Feeling down, sad, tired or completely lacks interest can happen to anyone of us. It is part of our day to day life. However, if the feeling persists which will affect our ability to view life and function normally, it can be depression.
Depression is a mental illness. It is a mood disorder that shows constant sadness or feeling very down. It is a persistent condition. Extreme grief such as losing a loved one, because of death or divorce is not depression. But it can be related to bereavement – a condition that follows a loss.
Depression can be associated with other forms of mental illness. The difference between unipolar depression and bipolar is, with unipolar the dominant emotion is depression, in bipolar, there are mood swings with the normal mood in between. Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is a condition where a person can be depressed during winter months and lifts up for the rest of the year. Usually, countries with most winter months have the most cases of SAD.
The cause of depression is not yet clear and does not refer to one specific source. Some experts believe that a combination of the following may cause depression:
- Changes in the neurotransmitter levels
- Environmental factors
There are individuals who have a higher risk of getting depression. Here are the risk factors:
- Traumatic events – death of a loved one, divorce or poverty
- Temperament – poor coping mechanisms
- Genes – depression runs in the family
- Traumatic childhood
- Head injury
- Drug or substance abuse
- History of depression
- Drugs that includes depression as a side effect
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases
You can watch out for these following behaviors as symptoms of depression:
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Cannot think or concentrate and cannot come up with any decisions
- Suicidal thought and sometimes attempts have been made
- Loss of energy
- Psychomotor agitation ( pacing up and down, restlessness)
- Psychomotor retardation (movements are slow, including speech)
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
If you think you are suffering from Depression you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Depression as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).