DEPRESSION.

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.  Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It may lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a persons ability to function at work and at home.

TYPES OF DEPRESSION

Heres a look at nine types of depression and how they affect people.

1. Major depression

Major depression is also known as major depressive disorder, classic depression, or unipolar depression. Its fairly common — about 16.2 million adults in the U.S. have experienced at least one major depressive episode.

People with major depression experience symptoms most of the day, every day. Like many mental health conditions, it has little to do with whats happening around you.

Symptoms of major depression includes;

* Gloom, or grief

*Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much

*Lack of energy and fatigue

*Loss of appetite or overeating

*Unexplained aches and pains

*Loss of interest in formerly pleasurable activities

*Lack of concentration, memory problems, and *Inability to make decisions

*Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

*Constant worry and anxiety

*Thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide.

Nb:These symptoms can last weeks or even months. Some people might have a single episode of major depression, while others experience it throughout their life. Regardless of how long its symptoms last, major depression can cause problems in relationships and daily activities.

2. Persistent depression

Persistent depressive disorder is depression that lasts for two years or more. Its also called dysthymia or chronic depression. Persistent depression might not feel as intense as major depression, but it can still strain relationships and make daily tasks difficult.

Some symptoms of persistent depression include:

*Deep sadness or hopelessness

*Low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy

*Lack of interest in things you once enjoyed

*Lppetite changes

*Changes to sleep patterns or low energy

*Concentration and memory problems

*Difficulty functioning at school or work

*Inability to feel joy, even at happy occasions

*Social withdrawals.

Nb: Persistent depression lasts for years at a time, so people with this type of depression may start to feel like their symptoms are just part of their normal outlook on life.

3. Manic depression, or bipolar disorder

Manic depression consists of periods of mania or hypomania, where you feel very happy, alternating with episodes of depression. Manic depression is an outdated name for bipolar disorder.

In order to be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, one have to experience an episode of mania that lasts for seven days, or less if hospitalization is required. You may experience a depressive episode before or following the manic episode.

Symptoms includes;

*Feelings of sadness or emptiness

*Lack of energy

*Fatigue

*Sleep problems

*Trouble concentrating

*Decreased activity

*Loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities

*Suicidal thoughts

Signs of a manic phase include:

*High energy

*Reduced sleep

*Irritability

*Racing thoughts and speech

*Increased self-esteem and confidence

*Unusual, risky, and self-destructive behavior

*Feeling elated, high,or euphoria

4. Depressive psychosis

Some people with major depression also go through periods of losing touch with reality. This is known as psychosis, which can involve hallucinations and delusions. Experiencing both of these together is known clinically as major depressive disorder with psychotic features.

Hallucinations are when you see, hear, smell, taste, or feel things that arent really there. An example of this would be hearing voices or seeing people who arent present. A delusion is a closely held belief thats clearly false or doesnt make sense. But to someone experiencing psychosis, all of these things are very real and true.

Depression with psychosis can cause physical symptoms as well, including problems sitting still or slowed physical movements.

5. Perinatal depression

Perinatal depression, which is clinically known as major depressive disorder with peripartum onset, occurs during pregnancy or within four weeks of childbirth. Its often called postpartum depression. Perinatal depression can occur while youre pregnant.

Hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy and childbirth can trigger changes in the brain that lead to mood swings. The lack of sleep and physical discomfort that often accompanies pregnancy and having a newborn doesnt help, either.

Symptoms of perinatal depression includes:

*Sadness

*Anxiety

*Anger or rage

*Exhaustion

*Extreme worry about the babys health and safety

*Difficulty caring for yourself or the new baby

*Thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby

NB: Women who lack support or have had depression before are at increased risk of developing perinatal depression, but it can happen to anyone.

6. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While PMS symptoms can be both physical and psychological, PMDD symptoms tend to be mostly psychological.

These psychological symptoms are more severe than those associated with PMS. For example, some women might feel more emotional in the days leading up to their period. But someone with PMDD might experience a level of depression and sadness that gets in the way of day-to-day functions.

“Possible symptoms of PMDD include:

*Cramps, bloating, and breast tenderness

*Headaches

*Joint and muscle pain

*Sadness and despair

*Irritability and anger

*Extreme mood swings

*Food cravings or binge eating

*Panic attacks or anxiety

*Lack of energy

*Trouble focusing

*Sleep problems

Nb: Similarly to perinatal depression, PMDD is believed to be related to hormonal changes. Its symptoms often begin just after ovulation and start to ease up once you get your period.

7. Seasonal depression

Seasonal depression, also called seasonal affective disorder and clinically known as major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern, is depression thats related to certain seasons.

Symptoms often include:

*Social withdrawal

*Increased need for sleep

*Weight gain

*Daily feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or *Unworthiness

NB: Seasonal depression may get worse as the season progresses and can lead to suicidal thoughts.

8. Situational depression

Situational depression, also known as adjustment disorder with depressed mood, looks like major depression in many respects.

But its brought on by specific events or situations, such as:

*The death of a loved one

*A serious illness or other life-threatening event

*Going through divorce or child custody issues

*Being in emotionally or physically abusive relationships

*Being unemployed or facing serious financial difficulties

*Facing extensive legal troubles

NB: Situational depression symptoms tend to start within three months of the initial event and can include:

*Frequent crying

*Sadness and hopelessness

*Anxiety

*Appetite changes

*Difficulty sleeping

*Aches and pains

*Lack of energy and fatigue

*Inability to concentrate

*Social withdrawal

9.Atypical depression

Atypical depression refers to depression that temporarily goes away in response to positive events.

Having atypical depression can be particularly challenging because one may not always seemdepressed to others. But it can also happen during an episode of major depression. It can occur with persistent depression as well.

Symptoms of atypical depression can include:

*Increased appetite and weight gain

*Disordered eating

*Poor body image

*Sleeping much more than usual

*Insomnia

*Heaviness in your arms or legs that lasts an hour or more a day

*Feelings of rejection and sensitivity to criticism

assorted aches and pains

Depression can strike at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.

How to manage depression?

*Get in a routine: It is adviced that all depressed people design for themselves a routine that will help them get their lives on track. Depression strips away the structure of  life. Setting a gentle daily schedule can help you get back on track.

*Set goals: Being depressed can make one feel unaccomplished . This makes a depressed person feel worse about him or herself. In order to push back, setting daily goals will go a long way in the management of depression.

*Challenge negative thoughts: In the fight against depression, a lot of the work is mental, ie changing how the mind thinks. When depressed, the brain leaps to the worst possible conclusions. In order to overcome this, use logic as a natural depression treatment. It takes practice, but in time you can beat back those negative thoughts before they get out of control.

*Eat healthy:There is no magic diet for depression. All you’ve got to do is to watch what you eat. If depression tends to make you overeat, getting in control of your eating will help you feel better.

*Take on responsibilities: When depressed, you may want to pull back from life and give up your responsibilities at home and at work. Don’t! .Staying involved and having daily responsibilities can help you maintain a lifestyle that can help counter depression. They ground you and give you a sense of accomplishment.

*Check in with a Doctor if nothing seems to work.

*Do something new:  When you’re depressed, you’re in a rut. Push yourself to do something different. Go to a museum. Pick up a used book and read it on a park bench. Volunteer at Church and work place.Take a language, swimming, hiking or cooking class.

*Take long strolls along the roadside, beach.

*Avoid listening to sad music.

*Avoid nagging, negative company too.

 *Try to have fun. If you’re depressed, make time for things you enjoy. What if nothing seems fun anymore?  You have to keep trying anyway.

 *Get enough sleep.* Depression can make it hard to get enough shut-eye, and too little sleep can make depression worse.

*Start by making some  lifestyle changes. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try not to nap. Take all the distractions out of your bedroom — no computer and no TV. By and by, sleep will  improve gradually.

*Surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Voice out whatever you’re going through to a trusted person.

Lastly, SUICIDE IS NEVER AN OPTION!

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