Did you know that women experience depression at a rate of 2:1 as compared to men? The reason for this, at least in part, is the large hormonal fluctuations women have throughout their lives. Men can become depressed, too, but it tends to look differently. Men usually become hostile and angry, not withdrawn and inward. They also are prone to avoiding treatment. Men commit suicide at a rate of 4:1 compared to women. The elderly also fall ill and often fail to get treatment. Well-meaning family members may think that the behavior of their elderly relative is just due to the aging process. This is not necessarily the case.
Some people still think that if a person thinks positively enough they can talk themselves out of being depressed. This myth is patently false. Depression is caused by having a trauma history, a physical illness like low thyroid, certain medications, chronic pain and even grief.
In depression, neurotransmitters are ineffectively passing messages between neurons either because there are not enough neurotransmitters or they are too weak. This chemical malfunction in the brain is similar to talking on a cell phone with a poor connection. Treatment can help strengthen the connection.
Lack of energy, isolation, headaches, digestive problems, generalized pain, inability to concentrate, over-sleeping or not being able to sleep, general restlessness, weight loss or weight gain, feeling hopeless, irritable and having thoughts of death and suicide are all common symptoms of this common illness. Medical attention should be sought out if symptoms last two weeks or more. It is better to begin treatment as soon as possible so you can get back to enjoying life.
Children can become depressed, although they show their depression through behavior, not necessarily through words. This is why changes in the behavior or a child should be paid attention to. Postpartum depression happens to new mothers, probably due to the huge hormone fluctuations following birth. This is one of the more guilt-producing types of depression and women may think that they are the only ones experiencing this feeling. Seasonal affective disorder occurs in winter, mainly in people who live in the northern latitudes. Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, runs in families and is identified by its extremely moody highs and lows.
Light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorder. Cognitive therapy and medication have been found to be most successful at treating depression when used together. It is important to take care of your body - eat right, exercise, take time to play, particularly when you are starting to feel symptoms beginning. Stress management techniques, such as meditation have been shown to help ease symptoms of this illness.
Depression can lead to death by suicide if left untreated. If symptoms are particularly severe or have lasted more than two weeks, see a doctor. There is no need to suffer. Medications and therapy are available to help you. It is a biological issue like type I diabetes and can be treated, but you have to make the first step to get help.