Anxiety And Tension

The Difference Between Night And Day

Of all the mental health disorders, depression is the most common. Almost everyone suffer from some form of depression or the other in their lifetime. We all are somewhat familiar with the symptoms of mild depression. But clinical depression that may result in a whole host of emotional and physical problems, is a much more serious form of depression.

Those of us who have suffered from occasional bouts of mild depression know that eventually we can "snap out" of it. We can treat ourselves to a new piece of clothing ('retail therapy' to those familiar with this type of treatment), give ourselves a bubble bath, speak to a dear friend, take a walk around the block, and then gradually begin to feel better. Clinical depression is much more than this. People suffering from clinical depression have trouble with even the most mundane aspects of their everyday lives. They have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, they cannot function at work, have a hard time focusing on everyday tasks, experience fast weight gain or weight loss, and may find their personal relationships suffer.

People who suffer from clinical depression may find their symptoms worsening if they do not receive medical and psychological attention. Fortunately, more effective treatments are available than ever before. In most cases, the greatest obstacle to overcoming depression is not the search for appropriate treatment, but in simply taking that first step and seeking help. Over 19 million people in the United States suffer from depression. Unfortunately, it is estimated that only approximately one third of people suffering from depression ever seek out help. As long as people view depression as a personal flaw or weakness, rather than a legitimate disease, these statistics are likely to hold.

There are many forms of depression, with chronic clinical depression being one of the most difficult to treat. One of the most common types of depression is Situational Depression. A death in the family, divorce, breakup, loss of employment, serious illness or other major life event can trigger a period of intense depression or grief. Situational Depression will usually lift, even if left untreated, although it may take several weeks or months.

Another more potentially serious form of depression comes in the guise of a Major Depressive Disorder. A major depressive episode can strike suddenly and unexpectedly. People who suffer from major depressive episodes are likely to suffer from chronic depression. Patients with a Major Depressive Disorder may also be more vulnerable to experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Another form of chronic depression is Dysthymic Disorder. Dysthymic Disorder is less severe than Major Depressive Disorder. Patients experience a sense of melancholy and dissatisfaction that can envelop them throughout their life. Dysthymic Disorder usually makes its appearance at an early age.

What causes depression?
Doctors and scientists posit several theories as to why some people are more vulnerable to depression than others. Sometimes depression appears to run in families, and those born into a family with a history of depression are more likely to suffer from it sometime in their lifetime. Childhood trauma, loss of a loved one, or other major life events may also trigger depression. At its core, however, depression itself is a disease caused by chemical reactions in the brain, and it can always be treated.