Published on May 13th, 2013 | by Tom


What Is Depression? Symptoms and Causes

The first step in evaluating if you got depression is to ask yourself a series of questions.   Are you currently feeling extremely hopeless, helpless and tired?  Are things that used to give you pleasure and joy like hobbies, family and friends no longer do and you constantly feel sad?  Are regular life functions such as eating, sleeping and working more difficult?  And what is the length of time you have felt like this?

There are ups and downs in life, but sadness will usually go away after a couple of days.  However, when you are depressed you can’t accomplish simple tasks and your life as well as the lives of the people around you suffers. .  Depression is an extremely serious illness which needs immediate treatment.

What are the various types of depression?

  • Dysthymia depression – it is also referred to as dysthymic disorder.  This type of depression can last for a very long time (more than 2 years) but this form is much less severe in comparison to major depression.
  • Major depression – this is extremely severe that completely interrupts daily life to enjoy life, eating habits, work, school, sleep and your love life.  Usually if a person is coping with major depression it is recurring and happens a few times throughout their lifetime.
  • Minor depression – somewhat parallel to major depression but impacts daily functions less.

What are the causes of depression?

  • Family background – if there are others within your family who had depression odds are greater that you will have depression.
  • Chemistry of the brain – the brain functions differently in people who have depression.  CAT scans have proved this.
  • Stress – major problems or a few moderate problems can contribute greatly.  Having problems at work, a bad relationship or the death of a family member or friend can help depression to manifest.

What are the different ways people experience depression?

  • Women – are much more predisposition to get depressed than men.  This is because of hormonal and biological factors which are unique for women.  When a woman is depressed she feels guilty, worthless and sad.
  • Men – when a man gets depressed he usually gets angry, tired and irritable.  They usually lose complete interest in their work even if they loved their job and have a lot of trouble sleeping.
  • Older adults – it is harder to detect depression with older adults and the elderly.  They tend to admit anything is wrong with them. Medical factors like a stroke or heart disease can help contribute to depressed thoughts.  Also medication can cause side effects which can bring on depression.
  • Children and teenagers – they often act like they are sick, are very close to their parents, don’t like to attend school and always have the fear their mom or dad will die.  They often have a lot of problems at school.  Depression can be hard to spot for children and teenagers because they are going physically and emotionally.

What are the symptoms and signs for depression?

Keep in mind everyone is different so they have varying responses to the same situations in life.

  • Having no hope and constantly cranky, anxious, impatient or guilty
  • Either sleeping an excessive amount or not sleeping enough
  • Always being tired
  • Eating habits greatly changed by either over eating or not eating
  • Always losing their train of thought and having trouble remembering
  • No longer having joy even things that they used to love doing
  • Getting aches and pains, cramping, stomach problems or headaches
  • Feeling of emptiness and sadness
  • Having suicidal attempts or thoughts


image via [sparacio]

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