What is Depression?
Depression is a very common, serious medical condition that can put negative effects on people’s feelings, their way of thinking and acting. Unfortunately, there is no cure for depression, but it is treatable.
Depression can cause feelings of sadness, loss of interest and reduced enjoyment in things that were once enjoyed. Also, it can lead to various physical and emotion problems which will decrease the ability a person has to function both inside and outside their homes.
There are many symptoms that can point out to depression, including depressive mood, loss of interest, changes in appetite, sleeping problems, loss of energy, restless activity, slowed movement and speech, feeling of guilt and worthlessness and the most serious one, suicide thoughts.
There are many way to diagnose depression, but the duration of symptoms is the first thing to consider. In order to start diagnosing depression, symptoms must last at least two weeks. While diagnosing a patient with depression, it is also important to rule out other medical causes that are commonly misinterpreted as this illness.
Nearly 6.7% of all adults develop depression every year. Generally, 1 out of 6 people suffers from depression at some point in their life. Depression has no age limit and can strike at any time, but it mostly appears during the late teens to mid-20s.
Women have more chances of experiencing depression than men. The number of women that experience at least one major depressive episode in their lifetime reaches one-third.
Conflicts about Defining Depression
When it comes to defining depression, there are many conflicts and different interpretations of this illness. Therefore, it is not at all surprising if you are feeling confusion when it comes to defining depression. The difference of opinion is not based on the effects of depression. It is quite the opposite – everyone agrees on the impact this condition has on people. The main conflict lies behind the way these impacts are perceived.
This is why it is crucial how a depression patient perceives the disease. Some people see it as a good thing, while some see it as a bad. Other see is as inevitable and accept it, while their counterparts consider it a grand flaw in their lives. Whatever your case is, there are choices of perceiving depression. This is especially the case in patients with chronic depression that may change their view many times in their lifetime.
There are people who cannot accept this disease and live with it. Others start seeing it as a permanent thing and embrace it without trying to get rid of it. Looking depression from various angles gives a variety of answers to the question what is depression?
- Depression is a disease
Being a brain condition by definition gives people the idea of seeing depression as a disease. If you see this as a disease too, it is important to take comfort in accepting it as it is and try to live with it.
- Depression is a condition
Sometimes medications for depression do not work, so it cannot really be perceived as a disease. Instead, people start distinguishing this disease from other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and start seeing it as a condition instead.
- Depression is a disability
Being an illness that cuts people of their abilities to function effectively and properly, this disease is commonly perceived as a disability. People who suffer from chronic depression often receive an accommodation in handling their work. However, the new working schedule does not indicate that the person is disabled. This is solely done for the purpose of allowing them to face the disease more easily.
- Depression is not a normal thing
Depression is sometimes considered to be a mood or a state of mind on the downside of normal. This happens because of the grand amount of effort that has to be put in the treatment, despite the defining of depression as something perfectly normal and common.
- Depression is sign of weakness
This is a common opinion, especially because people feel very vulnerable and judgmental of themselves when suffering from depression. Therefore, it often occurs that they thing: Am I just making this up? The question here refers to their state of mind and their confusion regarding whether this is a real health issue or just a result of them being weak.
- Depressive personality
There are phases in depression when people stop seeing this as disease and start seeing it as their personality. It is not strange for depression patients to start thinking that their actions are result of their personality. This is mainly because of the symptom of feeling guilt and worthlessness on behalf of the patients. It most commonly occur in cases where patients do something wrong or hurt someone they love because of the bad mood they are in.
- Depression is a response to a trauma
The truth is, trauma can often be the cause for depression, but in most cases this is just one of the things leading to the development of this illness. Whatever the case is, every person realizes how powerful trauma is at a certain point in their lives.
- Depression is a life advantage
This is the view of Thomas Moore and Tom Wooton. They both see this illness as something that should be embraced thoroughly. Despite the terrible symptoms of depression, they consider that it can actually enrich the life. How? By accepting a different side of life, one learns that awareness and comfort zone can be expanded.
In chronic depression cases, patients often change their perspective of depression. This is the main reason why depression is so hard to be defined. Aside from the fact that there is no cure for it, solely treatment, people have to learn to live with this disease.
Learning to cope with a chronic condition is not easy. However, there are numerous treatments that can help in the healing process and lead to acceptance. If one finds the proper treatment, they can live a normal, worry-free life and grasp the idea of depression as another piece of life.