Depression is a serious mood disorder. Also called Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression, it is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. According to the World Health Organization, it affects more than 264 million people worldwide. Not limited to moods or “feeling down”, depression persistently impacts the day-to-day lives of the people who live with it. It can alter a person’s thoughts, perceptions, choices, and relationships in a negative way. Sometimes, it can make normal life and activities impossible. Often, people cope with depression through substance use and abuse. Drug misuse and depression are unfortunately common. Further, both issues are not always treated adequately.
Not only can depression cause someone to perform poorly at work, school, and in social settings, it can also take a physical toll. It can lead to sleep problems, unhealthy weight loss or weight gain, chronic fatigue, unexplained physical pain, and trouble concentrating.
Outward symptoms can include:
- Outbursts of anger
- Stomach discomfort
- Loss of interest in relationships or normal activities
- Alcohol, drug, or prescription drug abuse
Major depression is an extremely serious, even life-threatening condition, but it is highly treatable. With professional help, many people recover or are able to manage their symptoms and lead a normal life. Unfortunately, many people are often to receive adequate treatment. Subsequently, drug misuse and depression become a common combination.
WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?
Depression is a difficult web to untangle. Genetics, brain chemistry, hormones, and life circumstances can all play a part. It can develop at any stage in life, though it often emerges in young adulthood. It can run in families, and is more common in women than in men. While it sometimes connects with a certain event or period in someone’s life, most people can’t fully understand why they’re depressed (often there are many causes at once). Depression often occurs along with other mental disorders, and there are strong links between drug misuse and depression.
TYPES OF DEPRESSION
Depression is among the most common depression types. It is classified as debilitating or crippling depression when it leads to persistent feelings of hopelessness and severely impairs day-to-day life.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent Depressive disorder, or dysthymia, is less acute than major depression, but its symptoms last longer. Someone with persistent depressive disorder may experience sadness and hopeless feelings for years, while exhibiting listlessness and low energy.
High Functioning Depression
People with high functioning depression often hide their symptoms from the outside world. They can appear to be living a normal, happy life. Under the surface, they struggle with the same feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that come with other depressive disorders. This disorder can go hand-in-hand with “imposter syndrome,” where a person feels like they don’t truly belong in their job or social circle. Constantly trying to hide these feelings is exhausting, and can even make them worse. In this situation, asking for help can be extremely difficult. If someone is able to hide their feelings well, even their friends and family may not be aware that there is a problem. Still, high-functioning depression is depression. It is worthy of concern and treatment, which can make a difference for the better.