This is what depression feels like, at least for me

Imagine waking up every day finding yourself in a dark isolated place, you feel as if your existence is meaningless and the only emotion that consumes your mind is sadness. About a year ago I experienced a string of traumatic events occurred that have greatly affected my life for the worst. And at the time I found it hard to cope with. Ever since then some days have been better than others. Depression is a very serious mental disorder in which someone has persistent feelings of intense sadness lasting more than a few days.

It can affect not only the person’s internal thoughts and moods, but also their physical health and the people around them. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, thankfully it can be treated. I believe that understanding what depression is, how it develops, who it affects, and the different forms of treatments available, can help individuals in society get the help they need.

Many things can affect whether a person has depression. “Depression has many possible causes including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic susceptibility, stressful life events, medications and medical problems.”(Singh) Some people can actually inherit a gene that contributes to depression, but it is not the only reason why people get depressed. The brain chemistry of a person can affect mood patterns. Someone with depression may have neurotransmitters that are in low supply or not effective enough.

Stress and hormones can play a role because it can change the person’s brain chemistry and mood.

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The environment, including daylight and seasons, can also lead to feelings of intense dissatisfaction. When there’s less daylight, the brain produces more melatonin, and when there is more daylight the brain produces more serotonin, this imbalance of brain chemicals can lead to depression. Social and family situations, like when parents’ divorce or a family member or pet dies, can trigger depression, and reactions to life events like a unhappy home life, homelessness, and poverty can shape whether a person becomes depressed.

Depression, like all illnesses, comes with its own signs and symptoms. There are different types of depression but many share the same signs and symptoms. The symptoms could be part of life’s normal lows, but the stronger they are and how long they’ve lasted is an important factor. If the symptoms have lasted for more than two weeks than that person most likely has depression. “Some of the symptoms according to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual-5 include unexplained weight loss, weight gain, loss of interest in things previously found pleasurable, sense of emptiness or hopelessness, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, loss of energy, difficulty focusing, feeling worthless, and thoughts of wanting to die or of suicide” (Jeffrey). Those are the most common signs of depression that people show. It is important identify if someone is showing these signs of depression because if they are left without proper treatment, they might act on their feelings and commit suicide.

Depression is a very common mental illness, “around 16.2 million adults aged 18 years or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year” (‘Major Depression’) according to that website that is about 6.7 percent of the United States population, and more than 121 million people suffer from depression worldwide. Depression is a mental illness that can develop at any age; however it mostly affects people around the ages of 45 to 64. Women have overall higher rates of depression than men regardless of economic and ethnic background, and men commit more suicides than women.

The reason why older people have higher rates of depression is because while being older you’re prone to live with coexisting medical conditions like Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Diabetes, etc. Depression can affect people based on economic and ethnic backgrounds. If they are uneducated and unemployed they are more likely to have depression (Facts and Statistics, ADAA). The statistics show that the diagnosis of depression is growing at an alarming rate, and with the high rates of depression there’s higher rates of negative health problems that include obesity, heart disease, and stroke.

According to the article “Millennials Deal with Depression,” Ardekani states that “one in 33 children and one in 8 adolescents have clinical depression. Depression is the cause of over two-thirds of the 30,000 reported suicides in the United States each year. Untreated depression is the number one risk for suicide among youth, which is people between the ages 15 and 24” (Ardekani). Despite the high rates of depression many people suffer the symptoms, but don’t get the help they need. It is important for us to be aware if someone is suffering from depression so they can get the help they need, so we can build a happier and healthier society.

There are many different types of depressive disorders. The symptoms can be minor or severe. It is useful for us to know more about the certain symptoms for a specific type of depression. In the eBook Depression: A Silent Culprit in Health and Disease, Major Depression is also called major depressive disorder, clinical depression, or just depression, this depression includes the feelings of loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities. It also occurs with other symptoms and it can interfere with daily life.

This depression can be mild or severe. Dysthymic disorder is similar to major depression but not as severe, the symptoms last longer. Melancholia is another type of depression. It is a more severe form of depression that has the common symptoms but the person begins to move more slowly and has loss of pleasure in almost everything. Psychotic depression is another type of depression, they lose touch of reality. They have hallucinations or delusions like believing that they are bad or evil or that they are being followed. They are paranoid and they believe that they are the cause of everything bad happening around them. Antenatal or postnatal depression, women are more likely to develop this after childbirth. The actual causes of this type of depression are complex and it is a combination of factors. It is related to the hormonal changes and affects 80 percent of women. 10 percent of women will experience depression during pregnancy.

Bipolar disorder is another type of depression, also known as manic depression. It is when someone feels periods of depression, and periods of mania, and periods of normal moods in between. Bipolar disorder seems to be linked with family history. Cyclothymic disorder is a milder form of bipolar disorder, the duration of the symptoms are just shorter, less severe and not as regular. Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is a mood disorder that has a seasonal pattern. The cause of this disorder is unclear but the different exposure to light in the different seasons can cause mood disturbances. People, who have SAD experience lack of energy, sleep too much, overeat, gain weight and crave carbohydrates. SAD is more likely to be found in countries with shorter days and longer periods of darkness.

When someone is diagnosed with depression, it is best that they seek help. There are many treatment options available. Many people with depression take a combination of treatments such as medications and psychotherapy. The talk therapy is one of the best treatments for depression right now. A therapist would help you through your problems and issues that you may have. Some find it helpful to talk to a therapist over a longer period of time; some people do it over a few months.

Some of the more common types of therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem solving therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy will help you understand and see how your behavior and how your thoughts play a role in your depression, the therapist will help you change those unhealthy patterns. Interpersonal therapy focuses on relationships with other people and how that affects you and therapist will help you change those unhealthy habits. Problem solving therapy is another form of therapy which focuses on specific problems you face and finding solutions to those problems ( Recognizing and treating depression, WebMD).

Another key form of treatment involves medication. Antidepressants can be prescribed to you if you have depression. If one medication doesn’t work for you then your doctor can prescribe you a different kind. Sometimes people take more than one kind of antidepressant. There are many types of medication for depression. Antidepressant medications should not be the first choice to solving depression though, they come with side effects and with warnings about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, teens, and young adults. It is vital that people seek help and tell someone their feelings so that they don’t commit suicide ( Recognizing and treating depression,WebMD).

Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT is another form of treatment for depression. It is a safe and effective way for people to use this form of treatment when they are resistant to all forms of medications and therapy. This treatment is recommended only to people who have very severe symptoms of depression. In ECT, the patient is put to sleep under anesthesia and the doctor applies a small electric current to cause a brief controlled seizure. A course of ECT induced seizures are done over a few weeks, this procedure seems to affect areas of the brain involved in controlling mood. It is not a very scary procedure even though it sounds scary because the person will receive anesthesia and a muscle relaxant, so they won’t feel anything. 70 to 90 percent of people who have done this procedure showed improvement. The side effect of this therapy is temporary memory loss. (Recognizing and treating depression, WebMD).

Many people have experienced the feeling of being sad or depressed, but if someone has felt these type of symptoms for more than two weeks it is important for them to seek help immediately. After researching this topic I have learned so much about depression. I learned that many people in the United States have this illness and there are many different treatment options available to help those who need help. Depression can affect individuals of all ages and different backgrounds, it can develop over a period of time, and it is important for people to learn about the tragic effects of depression and their mental and physical health so that someone can identify it and get the treatment they need. I also learned that Suicide from depression is the tenth most leading cause of death in the United States. Most of these suicides are preventable and educating people in our society about the effects of depression on an individual is crucial and can potentially save someone’s life. If someone has close friends or family with the symptoms of depression they can get help for them and explore many of the treatment options available.

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This is what depression feels like, at least for me. (2021, Dec 05). Retrieved from

This is what depression feels like, at least for me
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