhappiness. People with this condition are commonly found to perceive their life as worse than its reality. Generally such people have depressed mood, significant changes in weight, appetite, or sleep, low energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty in concentrating on anything, and even thought or suicide. Another important type of major depression is melancholia which is a severe condition that prevents people from eating and sleeping. They do not even smile. Such people need treatment with antidepressants combined with psychotherapy.

Fatal consequences of depression

People who have the depression problem usually see everything with a more negative attitude, unable to find or think of a positive solution. Statistics say that depression is the major risk factor for suicides and suicidal attempts. The deep despair and hopelessness make people feel that suicide is the only way to escape the pain. Thought of suicide is not just a warning sign of a person thinking about suicide but it is a cry for help.


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