Depression is an illness that effects the brain. Anyone suffering from depression will tell you, it’s not imaginary. Depression is more than just feeling down. It is a serious illness caused by changes in brain chemistry. Research states that other factors contribute to the beginning of depression, including genetics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical conditions, stress, sorrow or difficult life circumstances. Any of these factors alone or in combination can make quick changes in brain chemistry that leads to depression’s symptoms.
Depression is a severe condition. It’s also, unfortunately, a communal one. The World Health Organization personifies depression as one of the most restraining syndromes in the world, affecting roughly one in five women and one in ten men at some point in their lifespan. It is assessed that 21% of women and 12% of men in the U.S experience an episode of depression at some point in their lifetime.
Depression does not categorize. Men and women of every age, educational level, and social and economic background undergo depression. There is no area of life that does not suffer when depression is present. Marriage, parenting, friendships, careers, finances, every phase of daily living is negotiated by this disease. Once an episode of depression happens, it is also quite likely that it will repeat. And the influence of depression can be even more severe when it occurs in combination with other medical disorders such as diabetes, stroke, or cardiovascular disease, or with related syndromes such as anxiety or substance abuse.
The problems caused by depression are made worse by the fact that most people suffering from the disease are never diagnosed and let alone treated. The good news is that when depression is quickly identified and treated, its symptoms are controllable and there are many operative strategies for living with this disease. Depression and bipolar disorder are both treated most effectively in their initial stages when symptoms are less severe.
Types of Depressive Disorders
Some of the forms of depressive disorders are discussed below.
- Major depression – Symptoms that affect with the ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. An episode can happen only once in a person’s lifetime, but mostly, a person has several episodes.
- Persistent depressive disorder – Depressed temper that lasts for at least 2 years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with phases of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for 2 years.
- Bipolar disorder – It is also called manic-depressive illness, it is not as common as major depression or persistent depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes, from extreme highs (e.g., mania) to extreme lows (e.g., depression).
Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances. They include:
- Psychotic depression – This occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of obsession, such as having disturbing false beliefs or a break with reality (false impression), or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (phantasms).
- Postpartum depression – This is much more serious than the “baby blues” that many women experience after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of caring for a newborn can be awe-inspiring. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – This type is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer. SAD may be effectively treated with light therapy, but nearly half of those with SAD do not get better with light therapy alone. Antidepressant medication and psychotherapy can reduce SAD symptoms, either alone or in combination with light therapy.