Friday, March 13, 2009


Depression is a mental health disorder that affects the way you feel about yourself, the way you sleep and eat, and the way you think about things. A depressive disorder is not a passing mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness, and it cannot be willed or wished away.

A depressive disorder involves the body, thoughts and mood. People who are depressed cannot "snap out of it" and get better. Symptoms can last for months or years without treatment. Treatments such as antidepressant medications and psychotherapy can reduce and sometimes eliminate the symptoms of depression.

Types of Depression
Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Some people have a single episode of depression, but many have episodes that recur.

Dysthymia is a less severe type of depression that lasts a long time but involves less severe symptoms. If you suffer from dysthymia you probalby lead a normal life, but you may not be functioning well or feeling good. People with dysthymia may also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives.

Bipolar Disorder (also called manic-depression) is another type of depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder is thought to be less common than other depressive disorders. If you have bipolar disorder you are troubled by cycling mood swings - usually severe highs (mania) and lows (depression). The mood swings are sometimes dramatic and rapid, but usually are more gradual. When in the depressed stage, a person can have any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. When in the manic stage, the individual may be overactive, overtalkative, and have a great deal of energy. Mania affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior, sometimes in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. A person in a manic phase may feel elated, full of grand schemes that might range from unwise business decisions to romantic sprees. Mania, left untreated, may worsen to a psychotic state, where the person is out of touch with reality.

Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
Restlessness, irritability
Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Two-thirds of people suffering from depression do not seek necessary treatment
80% of all people with clinical depression who have received treatment significantly improve their lives
The economic cost of depression is estimated at $30.4 billion a year but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated
Women experience depression about twice as often as men
By the year 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression will be the number two cause of "lost years of healthy life" worldwide
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in the United States in 1996
Major Depression is 1.5-3.0 times more common among first-degree biological relatives of those with the disorder than among the general population

have u ever feel that way?

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