Understanding Depression

Everyone occassionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually pass within a couple of days. When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most who experience it need treatment to get better. This is disease is often called a white man disease but even Africans can get it to.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the vast majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. This illness has resulted in the development of medications, psychotherapies, and other methods to treat people with this disabling disorder. Depression often co–exists with other illnesses. Such illnesses may precede the depression, cause it, and/or be a consequence of it.

It is likely that the mechanics behind the intersection of depression and other illnesses differ for every person and situation. Regardless, these other co–occurring illnesses need to be diagnosed and treated. Major depressive disorder (depression) is not just a temporary mood, and it’s not a sign of personal weakness. Depression is a serious medical condition with a variety of symptoms.

Emotional symptoms can include sadness, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, restlessness, and trouble concentrating or making decisions. Physical symptoms can include fatigue, lack of energy, and changes in weight or sleep patterns. Additional symptoms of depression may include vague aches and pains, irritability, anxiety, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Someone with depression might think or say any of the following: “I feel sad all the time and just don’t feel like myself”, “I don’t enjoy being with my friends or doing any of the things I usually love to do”, “I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately”, “sometimes I feel like my life is not worth living anymore”, “I feel like I don’t have any energy”, “I’m not really interested in eating”,”Even after a long day, I still feel restless,”I feel so indecisive and that I can’t make any decisions”, “I just feel so worthless.”

People with a family history of depression may be more likely to get the disease, but anyone can become depressed. Sometimes the triggers are external — for example, relationship troubles or financial problems. At other times the disease may begin with physical illness or hormonal shifts. Depression also may occur without any identifiable trigger at all. For more information about depression Read More