Sometimes people may feel sad, empty, or hopeless or trouble to sleep. Most people experience this kind of feeling but usually for a little time. Depression symptoms may last for a while. According to medlineplus.gov, depression also called “clinical depression” or a “depressive disorder” is a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present most of the day, nearly every day for two weeks.
Common Types of Depression.
There are different types of depression. Some forms are mild and take a longer time to go away. Also due to different personalities, people will go through depression in different ways.
Major depression—having symptoms of depression most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat and enjoy life. An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, a person has several episodes.
Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)—having symptoms of depression that last for at least 2 years. A person diagnosed with this form of depression may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms.
Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances, such as:
- Perinatal Depression: Women with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression).
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer.
- Psychotic Depression: This type of depression occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucination).
Causes of depression.
Depression is caused by genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. If you have a family history of depression, there is an increased risk of you having it. Depression is a person who has a biological vulnerability to develop may have disputes with other people. Climate and all other forms of natural disasters can cause depression. Other people develop depression due to psychological factors with their brains.
Depression can occur along with other serious illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Depression can make these conditions worse and vice versa. Sometimes medications taken for these illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression symptoms.
Symptoms of depression.
- Feeling sad
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Overeating or not eating at all
- Not sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feeling tired
- Feeling hopeless, anxious
- Headaches, cramps, digestive problems
- Thoughts of death or suicide
How to treat depression.
When you or someone is suffering from depression, first you need to visit a health care provider or mental health professionals, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. Also, the health care providers can interview, to see if you have health conditions that may have the same symptoms as depression. They do that by asking questions when you go for a visit. For example, “have you been depressed for the past two weeks” Once diagnosed, depression can be treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of both.
If you know someone who has depression, first help him or she sees a health care provider or mental health professional. You can also:
- Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
- Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your loved one’s health care provider or therapist
- Invite him or her out for walks, outings, and other activities
- Help him or her by ensuring that he or she has transportation to therapy appointments.
If you are experiencing any signs of depression or you know someone experiencing these signs, I suggest that you come and hear something from the mental health advocates at the minds matter mental health campaigns. That will be a great support for you. There will be non-profit organizations from the area offering free resources and services. Register here: https://mindsmatter.blacgirlhealthfoundation.org
“This article is created in partnership with Dauphin County Library System, and the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program.”
Causes of Depression. https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide.
Depression Basics. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publication.