Depression and Unhappiness

Depression is a common mental disorder. It is different from feeling down, sad or unhappy. Unhappiness is something which everyone feels at one time or another. There is usually due to a particular reason but will lift quite quickly.

Someone with depression will experience intense emotions of anxiety, negativity, hopelessness and helplessness. These feelings stay instead of going

Young girl with Depression

Depression can leave teenagers isolated

away.

This problem can happen to anyone. There are many successful people who battle with this problem. It affect all genders, races and ages of people.

Around 50% of people who get depression will have it once. The other half it will have it again. It takes an average of six months to a year or more to dispel.

Living with depression is difficult. It also affects their family, friends, and colleagues.

Signs and symptoms

  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Deep sadness that stays put
  • Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Poor concentration
  • No joy in things that are normally pleasurable
  • Feeling anxious all the time
  • Avoiding other people, even family and close friends
  • Feeling helplessness and/or hopelessness
  • Sleep problems – can’t go to sleep or waking earlier you used to
  • Strong feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Difficulties functioning at work/college/school
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of sex libido and/or sexual problems
  • Aches and pains that were not there before
  • Thinking about suicide and that life is no longer worth living
  • Self-harming

If you experience four or more of these symptoms for most of the day, every day for more than two weeks, you are almost certainly depressed.

What brings on depression?

  • physical illness – e.g. cancer, heart attack, autoimmune diseases
  • experiences dating back to childhood,
  • unemployment,
  • bereavement,
  • family problems
  • divorce
  • child birth
  • bullying
  • assault
  • rape
  • and many other life-changing events.

Sometimes there is no clearly identifiable reason for it happening.

Types of depression

The major ones are listed below.

Mild depression

This is when it has limited negative effects on your day-to-day life. E.g., you may have some difficulty focussing on work or motivating yourself to do the

Man in bed with depression

Depression can cause sleep problems

things you usually like to do.

Major depression

This interferes with your daily life. Even everyday activities like bathing or eating. Some people only have one episode in their life. But about 50% of sufferers experience several bouts during their life.

Bi-polar disorder

I do not work with Bi-Polar Disorder

Post-natal depression

Sometimes called ‘baby blues’. It can occur in more than 1 in every 10 new mothers experience postnatal depression within a year of giving birth. It usually begins two to three weeks after the birth.

New fathers can get postnatal depression, too.

Typical symptoms

  • feeling of sadness and low mood that won’t go away
  • lost interest in life and you’re not enjoying the things you used to
  • problems sleeping, such as having trouble getting back to sleep after caring for your baby at night, even when the baby is asleep and you’re feeling exhausted
  • difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • low self-confidence
  • poor appetite (not eating enough)
  • feeling very agitated or, alternatively, you can’t be bothered with anything (apathy)
  • feelings of guilt and self-blame
  • experience negative feelings towards their child
  • thinking about, and even planning, suicide.

In most cases these feelings last only a couple of weeks. But for many it is more intense and lasts longer. It can leave new mothers feeling completely overwhelmed, inadequate and unable to cope.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD is associated with the start of winter and can last until spring when longer days bring more daylight. When it is mild, it is sometimes called ‘winter blues’. SAD can make the sufferer feel anxious, stressed and depressed. It may interfere with their moods and with their sleeping and eating patterns.