A Guide To Depression: From Understanding to Recovering from Depression

Understanding Depression

Feeling down from time to time is a very normal part of life, but serious depression could keep you from doing the things you enjoy. Those who haven’t felt the sting of depression usually don’t understand the crippling affect it can have on a person. Depression is a disease that may never completely go away, and it needs to be tended to with sympathy and care.
Depression affects one out of every ten adults in the United States, and women are more likely to be affected, so if you think you may be depressed don’t feel like you are alone. It really is more “normal” than you may think.

What Causes Depression?

Depression is defined as a mental state of altered mood characterized by feelings of sadness, despair, and discouragement. It can affect how you feel, think, and behave. This illness isn’t a weakness or something you can simply decide to stop on your own. It truly is an illness that takes long-term treatment, like heart disease or diabetes.

There is no universal cause for depression, but we also know that you don’t necessarily need a reason to feel depressed. A combination of stress, genetics, hormonal changes, emotional setbacks, and/or tragedies can all come together to make a person feel depressed.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression symptoms may be so severe in some people that it will be obvious to others that something is wrong, but for other sufferers of depression, detection will be a little more difficult. When you know what to look for, finding and helping those with depression can be much easier. Some symptoms of depression include the following:

• Feeling sad or unhappy
• Frustration and irritability
• Loss of interest in normal activities
• Reduced sex drive
• Sleeping more, or less
• Eating more, or less
• Agitation and restlessness
• Slower thinking, speaking, or body movements
• Being easily distracted or indecisive
• Decreased concentration or memory
• Fatigue and loss of energy
• Feeling guilty and focusing on past failures
• Thoughts of dying or suicide
• Crying for no reason

Depression affects everyone differently, so someone may have many of these symptoms while others may only have a few. If you think you may know someone who is depressed, reach out to them. You could make a huge difference in that person’s life.

If you are feeling depressed, try your best to ask for help from those closest to you. Your friends and loved ones could be your greatest allies during this hard time in your life. Also, if you are having thoughts of suicide, seek help from a professional immediately. There is hope, and people to help you find that hope.

Getting Started with Recovery

You may feel uncomfortable talking to your friends or loved ones about your depression, so it could be easier for you to talk to your doctor. Ask him or her to recommend a psychologist, social worker, or counselor. If you are comfortable talking to your friends or family, ask them for recommendations, and learn more about the approach each therapist will use before you decide on one.

Having this disease may be hard to accept, but you should know that it isn’t your fault. With help, you can beat depression; you just have to make the first step. Postponing treatment and trying to struggle from day to day will only make you feel more miserable. Your family or career could suffer, and the longer you put off treatment, the harder it may be to gain control of your life. Don’t get discouraged. Feeling helpless and hopeless is a symptom of depression, not your reality.

Kristin Mullen is an author who writes guest posts on the topics of business, marketing, credit cards, and personal finance. Additionally, she works for a website that focuses on educating readers about debt consolidation.