What Is Depression?
Depression is a condition that simultaneously affects a person’s body, mood and thoughts. It affects the way we eat and sleep, the way we look at ourselves, and the way we perceive things around us. Depression is more than a bad mood that will “pass us by” if we stop thinking about it. Depression counselling clinic Mississauga sufferers cannot simply “take their hands” and cheer up, on the contrary, without proper help, their symptoms can last for weeks, months or even years. Yet, in most cases, they can be helped – a fact that is all too often overlooked.
Most of the symptoms of depression are easy to recognize and may therefore often go unrecognized. Generally one or more of the following complaints occur:
Permanent decrease in mood, expressed in sadness, anxiety or “emptiness”
Feeling of hopelessness and pessimism; pessimistic or indifferent to the future
Guilt, futility and helplessness
Low self-esteem, uncertainty
Loss of interest in or enjoyment of activities that were previously enjoyable – such as hobbies, social networking, entertainment, sex
Reduced energy, increased fatigue, a state of “retardation” (often severe fatigue after minimal effort)
Problems with concentration, remembering, decision making
Insomnia (insomnia), early awakening or a tendency to sleep
Loss of appetite and weight or vice versa – overeating and fasting
Thoughts of death and suicide, suicide attempts
Unexplained dissatisfaction, intolerance, irritability
Stubborn, non-treatable physical symptoms – e.g. headache, digestive problems and chronic pain
What Are The Major Forms Of Depression?
There are various forms of depression according to its severity and impact on the normal activity of the person. Unlike severe depression, in which the ability to work, study, sleep, eat and enjoy activities that were previously considered enjoyable is impaired, dysthymia is a less pronounced condition that is expressed in chronic symptoms that prevent a person from feeling complete without disturbing his or her usual activity. (There are, of course, many intermediate states between the two.) Very often, depression remains hidden (expressed) by finding expression in behavior that, at first glance, does not seem to be related to it – such as “workaholism”, excessive television watching, escape from activity and contacts, or vice versa, the hustle and bustle of entertainment. Depression also occurs as a phase of bipolar affective disorder. It is characterized by a cyclic repetition of changes in mood – strong peaks (mania) and downturns (depression). While in the depressive phase one experiences the typical symptoms of depression, in the manic phase he is overactive, vigorous, and inclined to speak, which inevitably affects his social attitudes, thinking, and judgments about things.
It is important to emphasize: depression is no exception! Most people experience a depressive episode at one time or another. What is different, however, is the causes, frequency and severity of these crises, as well as the way we face them.
As with any phenomenon in a person’s mental life, the causes of depression are more than one.