While society has made great strides in overcoming the stigma of mental health, confusion still remains surrounding even the most common disorders.
You’ve certainly heard the word ‘depression’ before. Your friend missed out on concert tickets they had their heart set on purchasing and they utter the phrase, “Ugh, I’m so depressed I won’t be at the show!”
This term is thrown around so often that it’s beginning to become a near-dinner-table topic of conversation. But what is it really? How do you know if you’re depressed or just sad?
Let’s explore this topic a bit. We’ll cover what depression is, and a few of the most common signs that may indicate something more serious is going on.
Depression: An Umbrella Term
There are multiple forms of depression. Depression is a complex mood disorder that can take on many faces.
However, depression is an umbrella term that describes any mental health condition in which an individual suffers from low mood, hopelessness, and many other behavioral or physical changes. Depression changes the way you think, act, and feel and can impact your ability to perform even basic tasks.
The most common types of depression include:
Major Depressive Disorder: Symptoms must be present for 2 weeks and are often intense and can feel debilitating. An individual may have good days but struggle with feeling depressed more often than not.
Persistent Depressive Disorder: This form of depression manifests as a ‘low-grade’ yet chronic mood disorder. While symptoms can be severe, they’re often milder than major depressive disorder yet must be present for over 2 years.
Seasonal Depression: Many individuals experience seasonal depression during the colder, gloomy months. However, symptoms often subside during the summer.
Post-Partum Depression: Post-partum depression occurs in a portion of new moms due to hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and a sudden shift in life responsibilities.
Bipolar 1 and 2: This type of mood disorder involves periods of highs (mania) followed by periods of lows (depression).
Atypical Depression: Easily the most misunderstood and underresearched form of depression, atypical depression presents as a physical heaviness found in the arms and legs.
No matter what form of depression you suffer from, one commonality remains: it’s much deeper than simply feeling sad. Lets look at the top 8 symptoms of depression..