In its mildest forms, depression can be a low mood that doesn't prevent normal functioning but makes everything seem more difficult and less worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can render the individual totally unable to cope or to function, feeling ultimately worthless, that life is pointless and there may be episodes of self harm and suicidal thoughts. Severe depression can also produce psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.
Many people describe depression as the descending of a blackness, a darkness. There are many symptoms of depression and these can vary greatly from individual to individual. As well as some of the symptoms listed above, they can include feeling down, being tearful, feeling agitated or frustrated, guilt, worthlessness, a feeling of isolation, a sense of unreality, despair, suicidal thoughts.
There are many types of depression including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Pre and Post natal depression, reactive depression, Chronic depression,
It is very common to experience depression and anxiety together. Depression can also be part of other mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and other personality disorders.
There are several causes for depression including unresolved past trauma, grief, the end of a relationship, poor health or illness, being bullied, major life changes or physical or mental abuse. Research shows that depression can also be brought on by health issues such as hormonal or menstrual problems, sleep disorders, low blood sugar.
There are many approaches that can greatly improve these feelings of low mood and helplessness, particularly the therapies that are undertaken at a cognitive or neo-cortex level within the brain. These therapies can help an individual to be more hopeful, more in control and allow them to live a more relaxed and happy life.