It is widely known that an extremely large amount of people are battling depression and other disorders. There is lack of comprehensive and well
thought out personal experiences with enough information to help the common man understand.
I am going to help you understand this topic the best way I can, by telling you my experiences and giving you the medical information you need
First of all, what is depression, what are the symptoms and what types of depression are there?
The medical definition of depression is as follows:
Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for
True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for an extended
period of time.
The common symptoms are:
* Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
* A dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
* Fatigue and lack of energy
* Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and inappropriate guilt
* Extreme difficulty concentrating
* Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
* Inactivity and withdrawal from usual activities
* Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
* Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Low self esteem is common with depression. So are sudden bursts of anger and lack of pleasure from activities that normally make you happy, including
There are many types of depression. Their depth and length ranging from mild to severe.
A minor depression is defined as:
Minor depression is defined as a mood disturbance of at least 2 weeks' duration, with between two and five symptoms of depression.
A Major depression is defined as:
Major depressive disorder consists of one or more major depressive episodes each of which lasts at least 2 weeks.
For both of these types of depression, the feelings of the person can range from mild to severe. Meaning a person can just feel down right sad and
lonely, losing interest in their favorite subjects or they can become isolated, suicidal and a danger to themselves and others.
There are certain types of depression, with distinct causes and treatments. They vary from cause to cause and the effects which they have on the
One very well known type, only effecting women is Post Partum Depression.
Post Partum Depression – Major depressive episode that occurs after having a baby. Depressive symptoms usually begin within four weeks of
giving birth and can vary in intensity and duration.
The medical knowledge on PPD, varies from doctor to doctor but it is mainly thought that after the birth of the child, a woman's hormones are trying
to return to normal causing PPD. The severity varies from woman to woman. The most severe cases have seen women killing themselves or their
The next type of depression is going on the raise with the current times and should be understood by everyone. It is called Situational Depression or
Situational Depression or Reactive Depression (also known as Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood) – Depressive symptoms developing in
response to a specific stressful situation or event (e.g. job loss, relationship ending). These symptoms occur within 3 months of the stressor and
lasts no longer than 6 months after the stressor (or its consequences) has ended. Depression symptoms cause significant distress or impairs usual
functioning (e.g. relationships, work, school) and do not meet the criteria for major depressive disorder.
While the last sentence is currently under debate by the medical community, it is mostly a short lived depression. Once the person copes with what has
happened they return to their normal happy selves. In severe cases a person can harm themselves and others, if it is not dealt with correctly. Ex:
The last example depression has been felt or will be felt by nearly all people in the world, it is called Melancholic Depression.
Melancholic Depression (Sub-type of Major Depressive Disorder) - Main features of this kind of depression include either a loss of pleasure in
virtually all activities or mood does not temporarily improve in response to a positive event.
AKA: Mid-life crisis.
Now that you have a basic knowledge of what depression is, how do you treat it?
There are two options:
Now for my story,
Treatment will differ depending on the type of depression based on its severity and various symptoms. For example, the focus of therapy may vary
or different antidepressants may be prescribed targeting certain symptoms.
I have been battling depression and bi-polar disorder almost my whole life. I have known since I was 13 that something was wrong with me. I spent my
middle school years in a haze of self hatred and sadness. During that time people did not tell each other they were feeling like killing themselves.
It was a taboo subject and to many families it still is. From what I was taught by my teachers and television, psychiatrists were there to put you
into the looney bin, so I told no one. I lived in my own little world of gloom.
In my late teens, things started to change. I would wake up extremely happy and laughing at anything remotely funny, then the day after I would want
to poke my eyes out with a pen. One day I went to school and looked at the people all running around as happy as can be and I asked myself, "What's
the point? I can't be like them!"
I had just experienced a psychotic meltdown. I stopped going to school, stopped talking to my friends, I spent all day in my bed room reading and
watching TV, just hating the world.
At this time my parents took me to a psychiatrist and I got a prescription for Depression and Bi-polar Disorder. The effects were almost immediate, I
felt happier, lighter somehow. My moods stopped fluctuating. I still didnt like being around a lot of people but I was getting better. After 6 months
at home, I was ready to go back to school and continue my studies. I had submitted all the papers to get back in and it was 3 days till I returned.
My dad was diagnosed with cancer. A golf ball sized tumor was growing on the right side of his brain. 3 weeks and 2 days after he was diagnosed, he
died due to complications from the removal of the tumor.
Everything for me stopped. I once again faced depression. A new type though, this one had a reason. Grief. The most horrible feelings I had ever felt
before. My earlier depression was clouded with confusion as to why I felt that way, and there was nothing I could do about it but this was horrible. I
knew what caused me to feel this way and it was just horrible. I still battle that grief as I write this.
To sum everything up for everyone reading this thread. Depression runs in my family. My Grandfather, Father and Mother have all dealt with depression.
I take medications and no longer deal with the confusion I felt before as to why I felt that way. It didnt help that society didnt teach me what to do
and I was adamant that I didnt need to see a doctor. I urge you to see a doctor if you have any of the symptoms I cited at the beginning of this
thread. Life is much better when youre not in a haze of sadness.
Grief is a horrible thing to have to go through. Everyone must go through it at some time though. Be it the death of a family pet or the loss of a
loved one. While I did not seek help for my grief because I have dealt with depression my whole life and knew how to handle it. I also urge anyone
having to go through it to seek counseling if they need it. Telling a complete stranger your feelings and knowing they cannot divulge the information
to anyone does wonders. My Mother knows this best.
There is one last thing I must tell. Bi-Polar disorder is no joke. It is hard to diagnose because the person going through the manic ups and downs
doesnt consciously know
they are feeling those things. Crazy people do not know they are crazy. For an example the only reason I found out I
had BPD is because my family noticed and started to comment on my strange moods. If you think you have BPD please seek medical help.
I would like to thank you for reading this thread and understand that divulging some of this information can be seen as wrong to some people but
giving a personal experience along with medical information is the easiest way to get you into a depressed person's shoes, as horrible as that
sounds, it is important you understand what many people go through everyday. Do not fear what you do not understand. Knowledge is power and knowing is
half the battle.
Please feel free to leave comments and personal experiences!
Edit: Just to let you guys know I have not been majorly depressed for years now. I am healthy and am not crazy.
[edit on 4/16/2009 by Tentickles]