What is Depression?|'D' for depression 'D' for Down

It is worth asking, What is depression?

Everything is down in depression. Your mood, your thoughts, your energy…. Your Life!

The mystery of depression is not unfolded, not yet… but the research is going on, to find out the truth.

You will find if's and buts' when it comes to depression because nothing is definite yet. What is definite is that, depression exists, it affects people and it affects them to an extent that some commit suicide. They prefer dying than living.

Many overcome it. Some with medicines, others with medicines and therapies, still others with only therapies (possible). But I have to keep my recommendations in line with the medical research, your personal experiences may be different.

Your Brain Tank is running Low on Chemicals

How do you get depression? Which area of the brain is involved? Is it the blood flow? Is it the chemicals? Is it the thinking? Is it the stress? Every researcher has tried his best to explain the causes and processes of depression but a lot things still need explanation.

In medical literature you will often find this cliché 'the exact cause is unknown'. Let me use this for depression as well, 'the exact cause is unknown'. Then what follows are theories but evidenced based to some extent.

The mostly widely accepted concept is that there is deficiency of chemicals in the brains of the depressed individuals. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters. It is not clear how this deficiency happens but it happens.

The most important chemicals are serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. It is logical to think that if the levels of these chemicals are low, efforts should be made to improve them. This is exactly what antidepressants aim at, improve the levels.

Depression is a Disease Not a Reaction

Your question is still not answered, what is depression? It is a disease. If it is not normal to be depressed, if it is not healthy to be depressed then you should consider it as a disease. There is no shame in visiting a doctor if you are ill, what if the problem is in the mind, mind is also a part of the body.

Do not confuse depression with grief reaction. In grief you also have sadness and low mood but that is not depression.

Everything sad is not Depression.

Back to your question, what is depression? To answer this question, the psychiatrists and mental health professionals gathered from all over the globe and laid down a criteria. It has points in it which are based on the symptoms of depression. If you fulfill the criteria you have depression.

Depression can show up in different ways, the most common being depressed mood. It can also show itself as aches and pains in the body, only physical symptoms, no mood changes. It can manifest as changes in your weight and eating habits.

Depression does not discriminate between different age groups. You can find it in young and old. It does has more liking for the old people. Also the way it represents itself in different age groups is different, even in different sexes its behavior is different.

If you had first depressive episode when you were young then you can have a more severe episode in later life. If not treated, the depression episode can last from months to years. It can take the form of chronic depression even. Get treatment and get rid of it, treatment helps.

Depression is Often Not Alone

Depression does not come alone often. It comes associated with other disorders as well. If you have depression, you can also have anxiety with it. Yes, anxiety and depression together. Most depressed people are also anxious people.

Depression can be a manifestation of some other disorder as well. There are other mental disorders which have depression as a part of them. There are other medical disorders which have depression as a their part. It is important to recognize the situation. If this is the case, treat the main cause first, depression will improve as a byproduct.

Depression Types

Depression has many types. Here's the list :

  • Major Depression also called unipolar depression
  • Bipolar depression.
  • Minor depression.
  • Seasonal depression or winter depression.
  • Atypical depression.
  • Dysthymic disorder.

Depressed people can have thoughts of suicide. Older depressed people who commit suicide often have partly treated depression. Younger people who commit suicide often have alcohol dependence and other associated mental disorders.

Depression causes disability. It leads to impaired functioning both at work and at home. Understand what is depression? treat it and beat it!

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