What is Depression?

Learn how I beat Depression

As with many mental health problems there are a number of symptoms; it’s very rare for all symptoms to occur in one person. Unsurprisingly, the symptoms of depression include feeling generally miserable, and in addition to this other symptoms are:

• Variation of mood over the day. It is often worse in the morning, and improves as the day goes on – but the pattern can be the other way around
• Disturbed, sleep usually waking early in the morning and being unable to get back to sleep. This is often because of all the negative thoughts that are racing through your head
• A general slowing down of thought, speech and movement
• Feelings of anxiety
• Tearfulness for no reason
• Shorter temper
• Lack of energy and constant exhaustion
• Inability to enjoy things
• Lack of concentration
• Difficulty making decisions
• Feeling that you are forgetful
• Negative thoughts about the future
• Feelings of guilt
• Loss of identity
• Blaming self and low self esteem
• Feelings of hopelessness and despair
• Unrealistic sense of failure
• Loneliness, even when amongst people
• Becoming pre-occupied with illness
• Loss of appetite and as a result loss of weight, and
• Reduced sex drive

This presents a very bleak picture. However, it is important to remember that depression is not an absolute; it is not a case of either you are depressed or you are not. There is a progression from simply feeling blue, to the full clinical illness described in this list. Even then, not every symptom will occur. It is also important to remember that depression is treatable, and if you take the right steps, can be avoidable.

What is depression – How common is it?

Though we all suffer low moods, from 7% to 12% of men will suffer diagnosable depression in their lifetime. The figure is from 20% to 25% for women. There are many theories as to why the figure is higher for women. The incidence of post-natal depression certainly contributes to the higher number.

Other theories include views on the position of women in society, and the difficulties they face in achieving life goals. It could also be that women may tend to be more honest about their emotions than men – and hence their depression is easier to detect.

Learn how I beat Depression

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