There is actually a big difference between feeling depressed and suffering from depression (the correct medical term is clinical depression). But what exactly is clinical depression? Well it's normal to feel sad and depressed every now and then, sometimes if you're lucky that feeling will pass, but clinical depression is an illness which has many physical and emotional symptoms that affect your ability to work, sleep, eat or enjoy any positive aspects of life for example, and stays with you for quite a while until it is treated accordingly.
It is very common for people not to be sad when suffering from clinical depression; alternatively they feel lethargic, unable to enjoy life's experience. A person often just bottles up their emotions and goes through the motions of life, but this is a known cause and effect, the effect being pessimistic, whereby they over exaggerate their problems and become unable to solve them.
Unfortunately, some are not aware that there are several forms of depression, some more severe than others whereby the sufferer literally feels like they are living in a black hole, where nobody can leave or enter. Nevertheless, here are brief descriptions of different types of depression:
Major depression -
This is one of the more common and more severe forms of depression. The sufferer has a lack of interest in any social activities, disinterested in sexual activities or extreme decrease in weight. A major depression episode may last up to 6 months and then may experience a short spell of relief but this disorder is a common reoccurring disorder.
Dysthymia is not as severe as major depression; however it is a condition which unfortunately not many know if they are suffering from. They going through life discontented, lonely, unsocialable and frightened at time when in a crowded area believing that this is the norm. Medication has been recommended for this condition (antidepressants) however there are steps to take to overcome Dysthymia and other depressive states - see below.
Atypical Depression -
Atypical Depression is a variation of depressive states that fluctuate depending on what goes on in their lives, i.e. they believe that outside events control their moods (praise, rejection etc) Other symptom patterns can lead to increase of eating habits, heavy feeling of limbs and can become sensitive to rejection.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) -
SAD is depression that occurs when seasons change. So when it's winter (fall), usually an SAD sufferer will be discontent due to lack of sun. This will occur only until spring.
Here is a list of more signs and symptoms of depression we need to be aware of:
1. Sleep Disorder - either insomnia or constant oversleeping.
2. Lack of energy - simple tasks can be exhausting or takes longer to complete. Often feeling fatigued.
3. Concentration - Trouble remembering and loses focus.
4. Aches and Pains - Abdominal pains, backaches, headaches, diarrhoea or constipation.
5. Self-loathing - Feeling pessimistic resulting in harsh criticism and self worthlessness.
6. Petulant - Lashing out at other over small things, easily annoyed or frustrated.
7. Loss of interest - No interest in daily activities or social events.
8. Weight - A dramatic loss or gain of weight is a common signifier.
Here are some short tips on how to beat depression-
Control your thinking; remember depression is a mental disorder. So when you're down, don't say you're depressed, say your "feeling low", you can appreciate that there are "highs" as well as "lows" in life and that "lows" are more controllable.
You don't have to join a gym to exercise, go for a power walk round the block or run if you want. If you have a favourite sport, join up, you need to find way to enjoy and exploit what you love to do, this will give you more control over your life and health.
Do not allow your loved ones and friends to reward you when feeling depressed, as much as it might think it helping you, unfortunately it maintains you depressed state. Do not allow them to do work or chores for you around your house or work. Ideally, they should encourage you to get up and get on with your life; this eliminates your depressive behaviour.
Being positive means you have to accept some of the problems that will happen in your life. Part of being positive is the courage to face your problems and having the ability to tackle them step by step (make a list).