“Depression is being colour-blind and constantly told how colourful the world is”
It’s part of the human condition to feel down at times. Sometimes there is a reason for it and sometimes there isn’t. This feeling usually last days or around two weeks. Depression is more than just feeling blue, it’s more intense and lengthier.
There are different forms of depression. They vary from mild, moderate and severe.
The following are various types of depression:
- Major depression, often referred to as clinical depression. This involves low mood and loss of pleasure or interest in usual activities or necessary daily activities. This is experienced on a daily basis and can last anywhere from two weeks to years. This is a more intense form of clinical depression where a person feels a complete loss of interest and pleasure in everything in life and the person begins to slow down in speech, movement and thinking.
- Psychotic depression. Some people who suffer from depression can begin to lose touch with reality. They may suffer from hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.
- Antenatal and postnatal depression. These are different to the ‘baby blues’ experienced by about 80% of women and primarily due to fluctuating hormones immediately following birth. Antenatal and postnatal depression are more intense and effect the mother’s relationship to the baby and people around her and they also have an impact on the development of the child.
- Bipolar Disorder. This is a form of depression where a person experiences extremes in mood, going from severely down to manically happy and with a stable mood in between.
- Cyclothymic disorder. This is a less severe form of Bipolar.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a form of depression brought upon by the beginning and ending of a season, especially winter.
Every form of depression has disabling symptoms such as;
- Changes in behaviour – Withdrawal, resorting to a substance and inability to concentrate.
- Distorted thinking – being obsessed with negative thoughts about self and one’s life.
- Physical disturbances – these range from being tired all the time, sleep abnormalities, loss or change of appetite and being run down and having aches and pains.
- Intensified feelings – ranging from sadness to guilt to overwhelm.
There is no precise explanation for the cause of depression. It’s thought to be a combination of factors including life events and long-term personal factors.
Dealing with depression is most often very isolating. When a person is depressed doing anything out of the ordinary is very difficult. But there are many effective treatments available that can make all the difference. Usually, getting better may involve several different support systems and therapies from natural therapies, medical therapies and talk therapies such as counselling. Seeing a counsellor can provide support, information and guidance. It can be the beginning of reclaiming hope and empowerment which is what everyone experiencing depression ultimately needs.
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