Because depression is something that most people experience at one point in their life, some ask if it is an actual illness. The answer is yes. There is clinical depression. It is normal to feel sad from time to time. Everyone will experience sadness at some time in their lives. Sadness is a natural reaction to something painful. Depression is more extreme. It is a clinical illness and has more symptoms than sadness and can, if not treated, lead to suicide.
When a person experiences sadness, they can identify its cause, while the person who experiences depression cannot do so. When a person experiences sadness, they know that they will heal and experience an improved mood over time. When a person experiences depression, they may get worse over time without being able to see an end to it. Depression can last for several weeks, months, or even years. Depression can be overwhelming and intense; this is not something that a person can “snap out of” as some think.
Some studies indicate that 1:8 Americans experience clinical depression in their lifetime, with some having only one episode. However, evidence shows that when a person experiences clinical depression once, there is about a 50% chance of it occurring more than once.
Depression involves the mental, emotional, and even physical aspects of a person. It does not go away because one will it to go away. If not treated, it may escalate into other variations of depression, more serious mental illness, and medical issues.
Three types of depressive disorders:
Major depressive disorder,
Bipolar disorder, and
Depressive- dysthymic disorder.
Major depression disorder is a culmination of all the symptoms and signs that interfere with functioning socially, professionally, and academically. Major depression disorder lasts for up to 2 years. Depressive- dysthymic disorder is the same as Major depression disorder. However, it lasts for more than 2 years.
Bipolar disorder is also a type of depression that involves drastic mood changes, from being very high one minute to severely depressed the next. The manic cycle can make the person hyper and over-enthusiastic, but it changes as soon as the depressed cycle hits.
The depressed cycle encompasses all the symptoms of depression.
Use the following link for steps you can take to protect yourself from the risk factors of depression.
The blog is written by :
Aloha McGregor, APC, CCHt, NCC
Therapist & Assistant Clinical Director