Depression is a medical illness that can interfere with a person’s life. It affects your mind, mood, and body, as well as sleep patterns. The illness can affect how you feel about yourself, life, and how you think about things in general. It can affect your relationships, and just about everything else in your life. Depression is not something you can just wish away, or talk yourself out of, and can last for weeks or months.
Man, don’t I know that. Everything in that paragraph is true for me. I am always exhausted, and just want to sleep some days. I used to feel confident in my abilities and intelligence, and now I constantly criticize and second guess. I have pushed a lot of people away, or have tried to anyway. I have always had trouble with being social, but it has become to the point of not having a lot of friends I visit with in person. I rarely talk on the phone, I am much more comfortable texting. My relationship with my husband had becomes strained at one point. No matter how much I tried to talk and think myself out of it, it was a feeling in my mind and my body. I still felt the pain, even behind my happy mask.
Below I have made some lists on symptoms, different types, and causes of depression.
There are a few symptoms of depression:
- Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
- Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
- Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
- Pessimism, indifference
- Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
- Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
- Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, 2009)
There are also several different forms of depression:
- Major depressive disorder
- Dysthymic disorder
- Psychotic depression
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (womenshealth.gov, 2010)
There are also several causes for depression:
- Chemical imbalance
- Hormonal factors
- Medical Illness (womenshealth.gov, 2010)
Now, these lists were not made for people to self-diagnose themselves. They are just there to give everyone an idea of how many forms there are, and what can cause them. Depression is not a “bad mood” that will go away in a couple of days. It’s a serious illness that should be treated as such, and talked about seriously.
Since the conception of this blog, I have been talking a lot about my depression, and about how I want to help others see that other people in this world deal with it too, and that they are not alone. I want to get a conversation started about depression, the various forms, and related illnesses, such as Bipolar Disorder. Let’s get this conversation started!
Do you suffer from depression, or an illness related, such as Bipolar disorder? If so, how long have you suffered?
Have you sought treatment? If so, what kind? If not, why?
Do you hide behind a happy mask to avoid interaction or conversation about your illness, or do you openly talk about it?
Let’s go folks! The only way to heal is to be open and honest. Let’s get this conversation moving, and chase that stigma away.