What You Should Know about Depression

What You Should Know about Depression

Depression can come in different forms and can truly affect one’s life. Clinical depression (also known as major depressive disorder) is different from situational depression, which is more commonly considered as, “having the blues.”

Clinical depression is the result of not having the right amount of certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine, and Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA).

Some other types of depression include bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression and more. Both medication and psychotherapy are needed to treat depression effectively.

Definitions of Various Types of Depression (from dictionary.com):

  1. Clinical Depression: A depression so severe as to be considered abnormal, either because of no obvious environmental causes, or because the reaction to unfortunate life circumstances is more intense or prolonged than would generally be expected.
  2. Bipolar Disorder: Characterized by periods of mania alternating with periods of depression, usually interspersed with relatively long intervals of normal mood.
  3. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Recurrent winter depression characterized by oversleeping, overeating, and irritability, and relieved by the arrival of spring or by light therapy.
  4. Postpartum Depression: Depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue.

Symptoms of Depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • Sleeping too much or too little, middle of the night or early morning waking
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
  • Loss of pleasure and interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment (such as chronic pain or digestive disorders)
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

It is important to deal with depression because it affects your whole being. It can sabotage your ability to act, express yourself, or deal with certain everyday situations. It can affect your work and relationships and lead to other problems.

Stacey Wald, LPC, RD
Swald @ growcounseling.com

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