Depression is a real illness, not just an episode of being blue and upset. In the US, it is estimated that one in every 8 person is at risk to become clinically depressed. Some may encounter the illness once, however, others have multiple occurrences of the disease. When you have a history of depression, there is a 50% chance of developing it again.
When there is depression, the overall wellness of a person is involved; the mental, physical and emotional health. This is not an ordinary sad feeling that goes away when one wills it, a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics, nor is it a virus which is self-limiting. Signs and symptoms also manifest with the illness, and a prompt treatment is also available. If not handled instantly, depression escalates to a worse situation.
Like most of the illness known to men, depression has different variations. These are major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and dysthymic disorder. Let us explore each one concisely.
- Major Depression
One characteristic of this type of depression is that it hinders you to do your normal activities. Its signs and symptoms inhibit you to functional well causing disruptions within yourself and your relationship with others. Although a major depression mostly happens once, recurrence is a possibility.
Characterized by the same signs and symptoms with major depression, dysthymia, however, is a lesser form of depression. Its effects does not totally interfere your daily activities, nevertheless, it can still affect you and your mood. Persons with dysthymic episodes can have major depression during his lifetime.
- Bipolar Disorder
This disorder involves mood changes that are very drastic, from being highly manic to overly depressed in a matter of minutes. The bipolar cycle has a manic phase where a person is hyperactive and frantic, and a depressed phase where a person manifests the same symptoms as that of major depression.
The following are the common symptoms associated with depression. Observe if you or someone you know is experiencing two or more of these symptoms, so that appropriate referral and management can be done.
- Has persistent feelings of emptiness and extreme hopelessness.
- Feels guilty and worthless always.
- Has lost interest to joyful activities including sex.
- Is fatigued, lacking in sleep, and has no appetite and drastic weight loss.
- Has a hard time coming up with decisions.
- Is irritable and complaining of body aches that have no basis.
- Thinks of harming oneself and committing suicide.
However damaging, there is hope for cure and management of the disease. There are treatments available to help patients and loved ones fight depression.