In simple termsyou can define depression as a medical condition or illness that creates a prolonged state of mind where an every day existence is less joyful than normal. Depression can be a complicated illness but it is also very common in the modern world.
The Collins dictionary define depression as "a mental state in which a person has feelings of gloom and inadequacy".
Medline Plus medical dictionary define depresion as "an act of depressing or a state of being depressed: as a (1) : a state of feeling sad (2) : a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty with thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts or an attempt to commit suicide"
There are many different types of depression each with slightly different symptoms and potentially requiring different treatments. Some of the depression types include, Bipolar Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Postnatal Depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Depression strikes different people to varying degrees, rendering some people incapable of even the most basic of human function to mild doses of feeling unhappy about ones self worth and existence.
It is perfectly normal to feel depressed or sad many times throughout your lifetime, particularly in times of a major incident such as a loved one passing away, a loss of a job, or relationship issues to name only a few. If this feeling lasts for more than 3 to 4 weeks you should consult your doctor. It will be important to tell your doctor everything about how you are feeling, make sure you spend some time before visiting to write a list of how you feel and what you are experiencing. This will help with him / her better define your condition.
Depression is not just a feeling of sadness; everyone will feel sad for various reasons at different times. Its when this feeling of sadness, hopelessness, or dejection lasts for a prolonged period of time, when the days blend into weeks, and then weeks into months that you should be seeking help for possible depression.
Symptoms of Depression
Now we have define depression and know what it is, we need to determine if we think we are suffering from depression before we seek help. Depression will have many side effects, not every one who suffers from depression will have the same symptoms and the degree of effect these symptoms have on the sufferer will vary from person to person.
The below is a general list of some of the symptoms that may help you define if you are suffering with depression:
- Prolonged general feeling of sadness for no apparent reason
- Feeling hopeless, no able to achieve goals or be happy when completing activities
- Not wanting to start something new, meet new people or even catch-up with long time friends
- Feeling dejected or thinking that no one cares about or loves you
- A feeling of guilt or loss of self worth
- Difficulties maintaining concentration
- Loss or interest in activities that would normally be enjoyable
- Loss or appetitive
- Reduction in sex drive
- Feeling tired or wanting to spend (a lot) more time in bed each day
- Insomnia or a consistent inability to sleep normally