Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

The Face of Depression: What Is It Really Like?


Depression is a serious mental illness that can have long-lasting results on a person’s life. They’re plagued with severe feelings of sadness and hopelessness, as well as having a loss of interest in things that they once enjoyed doing. It can have a profound effect on their life and the relationships they have with other people. Yet, depression is still mostly misunderstood by the majority of society. So what does depression actually look like?

How Does Depression Feel

Most people who start attending Depression Treatment in California learn that depression is more than just feelings of sadness or being down. True, depression can make a person feel sad, but it is much more severe than emotions that just come and go with the changes in life events. It is a persistent feeling that can last for months or years that make it impossible for a person to carry on with their daily life. It causes damage to relationships and careers, and makes it difficult for a person to practice self-care.

Risk Factors For Depression

Not many people understand that some people are more prone to depression than others. Depression may not even have a single cause, and can be a culmination of several risk factors coming into play:

  • Genetics: depression and mood disorders can be passed down from generation to generation, but this alone does not mean a person will get depression.
  • Hormonal changes: there is an association between depression and menopause, pregnancy, or premenstrual disorders.
  • Drug/alcohol abuse: heavy abuse can lead to depression.
  • Life events: traumatizing or stressful live events can trigger depression.
  • Certain medications: cancer drugs, high blood pressure medications, and steroids can increase the risk of depression.

Different Types Of Depression

There are different types of depression that can affect a person’s life. Although the underlying symptoms are typically the same, they can be brought around from different sources.

  • Major Depression: also known as clinical depression, it is the standard diagnosis made by doctors.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): mood changes are linked to the seasons and is a recurring major depression with a seasonal pattern of reduced sunlight during the summer months.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD): can last up to 2 years and is much less common than major depression; symptoms are still debilitating.
  • Postpartum Depression: occurs during or after pregnancy.
  • Psychotic Depression: a person experiences episodes of psychosis or delusions in addition to major depression.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): a condition that can cause severe depression, PMDD is linked to the menstrual cycle. It is similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) but with more serious symptoms.

It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible once a person recognizes that they might have depression. They can discuss treatment options to help manage a person’s depression so that they can get on with their daily life. Without treatment, depression can worsen over time and lead to thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

If you fear that you may be dealing with depression on a daily basis, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor immediately. They can help you get the treatment that’s right for you so that you can feel like yourself again.

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