Depression 

On April 10, I was talking to a “friend” and this “friend” asked me where have I been. I do what I do best, made a sarcastic joke. I told this “friend” I have been having an intense duel with DD that included mix martial arts, and samurai swords and that I even consider seppuku a few times. When this “friend” ask me who DD was and I said Depression, my “friend” laughed in my face. I mean a full blown belly laugh, and said that “Depression is not all that bad. You are just making it out to be something it is not. Stop being so dramatic”. I learned 2 things that day: 1, my “friend”  wasn’t really my friend (I mean, come on, I consider seppuku), and 2, this is how people perceive Depression.

So, listen up, follow along. I am going to break it down for you as much as I can. From the prospective of someone who has Severe Depression, or whom I commonly call DD. 

TYPES OF DEPRESSION – Definitions

There are many types of Depression, but we are going to talk about the 4 (of the 6) common types of depression (according to Harvard Health Publications). 

Major depression. The classic depression type, major depression is a state where a dark mood is all-consuming and one loses interest in activities, even ones that are usually pleasurable. Symptoms of this type of depression include trouble sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, loss of energy, and feeling worthless. Thoughts of death or suicide may occur. It is usually treated with psychotherapy and medication. For some people with severe depression that isn’t alleviated with psychotherapy or antidepressant medications, electroconvulsive therapy may be effective.

Persistent depressive disorder. Formerly called “dysthymia,” this type of depression refers to low mood that has lasted for at least two years but may not reach the intensity of major depression. Many people with this type of depression type are able to function day to day, but feel low or joyless much of the time. Some depressive symptoms, such as appetite and sleep changes, low energy, low self-esteem, or hopelessness, are usually part of the picture.

Bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder—once known as manic-depressive disease—have episodes of depression. But they also go through periods of unusually high energy or activity. Manic symptoms look like the opposite of depression symptoms: grandiose ideas, unrealistically high self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, thoughts and activity at higher speed, and ramped-up pursuit of pleasure including sex sprees, overspending, and risk taking. Being manic can feel great, but it doesn’t last long, can lead to self-destructive behavior, and is usually followed by a period of depression. Medications for bipolar disorder are different from those given for other depression types, but can be very effective at stabilizing a person’s mood.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This type of depression emerges as days get shorter in the fall and winter. The mood change may result from alterations in the body’s natural daily rhythms, in the eyes’ sensitivity to light, or in how chemical messengers like serotonin and melatonin function. The leading treatment is light therapy, which involves daily sessions sitting close to an especially intense light source. The usual treatments for depression, such as psychotherapy and medication, may also be effective.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS (according to National Institute of Mental Health)

Now, one thing to remember is that not everybody experience signs/symptoms. Some may experience one or two while othis may experience several. Also, “The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness. Symptoms may also vary depending on the stage of the illness” (NIMH). 
If you have been experienced any of the signs/symptoms (below) for a full day, almost every day, for about 2 weeks, then you could be suffering from Depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigueMoving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

FIGHTING DEPRESSION 

Is there a way to fight Depression? Yes! Some do it with medication, some do it with therapy or some combination of the two. I won’t go to much into detail about this because I am still learning about both. Trying to find out what is the best method and for whom it’s best for. But, I do want you to know that there is a way to fight it.

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