We all go through ups and downs in our mood. Feeling ‘sad ‘or having a ‘low’ mood from time to time as a reaction to stressful events is a normal part of life. However, this cannot be considered as depression. It is important to understand that depression is different from the occasional feeling of sadness, which tends to pass rather quickly. Depression is much more than just sadness. It is a clinical condition, which if left untreated can lead to some serious complications, including suicidal death.
It is important to remember that, no matter how hopeless you feel, it is possible to get over depression. But first, let’s try to understand what depression really is? Learning about the symptoms, causes and risk factors is the first step towards identifying if you or someone around you is suffering from depression.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a serious mental disorder, which shows both mental as well as physical symptoms. People who suffer depression often appear sad and show irritable mood that is of a very high intensity. A person suffering from depression also shows specific changes in bodily functions such as crying spells, body aches, low energy or libido, as well as problems with eating, and weight.
How Is Depression Different From The Normal Emotion That We Feel?
- We all feel sad as a normal reaction to life’s struggles, and disappointments. Many people explain these kinds of feelings as “depression.” However, these feelings cannot be termed as depression, because they fade away and disappear usually in a few days.
- Depression is a chronic illness that often requires long-term treatment, like diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Depression is not just sadness. Some people who suffer depression don’t even feel sad; instead they may feel lifeless and empty or just irritated. Men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
- Depression means feeling of sadness that does not go away and interferes with day-to-day life, ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun.
- Depression can be accompanied with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness and these can be intense.
- People who are depressed may stop participating in certain everyday activities altogether. They tend to isolate themselves from family and friends. They may stop enjoying the things that they used to enjoy.
- Some depressed individuals may even have thoughts of committing suicide.