Depression is a mental illness; it is quite a common condition that can affect people of all ages. It is a real illness and not a sign of failure. It is unlike unhappiness, which can occur at any time and is a normal and natural reaction to a fight, argument or even a loss of a family member or friend. Depression is not so easy to get over, it is persistent and the symptoms interfere with everyday life. It is a chronic illness that may require long term management.
Depression is reported twice as often in Women than Men and a family history of depression increases a persons risk. Often triggers for depression may include psychological or physical factors such as long term anxiety issues, infectious diseases, glandular fever and any chronic illness. Often excessive drinking or drug taking may be either a cause and a symptom of depression. Alcohol, unfortunately, is often used as a form of self-medication which ultimately makes the condition worse.
The main symptoms of depression involve a loss of interest in life. Outwardly a person with depression may show no signs of sadness, but there is a definite behavioural change.
* There may be moodiness out of character; there may be an increased crankiness and irritability with frustration.
* Perhaps a noticeable sign is they find it hard to take any personal criticism.
* They spend less time with friends and family, just when they need them.
* There is a loss of interest in food, exercise and sex , recipe for increased frustration.
* One outward sign of depression is an increased absenteeism from school or work.
* There is an increased perception of pain and fatigue.
* Insomnia is one of the worse symptoms as a depressed person is unable to cope with life without a clear head. Often the use of sleeping tablets can compound this problem as the drugs make people unconscious, but can not give them any relaxing sleep.
There are many treatments for depression and only 1/3 of persons actually seek help. Some try to self medicate with inappropriate drugs. Others have successfully used some on-line programs, which while not ideal, do give some relief in the absence of proper counselling.
For others the use of family and friends to rebuild relationships is important in the treatment of a long term problem.
It is important to recognise the symptoms of depression it can be destroying and leads to a poor quality of life. Seek medical treatment or at least talk to a professionally trained counsellor if you have that feeling of being overwhelmed.