Depression is feeling hopeless, unlovable, undesirable and not good enough. It is feeling desperate, inadequate, worthless and a waste of space. It is losing hope. It is being alone, scared and so very tired. Depression is losing the desire to see the future and hating the present. Depression is dirty floors, failed tests, overflowing laundry and a nap that lasts all day. It is painful, bleak, heartbreaking and soul-crushing. It is one-word answers and an indifferent shrug.
Depression is ignored, hidden and lied about. It is punished, shamed, frowned upon and ridiculed. Depression is misunderstood as laziness, selfishness and pity-seeking. It is shoved to the side, pushed away and turned away.
Depression is all around. It screams from the painting and shouts from the songs. Depression lurks in diaries and journals, novels and photographs. It runs down cheeks, is whispered on lips but often left to the wind. Depression is in a friend, a coworker, a daughter or an uncle. Depression is a young child. Depression is in the mirror.”
Depression is not caring about the things around you or the people who are hurt by it.
No more hiding our heads in the sand. We are in a modern age and depression definitely is a dilemma. There are many types of depression… some more severe than others.
Types of Depression (Mayo Clinic)
- Anxious distress — depression with unusual restlessness or worry about possible events or loss of control
- Mixed features — simultaneous depression and mania, which includes elevated self-esteem, talking too much and increased energy
- Melancholic features — severe depression with lack of response to something that used to bring pleasure and associated with early morning awakening, worsened mood in the morning, major changes in appetite, and feelings of guilt, agitation or sluggishness
- Atypical features — depression that includes the ability to temporarily be cheered by happy events, increased appetite, excessive need for sleep, sensitivity to rejection, and a heavy feeling in the arms or legs
- Psychotic features — depression accompanied by delusions or hallucinations, which may involve personal inadequacy or other negative themes
- Catatonia — depression that includes motor activity that involves either uncontrollable and purposeless movement or fixed and inflexible posture
- Peripartum onset — depression that occurs during pregnancy or in the weeks or months after delivery (postpartum)
- Seasonal pattern — depression related to changes in seasons and reduced exposure to sunlight
Other disorders that cause depression symptoms
Several other disorders, such as those below, include depression as a symptom. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis so you can get appropriate treatment.
- Bipolar I and II disorders. These mood disorders include mood swings that range from highs (mania) to lows (depression). It’s sometimes difficult to distinguish between bipolar disorder and depression.
- Cyclothymic disorder. Cyclothymic (sy-kloe-THIE-mik) disorder involves highs and lows that are milder than those of bipolar disorder.
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. This mood disorder in children includes chronic and severe irritability and anger with frequent extreme temper outbursts. This disorder typically develops into depressive disorder or anxiety disorder during the teen years or adulthood.
- Persistent depressive disorder. Sometimes called dysthymia (dis-THIE-me-uh), this is a less severe but more chronic form of depression. While it’s usually not disabling, persistent depressive disorder can prevent you from functioning normally in your daily routine and from living life to its fullest.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. This involves depression symptoms associated with hormone changes that begin a week before and improve within a few days after the onset of your period, and are minimal or gone after completion of your period.
Senior Woman Looking Sad — Image by © G. Baden/zefa/Corbis
If you think you may have symptoms of depression, what can you do?
( from Mayo Clinic) Medications and psychotherapy are effective for most people with depression. Your primary care doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms. However, many people with depression also benefit from seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional.
If you have severe depression, you may need a hospital stay, or you may need to participate in an outpatient treatment program until your symptoms improve…
If a family member has responded well to an antidepressant, it may be one that could help you. Or you may need to try several medications or a combination of medications before you find one that works. This requires patience, as some medications need several weeks or longer to take full effect and for side effects to ease as your body adjusts.
Inherited traits play a role in how antidepressants affect you. In some cases, where available, results of genetic tests (done by a blood test or cheek swab) may offer clues about how your body may respond to a particular antidepressant. However, other variables besides genetics can affect your response to medication.
Don’t stop taking an antidepressant without talking to your doctor first. Antidepressants aren’t considered addictive, but sometimes physical dependence (which is different from addiction) can occur.
Stopping treatment abruptly or missing several doses can cause withdrawal-like symptoms, and quitting suddenly may cause a sudden worsening of depression. Work with your doctor to gradually and safely decrease your dose.
Antidepressants and pregnancy
If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, some antidepressants may pose an increased health risk to your unborn child or nursing child. Talk with your doctor if you become pregnant or you’re planning to become pregnant.
Antidepressants and increased suicide risk
Most antidepressants are generally safe, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all antidepressants to carry a black box warning, the strictest warning for prescriptions. In some cases, children, teenagers and young adults under age 25 may have an increase in suicidal thoughts or behavior when taking antidepressants, especially in the first few weeks after starting or when the dose is changed.
Anyone taking an antidepressant should be watched closely for worsening depression or unusual behavior, especially when starting a new medication or with a change in dosage. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts when taking an antidepressant, immediately contact a doctor or get emergency help.
Keep in mind that antidepressants are more likely to reduce suicide risk in the long run by improving mood…
Psychotherapy is a general term for treating depression by talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy or psychological therapy.
Different types of psychotherapy can be effective for depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. Your mental health professional may also recommend other types of therapies. Psychotherapy can help you:
- Adjust to a crisis or other current difficulty
- Identify negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones
- Explore relationships and experiences, and develop positive interactions with others
- Find better ways to cope and solve problems
- Identify issues that contribute to your depression and change behaviors that make it worse
- Regain a sense of satisfaction and control in your life and help ease depression symptoms, such as hopelessness and anger
- Learn to set realistic goals for your life
- Develop the ability to tolerate and accept distress using healthier behaviors
Hospital and residential treatment
In some people, depression is so severe that a hospital stay is needed. This may be necessary if you can’t care for yourself properly or when you’re in immediate danger of harming yourself or someone else. Psychiatric treatment at a hospital can help keep you calm and safe until your mood improves.
Partial hospitalization or day treatment programs also may help some people. These programs provide the outpatient support and counseling needed to get symptoms under control…
Your doctor will likely ask you a number of questions. Be ready to answer them to reserve time to go over any points you want to focus on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you or your loved ones first notice your symptoms of depression?
- How long have you felt depressed? Do you generally always feel down, or does your mood fluctuate?
- Does your mood ever swing from feeling down to feeling intensely happy (euphoric) and full of energy?
- Do you ever have suicidal thoughts when you’re feeling down?
- Do your symptoms interfere with your daily life or relationships?
- Do you have any blood relatives with depression or another mood disorder?
- What other mental or physical health conditions do you have?
- Do you drink alcohol or use recreational drugs?
- How much do you sleep at night? Does it change over time?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your feelings?
If you see yourself or someone you know in any of the facts stated above,you must seek help. So many people think that depression is something that a person can get through alone. Depending on severity, which a person may not be able to self-diagnose, reaching out for help is the smart and very wise thing to do. This is certainly a modern dilemma with all the stress and anxieties in the world, but it is a human problem that has been with humanity for all times. Thankfully, there is modern day help.
Your decision for yourself or someone else may truly be a life-saving decision. Remember, that God understands all our weaknesses. He also is ready to forgive, love, and to bring you into a new life filled with peace and happiness.