Depression is a medical condition that affects a person’s personal, professional and social life. Depression can be described as mental and physical changes that are characterized by feelings of hopelessness and intense sadness. Depression in adults is more common compared to children and adolescents. About one in ten men and one in five women are known to suffer from depression. However, very few people seek depression treatment.
Different Types of Depression:
Clinical depression can challenge a person’s ability to perform routine activities and can prove fatal if not treated immediately. The different types of clinical depression are
- Major Depression: it is a severe type of depression that interferes with normal functioning of a person’s life. Although a person may experience only one episode of major depression, it can get repeated several times during a person’s lifetime.
- Dysthymia: is a minor depression that varies between low to moderate degrees of depression. It does not occur frequently like major depression, but can interfere with normal functioning as much as major depression.
- Bipolar depression: also known as manic depression can sometimes be quite severe.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder: occurs only certain time of the year, usually the same time, most often in winter.
- Psychotic depression: is severe type of depression where a person loses touch with his/her reality. It is a condition where depression and hallucinations co-occur at the same time.
Symptoms of Depression:
Clinical depression generally last weeks and months and sometimes years if it is not treated. Some of the clinical symptoms of major depressive episodes are
- Feeling sad
- Loss of interest in routine activities
- Crying spells
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Significant weight gain or weight loss
- Lack of sleep or excessive sleeping pattern
- Tendency to isolate from friends and family members
- Thoughts of suicide and death
- Poor school/work performance
- Persistent boredom
- Frequent physical complaints
- Experiences fatigue
- Diminished concentration levels
Mental health services are easily available for treating depression. Complimentary therapies, Psychotherapy, Supportive therapy and medication are some of the mental health services that people can seek in order to treat various types of depression. Electroconvulsive Therapy is used to treat severe depressive conditions and Light Therapy is used to treat symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder.