Depression What Is It?
Depression is a physiological condition that causes
feelings of sadness, social anxiety, low self-esteem, helplessness, and
hopelessness. It is common for people who are depressed to lose interest in
many important aspects of life including work, school, friendships, family,
sex, and social relationships.
You might be depressed without realizing it. You might
feel weak and sick without realizing that you are depressed. You may have
visited many doctors with little success of finding an explanation for your
You might not feel sad, people might not believe you,
and you may be feeling lost. No matter the case, it is important that you keep
looking for answers: depression is a real illness that requires treatment,
medication, and therapy for a successful recovery.
Depression can be difficult to understand and discuss,
especially with friends and family. You might worry about judgment from your
peers and whether society will treat you differently. Your condition might
cause you to feel lost or isolated. Because of your fears and sense of being
alone, you might not know how to confront and overcome the symptoms of your
In reality, depression is common and affects millions of
people. Having depression does not mean that you are suicidal, and the
condition did not occur as a result of your own faults. It's not "all in
your head." You are not alone, and therapy, family, and friends are
able to provide the support system that you need.
Symptoms & Warning Signs.
Depression is a very personal illness, so symptoms might
be different from person to person. You might feel a sense of dejection for an
extended time period that ranges from a few days to years. For most people, the
onset of depression is gradual: the condition will begin subtly and then worsen
Common symptoms include feelings of anxiety, insomnia,
unusual vivid dreams, excessive fatigue, loss of confidence, panic attacks,
diminished self-worth, feelings of hopelessness, appetite loss, overeating,
decreased sex drive, and excessive drinking.
Physical symptoms include back
pain, headaches, and body aches. It is common for people to avoid seeking
medical attention until the symptoms become unbearable or severe.
Causes & Risk Factors.
All kinds of people of all ages are at risk for
depression. Many people who are elderly experience depression, and depression
is common for people who are dealing with financial, health, or family
problems. For the most part, the causes of depression are unclear.
It is believed that a variety of factors cause people to become depressed. No
matter the case, it is never your fault.Research suggests that depression results from physical
conditions involving the nerves and brains. Low levels of the neurotransmitters
serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine can cause symptoms of fatigue and
depression. Irregular sleep patterns, drugs, and alcohol can also cause