Depression has become a catch-all diagnosis that some respected researchers say covers many other emotional and psychological conditions like anxiety, stress, and the unhappiness from distressing life events like divorce and bereavement.
Busy and over-stretched doctors simply don’t have the time to make a thorough diagnosis – despite their best intentions – and giving a prescription has frequently seemed the best solution.
With depression being the number one illness across the whole world, there are a huge number of people out there who need to get the right help for them. If you’ve suffered from depression you’ll know how it seeps into every aspect of your life.
The signs and symptoms include:
• First and foremost a pervading feeling that you’re “blue”, down, feel despair, are sad, not yourself, low in spirits – essentially depressed.
• Irritable and short-tempered for apparently no reason.
• Have a lack enthusiasm for the things you once enjoyed.
• Find it very hard to sleep or are sleeping too much.
• Can’t get motivated for things like work and day-to-day chores.
• Loss of interest in sex.
• Loss of appetite or wanting to eat more.
• Feeling hopeless and also helpless.
• You might also stop looking after yourself properly.
• Unexpected feelings of anger.
• You may feel guilty and/or ashamed that you have no “obvious reason” to feel depressed.
• Easily stressed out – you may find things that used to be easy now seem difficult.
• You might have suicidal thoughts.
• You might find yourself turning to alcohol or drugs to feel better, which is not the solution.
• And you may notice your own unique symptoms.
If you’ve felt any of these symptoms for longer than two weeks then that should be a wake-up call to try and determine whether or not you have depression.
Where Does Depression Come From?
Although every person’s set of symptoms and experience of depression is unique there are a few major causes, these are:
- Reactive depression – where you’re “reacting” to some sort of life events like divorce or bereavement.
- Chronic depression – a long-term depression that may have resulted from something like a difficult or traumatic childhood or event, or work from a disturbance in your brain chemistry.
- Bipolar disorder – manic depression where people experience extreme highs followed by extreme lows.
- Postnatal depression (illness) – after the birth of a baby, women may suffer this either in a very minor form right through to a much more serious condition.
- SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder that affects people in the autumn and winter months and is tied into lack of sunlight.