Different types of depression and their symptoms

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Different types of depression
Different types of depression and their symptoms

What is Depression and Its Types

Let’s talk about different types of depression and their symptoms. Depression (also called depressive disorder) is a serious mental illness that negatively affects the feeling that you think and act. And yes, it’s treatable. It causes feelings of sadness or a loss of interest or enjoyment. Depression leads to a lot of physical and emotional problems. Depression hurts; can there be a bigger understatement than this? Because depression does not just hurt, it more or less annihilates you.  This is why it is extremely important to know what depression is, know if you have depression, and understand how it hurts. Let’s outline some common types of depression.

Teen Depression and Its Symptoms: When All Is Not Well

With teens, it’s hard to figure out whether what they are going through is teen depression or just a lazy phase. A lot of parents are at their wit’s end, wondering what is wrong with their kids. They’ll go around doctor’s offices and psychologists asking if what their child has is just a lack of motivation or something more serious. Teen depression can be tricky since so much is going on at that particular age.

But when dealing with teens, one needs to be careful, since labeling or ignoring teen depression as “laziness” could worsen the situation if it was anything but laziness. At times even the teens themselves cannot figure out what is wrong with them, and this mystery can continue well into their adulthood as well.

Different types of depression and their signs and symptoms

First, what is Teen Depression?

When dealing with teen depression it is crucial to understand that there is a huge difference between “feeling depressed” and “depression” in general. Feeling depressed is a feeling or phase that comes and goes according to circumstances. However, depression is a slightly more permanent condition that might need medical intervention at some point.

Teen depression can manifest itself in a number of ways not familiar to adults. Like in adults, depression can be quite obvious, but in teen depression, lots can happen. The teen might act out, become overly aggressive, and indulge in substance abuse or promiscuous behavior. Another way teen depression manifests itself is through physical symptoms. Such as unexplained stomach aches, headaches, or just feeling lethargic and sad for no particular reason.

How Do You Know If You Have Depression Symptoms?

Diagnosing teen depression is tough since you never know what the teen might be experiencing is just the normal hormonal upheaval or real and clear signs of depression in its initial stages. However, their ways of making sure if you are dealing with teen depression or not:

  1. To see if you really are dealing with teen depression, check the family history. If there have been cases of depression or even suicide in the family, chances are the teen you are dealing with really is depressed.
  2. The other thing that will help you come to a conclusion about teen depression is the duration and severity of the condition and its symptoms. Considering that just about every teenager will act up at some point during this time due to hormones running wind, check the duration of each episode. If the condition has stayed constant for weeks without a respite of any kind- the teen is definitely suffering from depression.
  3. The last thing to check is, whether this condition is seriously hampering their academic, social, and family life. This is one of the most effective tools in trying to figure out the mental condition of a teen. If yes, then it’s time to seek serious medical help. (Different types of depression and their symptoms)

The first thing after making sure your teen really is suffering from depression, is helping them realize it as well. Realization is the first step toward seeking help and treatment.

Elderly Different types of Depression and Its Signs & Symptoms

Elderly depression in the western world has become much more prevalent. Let’s take a look at the factors adding to their depression

  • Loss of self-worth and purpose (image, feelings of being burdensome)
  • Emotional neglect (loneliness, isolation)
  • Fear (loss of independence, death, finances)
  • Health problems

In western culture, the responsibility of taking care of the elderly has shifted from children to nursing homes. There is a custom of abandoning elderly parents and grandparents at these nursing homes and visiting every so often. Some leave them there in the hopes that they will receive the specialized treatment they deserve. Many feel they don’t have the time to take care of their parents while trying to live their life. In most so-called “third world countries” you’d be hard-pressed to find a word that translates roughly into English as nursing home, retirement home, or senior’s residence. The values “underdeveloped nations” hold about their elderly is that if your parents took care of you, then by good nature you should be able to take care of them.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in Canada and the U.S.A. If the families of the western world stood by each other the majority of these factors would be nullified. For example, having your father live with you in your home would eliminate his fear of finances. The way the elderly is treated after retirement is not only in the states but in Canada is appalling. They are forced into low-income community housing by the government, infested with roaches more often than not. Any adult would be able to provide the bare necessities of human dignity a person needs that the federal government often fails to do. (Different types of depression and their symptoms)

Sons and daughters who do not call often 

Dignity is another thing that isn’t always afforded to the elderly in nursing homes, some of the nurses treat them as they would children. This, of course, wouldn’t be the case were it a person dealing with a mother or father. In nursing homes, the food is usually the same processed garbage that does nothing but contributes to their health problems. The elderly individuals in the nursing homes are definitely emotionally neglected, and the sons and daughters who do not call often enough contribute to their parent’s mental state. Since humans are social animals it is pretty clear why depression rates in the elderly living in retirement homes are much higher as opposed to those living with their own families.

Regardless of a retirement home environment or a family one, the fear of death has a large and on elderly depression. People who have lived to age sixty and beyond have seen co-workers, family members, husbands and wives, friends and acquaintances all perish during their time on earth. This feeling of impending doom is a stressor that is most likely the biggest factor playing into their depression. The fear of death is a natural self-preservation instinct that all animals are endowed with. With human imagination, the fear of death becomes much more than an evolutionary trait. With people nearing the sunset of their lives the feeling of hopelessness (even in the slightest) is rarely avoided.

Signs and Symptoms of Seasonal Depression

Like the changing of the leaves during the season many people with depression see their mood change too. This is called Seasonal Depression. Summer can have a positive effect on those with depression while the cold and gloom of the winter can have the opposite effect. It can lead people to feel extremely low and often worthless. Many people who suffer from depression often find that their symptoms grow worse during the winter months.

It is also possible that people who do not suffer from depression during the summer will suffer from depression during the winter. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This disorder is often known as ‘winter depression’ due to the fact that the symptoms become more apparent and harder to recover from during the winter.

There is no scientific evidence to show what causes SAD but it is believed that it has a lot to do with reduced exposure to the sun. Those who suffer from SAD should make an effort to get up early and out of the house to ensure they can get as much sun exposure as possible. The sunlight will help your brain to cope with the sudden changes in atmosphere and temperature.  Sunlight affects the chemicals in the brain though it is not clear how it does so. It is thought to affect the parts of the brain that control appetite, mood, and sleep.

If you believe you have SAD you should consult your GP. Like all other depression, SAD is a very difficult thing to live with and a problem shared is a problem halved. (Different types of depression and their symptoms)

How is sadly treated?

Light therapy is often a good way to treat SAD. It is important to talk about the way we are feeling so that we don’t feel as though everything is building up inside us. If you open the box you will feel relief and your mood may even get a little better.

Also, some will choose to use a lightbox that they sit beneath. These lights include desk lamps and wall fixtures that produce a kind of sunbeam light that encourages the brain to function normally.

A medical professional should be consulted before using any kind of lightbox to ensure that you have been diagnosed with the right form of depression and are taking the right actions to cure it.

What Does Severe Depression Look Like?

 Signs, Symptoms & Treatment of Severe Depression

I can’t remember how many episodes of depression I have had since childhood. But none was as bad as the one I had after my divorce and my daughter being taken away from me. It left me unable to get out of bed and the guilt and weight of being a “failure” weighed down on me, crushing my soul. Over the next 5 or 6 years, I did get my daughter back and also realized that getting out of a physically abusive relationship was not failure, but success.

However, in spite of the happy ending, the fact of the matter is, once I experienced depression so severe I couldn’t get out of bed on most mornings, it kept coming back with the same severity after that. It was like a door had opened for the worst. Gone were the days of just feeling blue all the time, after that episode my severe depression felt like I was being buried alive in a pit of depression. Just getting through the day without breaking down or trying to throw me in front of a racing bus became a landmark. (Different types of depression and their symptoms)

Since then I have managed to control it with medication and meditation and positive changes in my life, but the fact of the matter is that it can be debilitating and requires real and factual changes to escape from. Here are a few strategies which helped me get my life back on track, I am sharing them so you can too:

Never Give Up.

Struggling with this mental illness myself, I know that it is easy to say and difficult to do, but trust me that’s what it takes-not giving in or giving up! Someone once told me, “You can’t wait for the rain to be over, you have to learn to go out and play in it”. Believe me, that is exactly what you have to do, learn to go out and make the most of it, every single day.

 Inhale -Exhale.

Breathing is a big part of meditation and you can use it in daily life as well. Just learn to calm yourself in between bouts of panic,  frustration, or crying. Try the coherent breathing technique which is breathing five times in a minute. This technique calms down the sympathetic nervous system by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. Just five minutes of breathing from your diaphragm, will make you feel much calmer and in control again.

Be Gentle with Yourself.

This mental illness defeats you, crushes you, and leaves you half-dead by the roadside. Up against such a ruthless enemy, it is up to you to be kind to yourself. So treat yourself gently, and talk to yourself with love and respect. What you are dealing with is harsh enough as it is, blaming you for everything- the least you can do is prep-talk yourself into accepting what is going on and cheering yourself on your small victories.

Embrace Your Situation.

When something is wrong with us, we want to have it fixed as soon as possible. The same is our reaction to severe depression. I read hundreds of self-help books in order to get well as soon as I could. But when the given strategies did not work for me. I would end up feeling even worse than I did before. That is when my doctor advised me to stop. According to experts, when normal people try to reframe their negative emotions they are usually successful. The brain activity in the brain’s fear center (amygdala) decreases. However, when the same is practiced by people suffering from it, the opposite happens. So, stop trying to change what is and just embrace the situation.

Popular Culture Depression and Symptoms

Depression has been rearing its head in popular culture for years. With the modern advancement of technology throughout the 2000s, depression firmly stands its ground in the entertainment world. Depression songs with themes of hopelessness, apathy, and loneliness can be found by the hundreds. One example could be “Mad World” by the rock band Tears for Fear. The band members croon over melancholy nineteen eighty’s electronic instrumentals for three minutes and twenty-nine seconds. Exhibiting the first verse of the song can paint a more thorough picture.

“All around me are familiar faces, worn out places, worn out places. Bright and early for their daily races, Going nowhere, going nowhere.

Their tears are filling up their glasses, with no expression, no expression. Hide my head, I wanna drown my sorrow, no tomorrow, no tomorrow.

And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad. The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had. I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take. When people run in circles it’s a very, very mad world, mad world”

Not surprisingly the album this hit record sprung from was titled “The Hurting”, art imitates life, and Tears for fear’s “Mad World” perfectly brought to light the collective dispassion the youth were feeling at the time. If you look at the lines “I wanna drown my sorrow. No tomorrow, no tomorrow” The sense of anguish seems to be the theme at the forefront of the song. There is such a vast collection of depression-inspired songs that Jimi Hendrix’s specifically titled “Manic depression” was only one in a long line of songs that actually include the word “depression” in the song.

Demographic of depression 

The demographic of depressed comedians, actors, and singers is definitely a growing one. This has gotten a lot more attention with the more recent suicide of comedian Robin Williams. His presence in the comedic scene was nothing short of game-changing, with a career spanning roughly thirty-five years. He regards by many as the funniest man in the world. Comedians seem to battle their demons in a different way, by turning pain and tragedy into humor. The late great Richard Pryor was also suffering from depression at the peak of his career, suffering from substance addiction, and already having a few suicide attempts on his belt to get a better perspective looking back into his life would provide more insight. (Different types of depression and their symptoms)

After Pryor’s mother (an alcoholic prostitute) abandoned him at the age of ten. He was raised in his grandmother’s brothel, where he would be beaten and eventually sexually abused. The cards Pryor was dealt would be hard to deal with mentally for even the strongest of us. So his struggles with mental health are understandable. Significant trauma suffered in the comedian’s past seems to be a consistent force. Jim Carrey (another comedian) had to drop out of school when he was fifteen to help support his struggling family. He suffered from depression for years, like many other stand-up comics. Who end up revealing their past trauma comedy was the coping method that helped turn lemons into lemonade. (Different types of depression and their symptoms)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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