Good afternoon Y’all! I hope your weekend is beautiful and going very well! With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to continue sharing some additional information about what people can deal with! I also want y’all to never forget that one kind word to another can make a HUGE difference to that person’s day! Love, acceptance and kindness can go a long way!
Depression, like all other illnesses does not discriminate and sadly affects people of all ages, ethnicity and socioeconomic backgrounds. Depression is more than just going through a rough patch in life or feeling sad, but can be quite debilitating. In fact, depression is the leading cause to disability in the United States among people between the ages of 15-44. You would never think that a child as young as 15 would experience depression, but it happens way more than we could imagine. In the United States alone 16 million American adults which are 7% of the population will or have experienced depression in their lifetime.
What is the world causes depression for so many people? While there really is no known single cause for depression, but this may possibly occur from a series of events in life or even one major situation. Certain events in life can cause some, whereas chemical changes in the brain can cause others. Depression can be triggered by a life crisis or physical illness, but also can occur spontaneously.
Some factors scientists believe can contribute to depression are:
- Trauma at an early age can cause long-term changes in the response to fear and stress
- Genetics, mood disorders do tend to run in the family
- Life circumstances such as marital status, relationships changes and financial standings can influence depression
- Brain changes
- Medical conditions
- Drug and alcohol abuse. Approximately 30% if people with a substance abuse problem also have depression, which maybe these individuals were trying to self-medicate their struggles as that does happen quite frequently
There are numerous different types of depression one can experience, but I am only going to touch on four of them: Major Depression, Persistent Depression, Manic Depression also known as Bipolar Disorder and Atypical Depression.
Major Depression is when a person is actually depressed most of the time for more days a week than not. Symptoms for Major Depression include:
- Loss of interest of pleasure in activities
- Weight loss or gain
- Trouble getting to sleep or feeling sleepy during the day
- Feeling restless, agitated or very sluggish and slowed down physical or mentally
- Being tired and without any energy
- Trouble concentrating or making decision
- Thoughts of suicide
A doctor may diagnosis Major Depression if there are five or more of the symptoms I mentioned on most days for two weeks or longer.
Persistent Depressive Disorder is when the depression lasts two years or longer. This type is actually used to describe two conditions dysthymia and chronic depression. Dysthymia is a low-grade persistent depression and chronic depression is persistence of depressive symptoms for an extended period of time.
Symptoms for this type of depression are:
- Change in appetite, either not eating enough or eating too much
- Sleep too much or sleep too little
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Low self-esteem
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Feeling of hopelessness
Manic Depression also known as Bipolar Disorder is another type of depression that so many people are living with. With this type of depression, a person can have mood episodes ranging from extremes of high energy, which is referred to as mania to low depressive periods, but they also have “normal” moods and energy in between. The mania part of this illness may involve long periods of sleeplessness along with hallucinations, psychosis or paranoid rage. The depressive episode can be very devastating and difficult to treat. Through studies there has not been any proof that antidepressants are beneficial for those with Bipolar Disorder, but a small percentage can actually increase risk for the high phases or speed up frequency of more episodes to occur.
Atypical Depression is specifier for either major or dysthymia depression. This is typically experienced first at an early age such as teenage years. This can be distinguished from melancholic depression because a person will see a mood improvement when something positive occurs, whereas with melancholic depression a positive event will seldom change the person’s mood. To diagnosis, a person will need to have at least two of the following symptoms to accompany the mood reactivity:
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Increased appetite or weight gain
- Intense reaction or increased sensitivity to rejection which can result in problems socially
- Having a feeling of being weighed down, paralyzed or leaden which means dull, heavy or slow
In my opinion, people with depression often feel shame and do not feel comfortable talking to others about their struggles. I feel that it is incredibly important to never judge anyone for what they are battling with in life, but we should all be accepting and offer our support! In some situations, depression can lead to suicide which I find extremely sad. Maybe if these people felt that they mattered and could confide in another, they would not have gone that route. Of course that is not always true as we really can not help someone who does not want help, but we can at least try to offer our compassion!
**Please note that I am NOT a physician or mental health professional. All the information I have shared with you is from my own research and experiences in life. So, please take this as advice not an official diagnosis for anything!**
Thank y’all from the bottom of my heart for stopping by my site today. I hope you found this information valuable and offered you an understanding of what some have to deal with in life! Of course I will appreciate your comments and I will respond just as quickly as I possibly can. I hope you have fabulous and beautiful day! As always, I am sending y’all LOTS of love and comfort!