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What is depression?
Depression is a very common condition which is estimated to affect 450, 000 people in Ireland at any one time. According to the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland, everybody feels sad sometimes, but if the sadness lasts too long it may be depression.
Common symptoms will usually include a combination of the following:
- Losing interest in activities which were normally enjoyable
- Feelings of guilt – even about things that happened in the past
- A sense of tiredness and fatigue even when doing very little
- A prolonged feeling of sadness or being ‘down’
- Being more worried or anxious than normal
- Problems getting to sleep or waking early
- Losing self-confidence
- Difficulty making decisions
- Being snappy or irritable
- Change in eating habits
- Avoiding other people
- Thoughts of death
- Crying a lot.
Depression is extremely complex and can be caused by a number of different factors. Some people will experience depression during a a serious medical illness. Others may experience depression when there is a significant change in their lives. For example, the death of a loved one; the end of a relationship, high stress levels or losing ones job. Biological factors such as neurotransmitters and hormones also play a role in the development of depression. Each person who experiences depression can experience it for different reasons.
Types of Depression
There are various different forms of depression, some of which are more common than others:
Major Depressive Disorder (Clinical Depression) is characterized by the combination of symptoms which affect everday functioning. It interferes with a persons ability to work, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. It is disabling. A person may feel sad or empty, may feel teary or irritable. These feelings may be more evident in the morning time and are constant. There may be significant weight loss or gain; Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day. There may be a change in sleeping patterns and a general feeling of fatigue.
Dysthymia (Dysthymic disorder or Chronic Depression) is characterized by long-term symptoms which may not be disabling but may lead a person to feel unwell . While the symptoms are similar to Major Depressive Disorder, it is not as severe or as intense. However, it may linger for a long period of time, often two years or longer.
Postpartum Depression is characterized by extreme feelings of sadness, fatigue, loneliness, hoplessness, feelings of disconnect with the child, suicidal thoughts or worries about hurting the baby. It may develop within one year of the childs birth. We know that almost 85% of new mums feel sadness after the birth of their baby.
Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) is characterized by Major Depressive Disorder symptoms only being experienced at certain times during the year usually during Winter. It has been linked with lack of natural sunlight and shorter days.
Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression) is sometimes referred to as a mood disorder. We all have our ups and downs but for some, these peaks and valleys are more severe.
At the Apex Clinic, we have practitioners available to assist you when you are feeling down. Whether you are going through a rough patch and need to talk to someone or you are constantly down and feel it is getting in the way of your daily functioning, seek help.
Contact us on: 087 0680424 or Email: email@example.com