What is depression Helen M Farrell
Depression is the leading causeof disability in the world. In the United States, close to 10% of adults struggle with depression. But because it's a mental illness, it can be a lot harder to understandthan, say, high cholesterol. One major source of confusion isthe difference between having depression and just feeling depressed. Almost everyone feels downfrom time to time.
Getting a bad grade, losing a job, having an argument, even a rainy day can bring onfeelings of sadness. Sometimes there's no trigger at all. It just pops up out of the blue. Then circumstances change, and those sad feelings disappear.
al depression is different. It's a medical disorder, and it won't go away just because you want it to. It lingers for at least two consecutive weeks, and significantly interferes with one's ability to work, play, or love. Depression can have a lotof different symptoms:
a low mood, loss of interest in thingsyou'd normally enjoy, changes in appetite, feeling worthless or excessively guilty, sleeping either too much or too little, poor concentration, restlessness or slowness, loss of energy,
or recurrent thoughts of suicide. If you have at least fiveof those symptoms, according to psychiatric guidelines, you qualify for a diagnosis of depression. And it's not just behavioral symptoms. Depression has physical manifestationsinside the brain. First of all, there are changes that could be seenwith the naked eye
and Xray vision. These include smaller frontal lobesand hippocampal volumes. On a more microscale, depression is associated with a few things: the abnormal transmission or depletionof certain neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, norepinephrine,and dopamine, blunted circadian rhythms, or specific changes in the REMand slowwave parts of your sleep cycle,