By: Pat Nash
Full Article: Click Here
"Depression is sneaky and has many forms. The Mayo Clinic website, www.mayclinic.org, lists seven types, the most common of which are major depression, SAD (seasonal affective disorder), adjustment disorder, post-partum depression and dysthymia. Although they are all different, they share several of the same symptoms: loss of interest in life, constant fatigue, sleep pattern disturbances and a feeling of hopelessness. The diagnostic differences among them are based on the cause, severity and duration of the symptoms.
According to the Mayo Clinic site, major depression lasts more than two weeks and is a “chronic illness that usually requires long-term treatment, like diabetes or high blood pressure.” People with major depression are affected physically as well as mentally and have “frequent thoughts of death, dying, or suicide.” Anyone with those symptoms requires immediate care from medical and mental health specialists.
SAD is fairly common in northern areas that receive considerably less sunlight during the winter. Most of us feel a let down as summer wanes and we’re daylight-deprived. The symptoms are similar to those of other types of depression, but they don’t last as long and aren’t as severe. We usually adjust but, if we don’t, it can lead to a more severe type.
Adjustment disorder, according to the site, is a “depressed mood that occurs after a particularly stressful event.” I’ve also heard it described as situational depression, and is probably what I had after my mother’s death. Most people can empathize with that sort of depression because they can see the cause. But other forms of depression are harder for many people to understand.
Dysthymia is, also according to the Mayo site, a mild, but long-term chronic form of depression. Its symptoms include loss of interest in living, low self esteem, feelings of guilt, sleep problems, a pessimistic attitude, anger and difficulty making decisions. Medical experts agree that anyone who has those symptoms for longer than two weeks should seek help.
Men, the site points out, often show different symptoms of depression which may include anger, aggression and reckless behaviors. It also reminds readers not to forget the possibility of depression in children, teens and the elderly if their behaviors or attitudes change. It has a helpful guide to options for treatment on its Road to Depression Recovery page.
It’s helpful to know that long-term stress can also cause depression and physical symptoms. Our bodies are often smarter than our brains, so if we experience unexplained aches or pains, the cause may be stress and can be a warning that depression or illness may soon follow if we don’t identify and eliminate the stressors in our lives.
Nobody wants to live in a state of irritability or hopelessness, but many who live with those feelings don’t realize they can be symptoms of depression. If someone you care about exhibits any of the symptoms, urge them to seek help. It may take a family and friends’ intervention to force them into treatment, but the results will be worth their initial anger and reluctance. It could even save their lives."
Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton - From Fame to Prostitution to Advocacy
Hall of Fame Basketball Star Chamique Holdsclaw on Mental Resilience
Diana Nightingale on her husband Earl Nightingale's Principles for Mental Health Success
JoAnn Buttaro on Date Rape & PTSD Survival
Story: Its Never Too Late
Gabe Howard on BiPolar Advocacy
Phil Fulmer on Teen Suicide
Prison, Bipolar and Mania with Andy Behrman
Columbia Univeristy's Dr. Rynn on OCD