What is Depression ?

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What is depression?

Depression is one of the leading disorders today. It is a common but serious mood disorder. A person feels sad along with feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless. It can last days and even up to weeks or years and keeps the suffering individual from functioning normally. It especially interferes with one’s ability to work, play, or love.

Depression also tends to run in families, with the genetic risk again being more pronounced in women than in men. It is most prevalent in people from the ages 45-65.
An estimated 121 million people are currently suffering from depression.

How does it feel?

Being depressed feels more like living in a body that tries to survive with a mind that tries to die.

People often say it’s all imaginary or all in your head but depression is more than just feeling down or being sad.  It’s a war going on and you either win or you die trying.

Types of Depression

1) Major depression/Clinical depression:

Major depression is also known as unipolar or major depressive disorder, is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and a lack of interest in day to day activities and other outdoor activities.

Some common symptoms are- 

– A constant sense of hopelessness or despair
– Weight loss or gain
– Thoughts of suicide
– Always being tired or without energy
– Feeling restless and agitated
– Insomnia and much more

Talk therapy can help and medications such as antidepressants can also be useful. Some people have clinical depression only once in their life while others have several times in a lifetime. Symptoms of it last for two weeks or longer.

2) Persistent depressive disorder:

Persistent depressive disorder symptoms usually come and go over a period of years, and their intensity can change over time. But typically symptoms don’t disappear for more than two months at a time

Some common symptoms are-

– Change in appetite
– Sleep too much or too little
– Lack of energy
– Low self-esteem
– Trouble concentrating or making decisions
– Feeling hopeless

If depression lasts for two years or longer it is called a persistent disorder. It is treated with psychotherapy or antidepressants or the combination of two.

3) Bipolar Disorder:

In bipolar disorder, the dramatic episodes of high and low moods do not follow a set pattern.

Some common symptoms are-

– Sudden changes in mood
– Restlessness
– Rapid speech
– Poor concentration and judgment
– Unusually high sex drive
– Uncontrollable crying
– Loss of energy
– Irritability
– Attempting suicide and much more.

People who have bipolar disorder experience mood swings a lot. Meditation can bring mood swing under control. Doctors may also suggest mood stabilizers such as lithium.

4) Seasonal Affective Disorder:

It appears during late fall or early winter when days grow short and you get less and less sunlight.

Some common symptoms are-

– Irritability
– Weight gain
– Oversleeping
– Hypersensitivity to rejection

If you have SAD, antidepressants can help. So can light therapy.

5) Psychotic Depression:

It is a type of major depression that includes psychotic symptoms.

Some common symptoms are-

– Hallucinations
– Delusions
– Paranoia

It affects roughly one out of four people admitted to the hospital for depression. They fear voices or may have strange and illogical ideas. A combination of antidepressants and an antipsychotic drug can treat psychotic depression. ECT may also be an option.

6) Peripartum Depression:

Women who have major depression in the weeks and months after childbirth may have peripartum depression.

Some common symptoms are-

– Depression or anxiety during pregnancy
– Personal or family history of depression
– Social Isolation or Poor support
– Childcare related stressors

Psychotherapy is an important first line option for peripartum depression. Antidepressants can also be used in some cases.

7) Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:

Women with PMDD have depression and other symptoms at the start of their period.

Some common symptoms are-

– Mood swings
– Anxiety
– Fatigue
– Trouble concentrating
– Change in eating habits and much more

Antidepressants and oral contraceptives are known to treat PMDD.

8) Situational Depression:

Situational Depression is a short-term form of depression. It occurs when you have trouble managing a stressful event in your life, such as death, divorce, losing your job, rejection. It is also called “Stress response syndrome”.

Some common symptoms are-

– A constant sense of hopelessness
– Weight loss or gain,
– Thoughts of suicide,
– Tired or without energy
– Feeling restless and agitated
– Insomnia

It is considered an adjustment disorder rather than true depression.The best treatment for situational depression is counseling with a mental health professional. In some cases, you may need medication to help anxiety or trouble sleeping.

9) Atypical Depression:

Atypical depression can be a “specifier” for either major depression or dysthymic disorder. People with atypical depression have often experienced depression first at an early age, during their teenage years.

Some common symptoms are-

– Increased appetite
– Sleeping more than usual
– Feeling of heaviness in your arms and legs
– Oversensitive to criticism

Antidepressants can help. Your doctor may suggest a type called a SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) as the first-line treatment.


Depression is like a monster. It scares you, irritates you, doesn’t let you sleep. You feel hopeless and isolate yourself.

So if you know you are depressed then the first thing you should do is “Reach out and connect”.

Do the things that you enjoy. Care for a pet, listen to music, eat healthily, get a daily dose of sunlight and there is so much more to do!

Just remember, do anything you want but just don’t lose hope. Because everything happens for a reason, and you never know what tomorrow may bring. We know that it’s difficult to believe in all these nice things, but trust us, it is all worth it. Reaching out to people DOES help. Reach out to the doctors and professionals. Reach out to your closest ones. It’s okay to talk about it.

Just don’t harm yourself. You are worth every good thing that exists in this world. You just have to have to courage to believe in it!

Ashi Bajpai

Content writer

19, Gallivanter, Belives in equity and not equality. Love humans, Food, Allegories and Dogs. Currently pursuing BBA from BSSS. Believe in yourself and BE YOU. The world will adjust.


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