Understanding depression (An insight)

In this brief blog, we will be talking about understanding depression, the meaning of depression, understanding depression in affected people, and more information about understanding depression.

Understanding depression as a psychological disorder

There are times that we need to feel down since we can’t help it but feel those things. However, this kind of feeling might become too much for a person where he or she forgets to eat or do something good for himself or herself. 

This is what occurs in people who are suffering from depression. This kind of psychological disorder has become a common sighting that it has become a great concern for mental health professionals. 

Symptoms and signs of depression

This kind of psychological disorder tends to vary among affected people. Some might show all the signs of this psychological disorder but some would have lesser symptoms than expected.

It really matters how the person is susceptible to this kind of psychological disorder which may affect the symptoms they have felt. The following are these symptoms:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness as a symptom of depression. A bleak outlook where nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation in life.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities as a symptom of this psychological disorder. You don’t care anymore about former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex in your life. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure that should also be evident in your life.
  • Appetite or weight changes as symptoms of this psychological disorder. Significant weight loss or weight gain which is a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month in your life.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning or oversleeping in your daily schedule.
  • Anger or irritability as a symptom of this psychological disorder. Feeling agitated, restless or even violent in one’s life. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves in your life.
  • Loss of energy as a symptom of this psychological disorder. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained most of the time. Your whole body may feel heavy and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete in your life.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt in your life. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes in your life.
  • Reckless behaviour. You engage in escapist behaviour such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving or dangerous sports in your life.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions or remembering things most of the time.
  • Unexplained aches and pains as symptoms of this psychological disorder. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain in your life.

The association between depression symptoms and anxiety

This kind of psychological disorder and anxiety disorder have been linked by the same biological vulnerability. This means that people with this kind of psychological disorder may also have a certain anxiety disorder which may only bring more distress.

Depression symptoms in different genders and ages

Depression has also been varied in different people. There are groups of people that have this kind of psychological disorder more than others.

This kind of psychological disorder may manifest differently and it is better you understand these differences to help you understand people with this psychological disorder. The following are these manifestations in different kinds of people:

Depression in affected men


Men with this kind of psychological disorder tend to deny they feel hopeless or sad. These kinds of men tend to complain that they get easily fatigued and having sleeping problems.


Depression in affected women


Affected women tend to feel this kind of psychological disorder more than affected men. They tend to have more symptoms of this psychological disorder than most affected men.

Depression in affected teens


Irritability and anger are very prominent symptoms of this psychological disorder in affected teens. These kinds of people would have aches and pains throughout their bodies which can lead them to not be motivated to attend school or be active.


Depression in affected older adults

Older adults who have this kind of psychological disorder would complain of the physical symptoms and some emotional symptoms. They are less likely to engage with other people when they have this kind of psychological disorder which can only worsen symptoms.

Types of depression to understand depression

There are also different types of depression that have been observed and studied by mental health professionals. These kinds have different severities but the symptoms are mostly related.

These different kinds are also more likely to be treated with the same kinds of treatment but others may have their different treatments for affected people. The following are these different kinds:


Mild and moderate depression as a type

This depression is the most typical form of this psychological disorder in affected people. This form has the same symptoms of the psychological disorder but with a lesser severity.

Most people would describe this form as feeling too sad and tired to do anything but they still do the things required of them. In this case, this form is a high-functioning form of this psychological disorder.


Recurrent and mild depression or dysthymia as a type

This depression is a kind of low-grade form of this psychological disorder. This form is the appearance of symptoms for 2 years.

However, this psychological disorder is not evident to most people but only the affected person. An example of a person who has this psychological disorder is Abraham Lincoln who had this form which made him almost unable to attend his own wedding.


Major depression

This form is the atypical form of depression. This form is the appearance of symptoms for 6 months.

Most affected people tend to have this psychological disorder longer when not immediately treated. Although this form of this psychological disorder should be intervened immediately when observed.


Atypical depression

This form of depression has one different symptom from the rest of the types. This form has a symptom where the affected person has some lifting of one’s depressed mood.

This form can be seen when the person eats eagerly despite feeling this sad mood. The person would also be seen to sleep well despite having this sad mood.


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as a type

This form of depression is described as the appearance of the depressed mood only in the winter season. This might occur due to the absence of light in this period.

This form is treated with light therapy where the person’s mood is controlled by the amount of light he or she is exposed to. This form is very prominent in affected people who live in places where winter is possible such as America.

Risk factors and causes of depression to understand depression

There are a lot of risk factors and causes of depression in affected people. It is better if you don’t rely on what television or the media depicted these kinds of causes which are usually dependent on the biological causes of this psychological disorder.

There are causes that might not have anything to do with the biological influences that might cause this kind of psychological disorder such as social circumstances in one’s life. The following are the causes of this psychological disorder:

  • Loneliness and isolation as causes of this psychological disorder. There’s a strong relationship between loneliness and depression as evident in studies. Not only can lack of social support heighten your risk for this kind of psychological disorder but having this psychological disorder can cause you to withdraw from others, exacerbating feelings of isolation. Having close friends or family to talk to can help you maintain perspective on your concerns and avoid having to cope with complications alone.
  • Marital or relationship complications as causes of this psychological disorder. While a network of strong and supportive relationships can be crucial to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can have the opposite effect and increase your risk for this kind of psychological disorder.
  • Recent stressful life experiences as causes of this psychological disorder. Major life changes, such as a bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial complications can typically bring overwhelming levels of stress and increase your risk of developing this kind of psychological disorder.
  • Chronic illness or pain as a cause of this psychological disorder. Unmanaged pain or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, can trigger feelings of hopelessness and even lead to this kind of psychological disorder.
  • Family history of this psychological disorder. Since it can run in families, it’s likely some people have a genetic susceptibility to this kind of psychological disorder. However, there is no single gene for this kind of psychological disorder. And just because a close relative suffers from this kind of psychological disorder, it doesn’t mean you will, too. Your lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills matter just as much as genetics when it comes to this kind of psychological disorder.
  • Personality. Whether your personality traits are inherited from your parents or the result of life experiences, they can impact your risk of this psychological disorder. For instance, you may be at a greater risk if you tend to worry excessively, have a negative outlook on life, are highly self-critical, or suffer from low self-esteem in your life.
  • Early childhood trauma or abuse as a cause of this psychological disorder. Early life stresses such as childhood trauma, abuse, or bullying can make you more susceptible to a number of future health conditions, including this kind of psychological disorder.
  • Alcohol or drug abuse as a cause of this psychological disorder. Substance abuse can often co-occur with this kind of psychological disorder. Many people use alcohol or drugs as a means of self-medicating their moods or deal with stress or difficult emotions in their lives. If you are already at risk for this kind of psychological disorder, abusing alcohol or drugs may push you over the edge. There is also evidence that those who abuse opioid painkillers are at greater risk for this kind of psychological disorder.

Conclusion

In this brief blog, we have talked about understanding depression, the meaning of depression, understanding depression in affected people, and more information about understanding depression.

If you have any questions about understanding depression, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

FAQs: understanding depression

What are the levels of depression?

The levels of depression are major depression, bipolar disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and seasonal affected disorder. Major depression is a state where a dark mood is all-consuming and one loses interest in activities, especially those activities that the affected person finds pleasurable. 

What is the highest cause of depression?

The highest cause of depression is not only related to one cause only. There are a lot of causes to this kind of psychological disorder and it tends to mix with other causes to create this psychological disorder in a person’s life. Causes of this psychological disorder are genetics, certain medical diseases, brain chemistry, substance use, poor nutrition, and stress. 

What age group has the highest rate of depression?

The age group that has the highest rate of depression is the age group of kids who are 12 years old and young adults who are 25 years old. There is no age group who are over 25 years old who have a higher rate of this psychological disorder in their lives but the younger groups are highly affected where most of those affected are college students. 

How do I know if I’m bipolar?

You will know if you are bipolar by seeing extreme changes in your mood such as from high to low or in the alternate way such as from high to low. These kinds of highs are called mania while those lows are periods of depression. The changes in mood may even become mixed so you might feel elated and depressed at the same time in some aspects of your life. This kind of psychological disorder isn’t a rare diagnosis. 

What is the cause of a feeling of depression in human beings?

The causes of a feeling of depression in human beings are a combination of genetic, environmental, biological, and psychological causes as reported by the NIMH. There are also certain medical diseases that may also trigger this kind of psychological disorder such as an underactive thyroid gland, heart disease, cancer, prolonged pain, and other significant medical conditions. 

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

Citations

HelpGuide. Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs.

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