Winston Churchill described his depression as a black dog that followed him around constantly. The sad truth is that not much has changed in the way depression is stigmatized in society today than it was when Mr. Churchill was walking his black dog.
It is still an issue that those suffering from the illness feel must be swept under the carpet and hidden. People not suffering from depression often feel that sufferers should just get over it or grin and bear it.
However, much has changed in the way that depression has been medically defined and is being treated today than it was way back then. The first thing people need to know so that they can understand depression is that there are different types of depression.
The most common type of depression and least known is probably reactive depression. This refers to a person succumbing to depression for a short period of time as a reaction to a traumatic or sad event that has taken place in their lives.
Reactive depression can be treated with therapy or even medication on a short term basis to help speed up the recovery time but most people tend to "get over it" on their own without any help. Reactive depression can however return in a more severe form if it is not dealt with.
Clinical depression is perhaps the most well-known of the different genres of depression. This is major depression and affects sufferers on a continual or recurring basis. In other words, it may seem that a person has overcome their depression through therapy or treatment but they will often begin displaying symptoms again even with continued treatment.
Clinical depression is a mental illness such as any serious medical illness that does not recede but can be managed and lived with like diabetes. Sufferers will probably have to deal with the symptoms for the rest of their lives.
Depression is also one of the major symptoms related to Bi-polar disorder. Bipolar disorder must be treated with a cocktail of different medications as well as therapy on an ongoing basis. Bi-polar depression can also be described as mood swings meaning that a person with the disorder can suffer extreme lows followed by extreme highs.
These extreme lows are major depressive episodes and can lead to a person thinking about and even acting on suicide. The extreme highs on the other hand leave the person feeling that they are on top of the world and has been compared to the feelings of elation that a cocaine user would experience.
There are other types of depression but more important than understanding the types of depression, understand the symptoms and treatments. It is advisable for a person to seek help if they are suffering from any of the following symptoms.
- A feeling of sadness without knowing the reason why they are sad.
- Feeling as if life is not worth living.
- Thoughts of suicide.
- Being so overwrought that they cannot maintain the function of normal tasks.
Don't feel alone and get help for depression.
You can learn so much more in our online guide here What is Depression? and also get our free book download about how to help improve your mental health and wellbeing.
We wish you well in your search for solutions and your movement towards better health in all areas.
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