What is Depression and Why Is It Here? How To Identify and Understand Depression

According to The National lnstitute of Mental Health  “Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.”

The bottom line is, depression can affect anyone.

It’s easy to say “Oh I’m Depressed.” But harder to put a finger on if you suffer from the condition. Depression seeps into all demographic groups. Depression doesn’t discriminate. Be you any race, religion, political side, sexual orientation, age or gender – it matters not.

Depression presents itself in as many forms as there are fruit flavors.

The disorder can come in a flavor of low-to- no motivation. The flavor may be the lack of zing to even lift yourself out of bed. You might just not care anymore about your favorite hobby. You may feel like you are just a ghost of a human body. Does it feel like you are living in your old self’s shell? Feelings of hopelessness and desire to die also come with the territory. Irritability, restlessness, and discontent are common.

The main thing a friend with depression told me was, “I just ceased to feel like myself at all anymore. I don’t know what even happened to that girl.” If this sounds like you, read on.

Let’s get down to the causes and conditions. “It’s often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn’t capture how complex the disease is. Research suggests that depression doesn’t spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, there are many possible causes of depression, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems. It’s believed that several of these forces interact to bring on depression.” writes Harvard Medical School on their website.

Depression may be more than just feeling a little down. Depression means your sadness is this dark cloud that overshadows everything else in your world. A lot of old grandmothers always touted, “If it smells like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.” So this intrinsically means that depression is an easy thing to spot out. That is when you are symptom checking.

However, the best thing to do is seek the help of a mental health professional to diagnose you with depression.

Don’t delay to find treatment today if you feel that you have been stabbed with the sharp knife of depression. Help is available, and there are a variety of treatments that have proven successful in getting your life back. Some find solace in psychotherapy, some it is the power of a spiritual group. Others find medications that bring back those chemicals to a state of balance and clarity.

If you are in a state of crisis, call 911 now. There is help available with the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 as well. Nothing is worth harming yourself or someone else over.

As Pema Chodron declared in one of her dharma talks, “You are the sky. Everything else is just the clouds.”

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