July 18, 2012

More Than Sad: Indications and Types of Depression

Everyone gets sad once in a while. Sadness, however, is not the same as depression. Feeling like you can’t escape the sadness or feeling like the sadness is controlling your life are signs that you’re more than just down in the dumps. Understanding if you have depression starts with understanding what depression actually is. Depression is a sense of utter hopelessness. Depression affects the activities you perform every day such as eating, sleeping, and interacting with others.

If you identify with any of the following list of depression indicators, you may be depressed.

  • You’ve stopped being interested in things you normally would be.
  • You’ve gained or lost weight in a relatively short period of time.
  • Your sleep cycle is different.
  • You’re finding it difficult to remain focused on anything.
  • Everything seems to bug you.
  • You’ve becoming quite critical of yourself and others.
  • You find yourself being sore or more tired than you should be.

Exhibiting one or two of the previous symptoms does not automatically mean you are depressed. Depressing is difficult to diagnose because it is so hard to define. There is also more than one brand of depression. The following bullets explain some varieties of the disease.

  • Major depression: This is the most severe type of depression in that it feels all-encompassing and can last for many months or years.
  • Atypical depression: This type is characterized by upswings in mood followed by bouts of depression. Therapy is often prescribed for some people with atypical depression.
  • Mild depression: Much less severe than major or atypical depression, mild depression symptoms can include days of normal mood but a constant return to a depressive state.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: As the name suggests, sufferers of seasonal affective disorder find it harder to be happy during the winter months. This kind usually clears up on its own, but there are therapies available.