What is Depression?
Depression is a serious illness that affects the body, mood and thoughts. It is a prolonged emotional feeling of sadness and discouragement. It is when feelings of emptiness and hopelessness take over and won’t go away. It is feeling sad, empty and being tearful. A depressed person feels completely unmotivated. For them, just about everything necessary to get through a day can be overwhelming. Depression affects the individual’s social life, relationships, self-esteem, career and overall purpose in life.
Depression can occur at any time or at any age in a person’s life. A child may become depressed if he/she experiences the death of a loved one such as a parent. Depression is more common in adolescents and adults. Women are more at risk of suffering from depression than men. Depression can lead to a shorter life expectancy.
Depression is a treatable illness; and a depressed person and his/her loved ones work through the illness together with the appropriate medical treatment and support.
Causes of Depression
• A person’s risk of depression increases if a family member has depression
• Chemical imbalance in the brain
• Life changes or stressful life events
• Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
• Death of a loved one
• Illness such as cancer, stroke, or heart attack
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
• Feeling sad or empty
• Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and guilt
• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable
• Change in appetite; weight loss or gain
• Lack of energy; feeling tired
• Trouble with concentrating or making decisions
• Changes in sleep patterns; falling asleep or oversleeping
• Unmanageable emotions
• Thoughts of death
Some reasons why women have a greater risk of being depressed than men are:
• Hormone changes throughout their lives; childbirth,...