Understanding Depression – What Is Depression?

Depression is the most common mental health problem in the United states. It affects 17 million each year of all ages, groups, races, and background. Depression is a serious illness and everyone need to have some understanding of it whether you’re suffering from depression, or have a friend or loved one suffering from it, or whether you’re just hearing of it. Even if you’re not suffering from the disease or know someone suffering from it, it’s still good to familiarize yourself with it so that you can recognize its symptoms at any point in time, get diagnosed immediately and get the help you or your friend or loved one needs.

The secret to treating and overcoming depression in time lies in the early diagnosis of it. When you can recognize its symptoms in time, and seek treatment you can easily beat it.

What is Depression Really?

Depression shouldn’t be mistaken for the usual feeling of bad moods, sadness or feeling down. Such feelings are normal reaction to day to day events, and they are often overcome within a short time.

When someone is depressed or have mood swings consistently for weeks, months, or longer and it limits the person from going about his or her daily activities, then that could be depression.

There are different types of depression, there is major depression, dysthymia, adjustment disorder, seasonal affective disorder and bipolar disorder or manic depression.

Causes of Depression

Causes of depression ranges from genetic causes to significant life events. That is if some members of a person’s family has suffered from depression, it increases the person’s chances of developing depression. And if a person experience a sudden change of events such as losing a loved one or moving to a new area or the person someone is in a relationship with breaks their heart, can lead a person to become depressive.

Other possible causes could be chronic illness or side effects from some types of medicine or infections.

Diagnosing Depression

For an accurate diagnosis see a mental health professional for a detailed clinical evaluation. To qualify for a diagnosis, you should have been experiencing at least 5 of the following symptoms consistently for a period of at least 2 weeks.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Having little interest or pleasure in doing things

Feeling down, depressed or hopeless

Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much

Feeling tired or having little energy

Poor appetite or overeating

Feeling bad about yourself – Or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down

Trouble concentrating on things

Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed, or the opposite – Being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual

Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way

Recognizing Depression

If you think you or loved one may be suffering from depression, take the necessary steps to get treatment. Do not overlook it especially when you notice such symptoms in children. Untreated depression can pose a threat to human life.

Treating Depression

If you suspect depression, your first stop should be to see your regular doctor so that physical illness can be ruled out. If your doctor suspects depression, he or she can then refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker who will then give you a proper diagnosis for depression.

Do not put treatment off, early detection and diagnosis are the key to quickly overcoming depression. There is nothing to be afraid of, more than 80% of the people who become depressed are treated successfully.

A psychiatrist or psychologist can perform a complete evaluation and start a treatment plan with you which may include counseling, medicine or both.