3 months after my breakup with my ex-boyfriend which put an end to our 6-year old relationship, I was a complete lunatic (or so my peers would say) surviving on alcohol. I would spend my nights crying over my pillow, screaming sporadically as if every moment someone was cutting my heart into pieces. Yes, someone did; my ex did after throwing me away for someone else.
However, reasons were many. My busy hair looked horrible. My behavior was not at all cool. So was my dressing sense.
And these reasons went on. Now when I recall, I feel I can write a complete research paper based on this.
It was something I could never even think of in my nightmares. But it did happen. My childhood sweetheart left me taking away my confidence and my love for life with him.
I lost interest in studies, interest in the theater which I enjoyed doing so much and literally in everything that I loved. That was the time when my parents came over to see me and found me in my most vulnerable state. They knew, I was depressed and immediately took me to a therapist.
Depression is not a disease. We all go through depression. It’s a state of mind which is characterized by a feeling of extreme sadness, lack of self-confidence, lack of love for life and is triggered by some form of loss or abuse.
Levels of depression vary from one person to another and are dependent on the parameters which trigger the depression.
Depression Can Hit You In Many Ways- There are Certain Things and You Should Know About it.
To understand what depression is, let’s understand the symptoms first. Depression is characterized by:
Sad, restlessness, anxiety, pessimism, feeling of guilt, lack of self-confidence.
Loss of appetite, a decrease in interest in food.
• Physical health condition:
Digestive disorder, chronic headache which does not respond to treatments, fatigue, a decrease of energy.
• Cognitive Functioning:
Thoughts of causing self-harm, attempt to commit suicide, difficulty in remembering, focusing on something, the problem in decision-making.
A person can be depressed for a number of reasons. Depression is also affected by physiological health conditions, weather of a place and various other external factors as well. While break-up is one of the most common causes of depression, you might even come across a person who undergoes chronic depression in winter because of the weather.
In clinical psychology, depression has been categorized into 9 types. They are as follows:
(1) Major Depression:
Major Depression or Major Depressive Disorder is a culmination of the discussed symptoms lasting for more than 2 weeks. One might feel sad, upset, get disinterested in eating, experience fatigue. As a result, their productivity will decrease and it will also affect their relationships with family, peers or partners.
(2) Bipolar Disorder:
Bipolar disorder or ‘mood disorder’ is a psychological condition where the person experiences a shift between depression and mania (a feeling of extreme happiness). Such mood swings occur vigorously. You might find a friend laughing around and all of a sudden, breaking down into tears of sorrow.
It’s often hard to fathom what triggers such a condition; however, scientists consider bipolar disorder to be hereditary. Usually, such a condition is caused by stress in personal or professional life.
However, it can be tackled with good treatment.
(3) Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
SAD is something my readers residing in the Northern Hemisphere can relate to. Haven’t you felt the long winters extremely depressing? Lack of appetite, change in weight, those long hours of darkness making you feel upset? Well, when these changes in your mood and health become prominent, you face Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. This kind of depression is caused by the change of season especially long winters and long hours of darkness.
(4) Dysthymic Disorder or Dysthymia:
This kind of depression continues over a period of more than 2 years. Traces of Major Depression are prominent here along with the symptoms of depression.
(5) Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood:
Has it ever occurred to you that you have moved to a new city and feel completely lonely, have trouble adjusting? Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood is the type of depression where one has trouble adjusting to a new scenario; it can be moving to a new city or joining a new job or getting into a new class without your best friend.
The factors triggering this can be positive or negative. But don’t worry with this one. This slowly goes away with time. However, we all need help. So, if you have trouble, you should visit a psychologist.
(6) Antenatal and Postnatal Depression:
Now this one is for mothers who have given childbirth or who will be giving child birth. Antenatal Depression occurs during pregnancy while Postnatal Depression occurs after pregnancy. Female hormones are responsible for this.
Whatever be the cause of depression, we should all keep in mind that there is only one life. Nobody in this world is alone. All of us should respect the life given to us by our parents and nurtured by this universe.
We all need help and need an ear to listen to. That’s why friends and peers are there. However, there are times when things get out of control; that’s why we have therapists who guide us through the whole process of recovery.
Depression is not a disease. It’s a phase. So, don’t get ashamed to tell someone if you are depressed. Reach out to people. The world is waiting to hear you out. Be happy and enjoy this life.