Depression is the most common disorder in first world countries today.
Depression is defined as a mood disorder. Mood disorders are comprised of episodes. In order to diagnose a certain individual with a specific mood disorder there is a need to evaluate the content, length, frequency and fortitude of such episodes.
What happens to our bodies when we are depressed?
Physical and mental restlessness – we can feel slow and exhausted, or the opposite; restless, fidgety and anxious. We may have difficulty sitting calmly in one place, and it may be hard to concentrate and focus.
Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain – Food may become less tasty and less satisfying, causing us to lose our appetite or our interest in food altogether, which may lead to severe weight loss. At times, depression may cause the opposite; drastic weight gain.
Decrease in sexual drive or the ability to have sex – this occurs in both men and women.
Sleep disturbances – we may experience difficulties falling asleep, or wake up often during the night. The fact that these sleep disturbances occur in the dark cause additional tension, contributing to our general mental suffering. Depression may, on the other hand, cause us to sleep too much.
Tiredness and lack of energy – we may find that even the smallest tasks take extra effort, depending on the level and severity of our depression.
Physical problems – we may experience headaches and changes in blood pressure, disorders in our digestive system and a general feeling of weakness. These symptoms sometimes lead to a fear of other illnesses.
What happens to our behavior when we are depressed?
Decrease in function and loss of interest or pleasure – we lose interest and pleasure in most or all normal activities, and experience feelings of worthlessness and lack of meaning from things that we once found satisfying or enjoyable: hobbies, social events, recreation etc. Also, we may lose our ability to perform our work or chores.
Difficulty concentrating or making decisions – we may have a hard time concentrating on the simplest things like reading, the television, a conversation with friends etc. Also, we may experience difficulty in deciding what to wear or eat; a simple decision of this kind may seem much more significant and complicated.
What do we feel when we are depressed?
Pessimism – we experience negative thoughts, a constant fear of failure, feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness etc.
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame. Everything may seem more serious, severe or extreme.