Depression is a medical illness that involves the mind and body. Also called major depression, major depressive disorder and clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn’t worth living.
More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply “snap out” of. Depression is a chronic illness that usually requires long-term treatment, like diabetes or high blood pressure. . .Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychological counseling or other treatment.
Depression symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
- Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- Reduced sex drive
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
- Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
- Crying spells for no apparent reason
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches –Mayo Clinic
For all the posts in the What Depression Means to Me series, go here.
3 thoughts on “What Depression Means to Me: Definitions”
I get more depressed & anxious during the day too & my theory on this is that at night, especially late at night, the rest of the world is shut down/asleep except maybe for bars & nightclubs so you don’t feel pressured to go out & achieve something, go out into the world & achieve anything like “normal” people are doing. The rest of people out in the world all seem so much more functional & happier than those of us w/depression/anxiety disorders & that in itself is depressing & causes insecurity/anxiety. It’s like during the day there’s too many choices one can make which becomes overwhelming. I read an article in “New York” magazine about ‘happiness’ & it mentioned that people in general feel overwhelmed by having too many choices for everything nowadays & are afraid they are making the wrong choice, for example, there’s like 50 different types of toothpaste to choose from nowadays vs. maybe 10 in the ’70s-’80s. At night there’s not much that can be achieved, you can’t “go out & get ’em” so to speak which is a relief. Another interesting point the article made is that low income/poverty in & of itself is not depressing but the perceived disparity between low & high income groups IS depressing, i.e being poor & surrounded by rich people. Anyway, yeah there should be better meds for anxiety besides the benzos & SSRIs. You’d think they’d have come up with something new by now…