What is Depression?
Anyone can feel down from time to time or experience bouts of emotional grief or sadness due to some unexpected life event. For instance, they grieve when someone dies, or feel the sadness and loss when a close relationship ends, or even lose a job.
All these feelings are normal and are part of the ups-and-downs of life. But clinical depression is more than just the blues, more than the expected grief after any loss, and most certainly more than a bad couple of days.
Depression is a deep and dark state, a black hole that may seem impossible to emerge from, and a serious medical condition involving a delicate balance of brain chemicals. Unlike a bad mood that you can simply snap out of, depression can severely disrupt the ability to function properly and can extend through every aspect of your life with serious consequences.
Signs of depression may include feeling somewhat flat, tired and unmotivated. As it progresses a person with depression may no longer want to participate in social activities or hobbies that they once enjoyed.
Eventually individuals with depression may even lose the drive to work altogether, their relationships become strained and they push people away and become unreachable, and the will to live a happy, productive life slowly fades.
Although the future for someone suffering with depression may look bleak, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – depression is treatable and those suffering can live a happy, normal life.
Who Suffers from Depression? Is there a Cure?
Depression can affect anyone, although it tends to affect twice as many women as men and typical age of onset is 25. Sadly, it is becoming more prevalent and the age of onset is decreasing over the years.
As a result childhood depression, adolescent depression and suicide rates are on the increase. The fortunate news is that if treated, depression can be managed successfully and happiness need not be an unreachable illusion.