What is depression?

This is something that at times we can all ask, even those suffering at times. It is a word that is thrown around a lot and not many people have a good understanding. Depression is more than just a feeling and affects us a lot more than we could ever imagine.

Depression is a medical mental illness which negatively affects how we feel, the way we think or how we act. However, it is hard to have an exact definition of depression as it can cause a bit of conflict between different professions and just people in general.

Medically depression is quite easy to diagnose; all you need to do is tick enough boxes…. yes boxes to think this is how you are diagnosed is something that shocks me. However, other professions such as counsellors/psychotherapists see depression as an emotional condition rather than a disease. So there is a lot of confusion around this matter and it all depends on the individual themselves, to how they see it. For me I would have to say I see it as a bit of both as it can make me feel physically and mentally ‘sick’.

Some signs of depression are as follows (please be aware these are just some signs).

  • Feeling unhappy.
  • Lost of interest in things in life – doesn’t enjoy anything.
  • Lack of confidence.
  • Feels very ratty.
  • Feel as though they would be better off dead.
  • Feels tired all the time.

As you can see from some of the signs almost any of us can experience these but it doesn’t mean we are all depressed; it can just be a general feeling of being stressed, but these are normal day-to-day feelings. Everyone experiences feelings of low mood at some stage in their life.

Depression is not something you just wake up with, this is something which happens over time and there are subtle signs which can be noticed. Every person is different and someone of us can have more than others, I think this is one thing which is really important and it is worth if you are a current sufferer that you sit back and think about your early warning signs. This is very useful as we can then pass this onto those around us, this is not something we will notice as it’s normally those around us. I would recommend looking at doing at WRAP plan. I will go into more detail on another post about this as this is something I have completed myself.

A lot of the time depression is assessed on how people are functioning in specific areas of their lives such as emotional, motivational, cognitive etc.

Emotional  – Sadness, No sense of pleasure, Guilt, Worthlessness.

Cognitive – Self-blame, Thoughts of suicide, Indecisive, Negative thoughts.

Motivational – Apathy, Poor concentration, Low energy, Loss of interest.

Biological – Daily mood cycles, weight increase/decrease, appetite increase/decrease.

These are just a few things which people can experience when going through depression and it’s not easy. Everyone is different and can experience different symptoms. Depression is not a word or illness which should be thrown around as lots of people are labelled with depression are going through a hell of a lot, I have met so many people and it’s not just a case of being ‘depressed’, life is not easy and sometimes it can become a little bit too much for us all!

For a lot of people depression stops people from correcting their negative thoughts which have no place in reality. When suffering with depression these negative thoughts become reinforced and exaggerated. So for people not suffering with depression thinking ‘I can’t be bothered’ this is just a general phase and they are on about a certain thing such as work. Where as someone who is depressed could have the same thought but it becomes exaggerated so it becomes a lot more than just a task or a job, it can become about life etc. This is something which isn’t nice to experience I can speak from my own experiences and not a day goes by when I don’t have a thought like this. It could be over something as small like not having anything to feel nice in.

Different types of depression include;

Chronic – This is when depression can affect someone for a number of years and can have a big impact on someones day-to-day life.

Clinical – This is when the sufferer becomes so low that medical treatment is needed.

When feeling very low and depression we can experience feelings of despair, along with an inability to carry out normal day-to-day life which becomes so prolonged and severe that this is when medical treatment is required and lucky there are ways of treating depression. There are different forms of treatment such as medication (this does not fix the problem), counselling etc.

If you feel as though you are suffering and need help, please visit my support contacts page as there are lots of different contacts for you.