Severe depression is medically called major depression. Depression is defined as a medical illness that causes feelings of sadness and loss of interest in life. Clinical depression can lead to both emotional and physical problems, and is generally characterized by a feeling of hopelessness and despair- people who suffer from depression also have thoughts that life is not worth living.
Depression is much more than feeling down and having the blues. Instead, chronic depression is a medical condition that requires medical treatment.
Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness and unhappiness, irritability and frustration, loss of interest in normal activities, reduced sex drive, insomnia or excessive sleeping, weight loss or gain, restlessness and agitation, irritability and anger, indecisiveness and decreased concentration, fatigue and loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, trouble concentrating and making decisions, frequent thoughts of dying and death or even suicide, crying outbreaks for no reason, physical pain and other symptoms.
This wide variety of symptoms manifests differently in different people, and can depend on the age of the person. Children may have symptoms of depression that include irritability, hopelessness and worry.
In older children symptoms could include anxiety, anger and avoidance. In adolescents and adults, changes in sleeping patters can be a sign of depression. Depression in children and teens can occur with behavioral problems and other issues including ADHD.
In older adults depression can include fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, boredom, and other feelings of general dissatisfaction. Suicidal thoughts can also accompany depression and should always be taken extremely seriously.
Depression is best treated with advice from a doctor and other medical supervision.
Depression does not have a known cause, but a variety of factors seem to contribute. Factors can include biology, neurotransmitters, hormones, inherited traits, life events, and early childhood trauma.
People with depression show physical changes in the brain. Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that are linked to mood and thought. Hormones also change the body’s balance and can be involved in the triggering of depression.
Life events can also trigger depression, as death of a loved one, financial issues, losing a family member or friend, and other high stress life events can trigger depression.
There are different risk factors that affect different people. Depression often begins in the teens, 20s or 30s. Women are twice as likely to develop depression as men.
Other factors of risk include: having biological relatives with depression, being a woman, giving traumatic experiences as a child, experiencing stressful life events, having a serious illness, having few friends or lack of personal relationships.
There are interactions that can affect depression and make it worse. If depression is left untreated, it can result in emotional, behavioral and heath problems. Other complications can include: alcohol and substance abuse, anxiety, work or school problems, family conflicts, social isolation, self-mutilation such as cutting.
Major depression is a serious health concern and should be treated by a doctor and medical professionals. Depression is a serious medical condition and should not be overlooked or brushed off as just feeling down.
People with major depression experience severe feelings of despair, sadness, loneliness and other very negative thoughts. This outlook on life can lead to thoughts of suicide, as well as other reckless acts.
There is definitely hope for people who are experiencing depression, although they may not be able to see the way out. It is important for friends and family to try to stay involved as much as possible in order to help the person out of depression.
Some people experience chronic depression, and will battle with depression all of their lives. Other people experience depression after certain life events that are traumatic and life altering. People with chronic depression should consult with a health care professional to make a plan of action for dealing with their depression when it arises.
It is important to treat depression immediately in children and teenagers. People of these ages are unprepared to deal with the feelings and deep emotional disturbances that depression causes.
Depression in children should be treated immediately, as children are sensitive and need extra help and attention from parents and other important adults in their lives. Teenagers should be immediately treated for depression, as their personalities are still forming and they sometimes cannot at all see a way to get through their depression, which in worst case can cause thoughts of suicide.
Adults who are experiencing depression should seek support from medical professionals, as well as close friends and family.