What is depression?
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by low mood, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, decreased energy and loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed. These symptoms are generally observed in adult subjects, but may also be observed in children. This mental disorder may occur in response to a significant event, such as bereavement or separation, or may be a result of disturbances in neuro-circuits that regulate mood.
The term "Depression" describes a group of disorders known as Major Depression, Dysthymic Disorder, or Depression NOS. A person may suffer from more than one type of Depression, depending on the severity of the depression and the person's unique background.
Most people suffering from depression have a cyclical pattern of the disease; that is, they experience a depressive episode, during which time they experience feelings of sadness, helplessness and hopelessness, and they have a distinct period of normal mood following the episode. In between these episodes, a person may experience prolonged low mood and a low energy state known as hypo-manic or bipolar. These cyclical patterns generally last for around two years. The intervals between episodes vary from person to person.
Other symptoms include, but are not limited to: sadness, irritability, anxiety, difficulties concentrating, inability to make decisions, sleeping problems, change in appetite, increased sexual energy, and suicidal thoughts.
If you find that you are suffering from depression, you should consult your doctor. You may be referred to a specialist; if this is the case, you should ensure that he or she is aware of your situation and that he/she treats the condition appropriately.
In the most severe cases, depression may lead to self-harming behaviours; this should be dealt with immediately. Do not leave it until the last minute. Your family and your doctor will all suffer if you don't find the help that you need as soon as you can.
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Author - Chris
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