Depression is all about negativity in mental and physical actions. A depressed mood evolves, which reflect on how you act. It is a result of a loss, which could be in love or material possession. It is also caused by chemical changes in the brain.
Depression is also known by other names such as major depression, major depressive disorder, and clinical depression.
The intensity of depression depends on the degree of the patient’s ambivalent feelings towards the loss and the resulting circumstances. In its most severe form, it can even lead a depressed person to commit suicide.
Major depression is a fairly common mental illness affecting more than 16 million American adults every year. Globally, it affects more than 300 million people making it the leading cause of disability worldwide.
It is classified into different types. Fortunately, they are all treatable.
Medical definition of depression
You will find a lot of sites defining depression in different medical words, but they all mean the same thing.
WHO (World Health Organization) defines depression as
[box] “a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration”.[/box]
It can be short-term and recurrent or long-lasting. It can be mild when it can be cured without medication. Its moderate or severe forms require medication long-term.
Depression is just not sadness. It is much more than that. It is a serious disease, which affects you not just mentally but also physically.
Depression or major depressive disorder is like living in a black hole with a feeling of impending doom. A person with depression feels worthless, hopeless and helpless, with no relief in sight.
Synonyms include a feeling of despair, extreme sadness, gloominess, misery, melancholy and dejection.
These feelings of depression last for weeks or months and can be chronic and recurrent. They are so intense so as to also affect the physical well being of the depressed person. It is, therefore, considered as a medical illness. The effects are also seen in the life of patient’s family members and friends.
Major depression does interfere with your day to day activities and makes you believe that life is not worth living. At its worst, it can lead you to commit suicide, a tragedy which accounts for 8, 50,000 deaths annually. However, it can be treated and many have recovered after treatment.
Risk factors include being of young age, being of the female gender and being unemployed.