WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Do you frequently ask yourself:
✓ What is wrong with me?
✓ Why can’t I snap out of it?
✓ When is this going to end?
Depression is a very common word nowadays; however there is more to depression than occasionally feeling sad and unhappy. When you struggle with clinical depression is an entirely different experience. Clinical depression is a change in your mind and body which can take over your day-to-day life. You may feel as if there is no joy, there is no peace, and there is no future for you. Life seems pointless and endless.
You are not alone in this battle; more than 20 million Americans suffer from clinical depression every year. However, as common as depression is, it can affect people’s mind, body and behavior in many different ways. It is common to have feelings of:
✓ Hopelessness or discouragement
✓ Being a failure
✓ Excessive guilt
✓ Lack of sleep
✓ Sleeping too much
✓ Unable to relax
✓ Loss of interest in activities
✓ Over-eating, or
✓ Lack of appetite
✓ Find it hard to socialize or be around family and friends
✓ Difficulty concentrating (such as sitting down and watching a movie or reading a book)
All of this may pass, as the prognosis for depression is generally good. However, a clinical evaluation, diagnosis and treatment may result in a quicker recovery. Diagnosis is established by a trained professional that includes ruling out medical causes of depression such as hormonal diseases, blood disorders, cancers and other illnesses that may mimic depression.
Additionally, there is no single known cause of depression. Here are some common factors that contribute to depression:
✓ Family history
✓ Biological (chemistry balance in the brain)
✓ Loss (e.g. death of a loved one, divorce, etc.)
✓ Stress (e.g. difficult relationships, work, family)
Although medical treatments, such as antidepressants, counseling, and/or therapy are the most common treatments for clinical depression, many people do not seek out these options. This is due, in part due to the illness itself.
Although there are several FDA approved antidepressants on the market today, not all medications work for everybody. Thus it is important for the medical community to continue its research to find effective medications and therapies to treat this condition.