What is depression? Is it a mental illness?
Depression is a common mental illness that negatively affects the way you feel, the way you think and how you act.
It often shows with symptoms such as low energy and mood; loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy; changes in sleeping patterns; feeling worthless and hopeless; and changes in appetite.
It is important to seek help if you feel you or a loved one are suffering from depression.
How to deal with and treat depression?
Depression responds well to the right treatment and care. It is important that you see an experienced health professional who can help you with your diagnosis and treatment.
At The Center • A Place of HOPE we aim for whole person care which aims to address your mental, physical, vocational and nutritional needs. It is important that treatment looks at all areas of your life to ensure all problem areas are addressed and looked after.
Treatment often involves psychological treatments such as counselling, or cognitive behavioral therapy and it may involve antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications. Your health care professional will work with you to find the right treatments for you.
You can read more about Depression Treatment here.
What causes depression?
Depression is a very complex disease, and the true cause of it is not yet fully known. Chemicals do play a part in depression, but it is much more complex than a simple chemical imbalance.
Depression is personal, and each individual may present in different ways with their depression. It is not a “one size fits all” treatment approach that is needed, but rather one that is tailored to each individual and where they are at.
There has been research showing a variety of reasons linked to its development in some people and why it doesn’t affect others. Depression often occurs due to multiple events, both recent and in the past, rather than being the cause of one event.
There is more information about the causes of depression here.
How to know if you have depression? What does depression feel like?
If you are unsure if you are suffering from depression, some of the symptoms or feelings of depression are:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Significant changes in appetite
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Suicidal thoughts
- Loss of energy
- Inability to relax
- Feelings of despair
If you recognize some of these symptoms in yourself or in a loved one, you should speak to someone and get the help you need at The Center • A Place of HOPE. These are an overview of the types of symptoms you may experience, more detailed information can be found here.
How to help someone with depression?
If you are worried about a friend or family member who you feel may be suffering from depression, you may be feeling anxious, overwhelmed and unsure of how to help. It is important that you encourage them to seek help if they haven’t already. You can learn as much as you can about depression, it’s symptoms and causes.
Your loved one needs support and understanding, as well as someone to encourage them and love them in this difficult time. It is important you look after your own emotional health as it isn’t always easy supporting someone with depression.
Again it is so important that your loved one is receiving treatment from a health professional as this will help them immensely on their journey with depression.
What is postpartum depression and how long does postpartum depression last?
Postpartum depression is a type of depression that starts after child birth, often in the first year of your baby’s life but more commonly starts within 3 weeks of the birth. If you have it, you will have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and guilt as you feel you may not be bonding or caring for your baby as you should.
Postpartum depression is more common than you think with new research suggesting 1 in 7 new moms get postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression can last for long periods, even as your baby is over a year old, and it is unlikely to resolve by itself.
If you are feeling these feelings and quite overwhelmed, it is important to seek help as there is help available. Your doctor can prescribe medication or a psychologist or counsellor to help you. Other things can help as well such as exercise, surrounding yourself with good support system, finding fun things to do in your day and setting simple goals for each day.
What is bipolar depression and what is manic depression?
Bipolar disorder is characterized by episode of bipolar depression and sometimes, manic episodes depending on the type of bipolar disorder that you have. Bipolar depressive episodes may present with symptoms such as sadness; hopelessness; changes in sleep and appetite; have trouble focusing and remembering things; thinking about suicide or death.
Manic episodes of bipolar disorder are characterized with symptoms such as excessive happiness and energy; hopefulness and excitement; restlessness; rapid speech; poor concentration and less need for sleep.
There is help available for you if you feel you may be suffering from Bipolar Disorder, contact The Center • A Place of HOPE and they will be able to help you with your diagnosis and your recovery.
What is clinical depression?
Clinical depression is a more severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder. Symptoms of clinical depression are usually severe enough to cause problems in your relationship with others or in your day-to-day tasks and functions.
Clinical depression is diagnosed by a doctor, and even though it is a more severe form of depression there is still help available. It is important to seek experience professional care as they will be able to diagnose you correctly and help you to take the right steps towards wellness.
How many people have depression?
As of 2017 300 million people around the world have depression, according to World Health Organization.
About 7.1% of adults in the US have experienced a major depressive episode in the last year.
It is estimated that 15% of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.