What is depression and what different types of depression are there?
The word ‘depression’ has been so over-used that it has become difficult to remember what it actually means. How often do you refer to yourself as ‘depressed’? Strictly speaking, depression is not just a bad mood that you can overcome by ‘getting a grip on yourself’ or by ‘putting things into perspective’. It actually is a medically recognized condition which needs to be treated like any other. A depression definitions generally include sadness, anxiety, listlessness, fatigue and a straining mixture of emotions such as a feeling of worthlessness, guilt or impotence.
Depression actually comes in different forms. The most common ones are:
Mild depression is actually rather common. Experts estimate that 2 out of 3 adults suffer from an episode in the course of their lifetime. It is usually not chronic and patients do not display all depression symptoms. They can function almost normally in everyday life, even though they consider this a strain. So if you feel depressed, you should ponder on your daily routines. Can you get yourself out of bed in the morning, take a shower, etc? Then you are considered ‘functional’ and are probably suffering from mild or moderate depression. Nevertheless, you should take what you are feeling seriously, for untreated, mild and moderate forms can turn into more severe types of depression. On the plus side, you may be able to make a big difference to your situation by using different self help techniques like this self help depression video program.
People who suffer from severe depression may often find it impossible to go about their everyday life. They display more depression symptoms of greater intensity, which may interfere with their job, family life, friends, leisure activities and household chores. Sometimes, depression starts moderately and is overlooked. If your symptoms intensify and life becomes simply impossible to deal with, your depression needs to be treated by a doctor or therapist. In order to find out if you may be suffering from severe depression, you should ask yourself once again if you are ‘functional’ or not. Can you get yourself out of bed in the morning, take a shower, do household chores,…? If you find yourself unable to, you may be suffering from severe depression.
Many a time, depression may be caused by external factors, such as extensive stress, unemployment or abuse through other people. This is called exogenous depression. However, when those strains have disappeared and the depression persists, it may become a chronic condition. If you think you may suffer from severe or chronic depression, you should make sure you are in good health. See your doctor and get a checkup. Many a time, the agony you are experiencing may be caused by physical factors, such as hormonal imbalances.
Dysthymia is also known as neurotic depression. It is a form of chronic depression which displays less intense symptoms than more severe types of depression, but persists for several years. Many a time, people diagnosed with dysthymia have been experiencing symptoms for years before having been diagnosed. Consequently, they, as well as the people around them, may have come to mistake their symptoms for a part of their personality. Are you wondering if you may be suffering from dysthymia? Then you should also investigate other people’s opinions. Do the people you interact with see you as phlegmatic, cynical or a pessimist? If so, then you may be suffering from dysthymia.
In this case, you may have developed strong negative habits of thinking and emotional associations. When you develop awareness of your habitual patterns like these depression mistakes, you can turn things around and get your old self back.
No matter which form of depression you may be suffering from, even though it may not seem like that at times, there is a lot that can be done about your situation. Doctors and therapists are, of course, an option and vital in battling very severe or chronic types of depression where you are dysfunctional and can’t get out of bed, drive a car or actually do some work. However, most depressed people are unaware of the depression self help techniques available, which may provide relief on their own or enhance treatment, depending on the severity of the condition.