What is Depression? is a question that is asked many times through this website.
There are many different types of depression and many different things that can cause depression
When looking at 'what is depression', we will first take a look at a definition:
'Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.'(World Health Organisation, WHO)
It is important to realize that while this definition is true in the most general sense, there are many different types of depression recognized by mental health care professionals, and all of them differ in terms of specific symptoms and causes.
On a general level however, depression is a mental health disorder that can affect every aspect of your life. It can change the way you sleep, the way you deal with other people, and the way you view life in general. It is an all-pervasive condition that is very different from a passing mood - something that does not simply go away, nor is it a sign of personal weakness or lack of courage.
Depression will affect every aspect of your life to some degree. Your body, mind, almost every individual thought you have is affected by depression, and it is not something that you can simply ‘snap out of’. Without suitable treatment, symptoms of depression can last for months or years, and the severity of the symptoms can also vary extremely widely.
Before considering treatment it is important to recognise what type of depression you are suffering from. It is important to learn as much as you can about what you are suffering from in order to understand why it is happening.
Read about one womans struggle with depression and the 5 steps she took to beat it.
If you think you may be suffering with depression, you might want to consider taking an online depression test.