Some people think of depression and just think it means someone having a bad day or a short spell of sadness, but clinical depression is more than that. Depression is a serious mental illness that can impact physical and mental health.
If not handled properly, clinical depression can lead to more serious issues such as suicidal ideation. Learning about the signs and symptoms that surround depression can help you be on the lookout for it if you or your loved one ever start showing problematic signs.
Everyone gets sad from time to time, that is just part of the human experience. But depression is a prolonged version of this, or other specific issues, that interfere with daily life and normal functioning.
Signs and Symptoms
Sadness is one of the most common symptoms of depression, but not the only one. And moreover, some people may not feel sadness at all. Depression has many other symptoms, including:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt
- Loss of interest
- Difficulty concentrating
- Appetite and weight changes
- Restlessness, irritability, and more
Depression can be caused by a number of different sources including genetics, chemistry, environment, and more. Depression can also occur as a result of other serious illnesses like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and more.
When these issues occur, it is important to face these issues head-on and not cope with them in a negative way. Unfortunately, negative coping methods, like drug and alcohol use, can exacerbate the situation and lead to further problems. Luckily, there are resources available to help you learn how to stop drinking and get your substance abuse issues under control.
Types of Depression
There are a number of different types of depression. Each has a different cause and different symptoms. Learning more about each type of disorder will help you learn how to spot them and the next steps for dealing with them.
Major Depression — The most common form of depression is a major depressive disorder which can lead to severe symptoms that ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life.
Persistent Depressive Disorder — Persistent depressive disorder is a depressive disorder that lasts two years. A person diagnosed with this type of depression will experience more severe and less severe symptoms, but symptoms will last for two years.
Postpartum Depression — Postpartum depression is something that comes after a woman gives birth. They are more hormonal and the physical changes and the newfound responsibility of caring for a child can be somewhat overwhelming. The National Institutes of Mental Health estimate that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
Seasonal Affective Disorder — Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is characterized by depression that pops up during the winter months, this is due to the lack of natural sunlight. This type of depression will generally lift during the spring or summer.
Danger of Depression
One of the biggest risks when it comes to depression is the increased risk of suicide. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, although the majority of people who have depression do not die by suicide, have depression does increase the suicide risk compared to people without depression.
It is estimated that about 60 percent of people who commit suicide have had a mood disorder such as major depression or bipolar disorder.
It should be noted that the risk of death by suicide may be, in part due to the severity of depression.
Whether you are dealing with major depression or SAD, getting help is a must. If you or a loved one are dealing with a mental disorder like depression, it is best to reach out to a location where you can receive clinical help.