Monday, 23 April 2012

What is Depression?

This extract of text has been taken from Mental Health

What is depression?

Depression is different from feeling down or sad. Unhappiness is something which everyone feels at one time or another, usually due to a particular cause. A person suffering from depression will experience intense emotions of anxiety, hopelessness, negativity and helplessness, and the feelings stay with them instead of going away.
Depression can happen to anyone. Many successful and famous people who seem to have everything going for them battle with this problem. Depression also affects people of every age.
Half of the people who have depression will only experience it once but for the other half it will happen again. The length of time that it takes to recover ranges from around six months to a year or more.
Living with depression is difficult for those who suffer from it and for their family, friends, and colleagues. It can be difficult to know if you are depressed and what you can do about it.
From looking at this text i strongly believe depression is misunderstood as you can't physically see it, but people yet choose to ignore it or over look the tell tell signs of someone who is ill. Yet i believe also age is an issue, where adults would assume children are just fine, as after all they are kids right? Which is definitely wrong as it can affect anyone at any age. I believe this disease is overlooked too much and isn't taken seriously 

Signs and symptoms of depression

The following are the most common symptoms of depression. If you experience four or more of these symptoms for most of the day, every day for more than two weeks, you should seek help from your GP.
  • Tiredness and loss of energy.
  • Sadness that doesn’t go away. 
  • Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem. 
  • Difficulty concentrating. 
  • Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting. 
  • Feeling anxious all the time. 
  • Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends. 
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. 
  • Sleeping problems - difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual.
  • Very strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness. 
  • Finding it hard to function at work/college/school. 
  • Loss of appetite. 
  • Loss of sex drive and/or sexual problems. 
  • Physical aches and pains. 
  • Thinking about suicide and death. 
  • Self-harm. 
Suffering from either two or three of these symptoms can make your life complicated to lead, yet to imagine to have 16 of these. Where if you are falling back in one area of life, it is like a domino effect and with out help could lead to a terrible breakdown. 

What causes depression?

Depression can happen suddenly as a result of physical illness, experiences dating back to childhood, unemployment, bereavement, family problems or other life-changing events.
Examples of chronic illnesses linked to depression include heart disease, back pain and cancer. Pituitary damage, a treatable condition which frequently follows head injuries, may also lead to depression.
Sometimes, there may be no clear reason for your depression but, whatever the original cause, identifying what may affect how you feel and the things that are likely to trigger depression is an important first step.
I also believe that people feel like they must have an excuse or it's not deemed enough as a problem to be able to ask for help. Any scenario or situation can lead to anything and no one knows at all how a person feels deep down. There is a point of worry of being judged or treated differently, but i believe many people do suffer with out saying so.  

Types of depression

There are several types of depression, some of which are listed below.
Mild depression
Depression is described as mild when it has a limited negative effect on your daily life. For example, you may have difficulty concentrating at work or motivating yourself to do the things you normally enjoy.
Major depression
Major depression interferes with an individual’s daily life - with eating, sleeping and other everyday activities. Some people may experience only one episode but it is more common to experience several episodes in a lifetime. It can lead to hospital admission, if the person is so unwell they are at risk of harm to themselves.
Bi-polar disorder
The mood swings in bi-polar disorder can be extreme - from highs, where the individual feels extremely elated and indestructible, to lows, where they may experience complete despair, lethargy and suicidal feelings. Sometimes people have very severe symptoms where they cannot make sense of their world and do things that seem odd or illogical. 

Post-natal depression 

Many new mothers experience what are sometimes called 'baby blues' a few days after the birth. These feelings of anxiety and lack of confidence are very distressing but in most cases last only a couple of weeks. Post-natal depression is more intense and lasts longer. It can leave new mothers feeling completely overwhelmed, inadequate and unable to cope. They may have problems sleeping, panic attacks or an intense fear of dying.
They may also experience negative feelings towards their child. It affects one in ten mothers and usually begins two to three weeks after the birth.
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.

I have been diagnosed with Depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which i have explained below. Which i have collected the information from NHS.
Someone with PTSD will often relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and they may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.
A person with PTSD will often relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and have feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.
I aim to record my dreams that i have been having which tend to be reoccuring and very visual for research and ideas for my final outcome. 
The symptoms of PTSD usually develop during the first month after a person witnesses a traumatic event. However, in a minority of cases (less than 15%), there may be a delay of months or even years before symptoms start to appear.
Some people with PTSD experience long periods when their symptoms are less noticeable. This is known as symptom remission. These periods are often followed by an increase in symptoms. Other people with PTSD have severe symptoms that are constant.
You can call these 'bouts' where its unpredictable when they are coming or going.


Re-experiencing is the most typical symptom of PTSD.
A person will involuntarily and vividly relive the traumatic event in the form of flashbacks, nightmares or repetitive and distressing images or sensations. Being reminded of the traumatic event can evoke distressing memories and cause considerable anguish.
As i stated before about keeping a dream journal.


Trying to avoid being reminded of the traumatic event is another key symptom of PTSD.
Reminders can take the form of people, situations or circumstances that resemble or are associated with the event.
Many people with PTSD will try to push memories of the event out of their mind. They do not like thinking or talking about the event in detail.
These can come back with flashbacks as you get older and remember the memories which you automatically blocked. 
Some people repeatedly ask themselves questions that prevent them from coming to terms with the event. For example, they may wonder why the event happened to them and whether it could have been prevented.

Hyperarousal (feeling 'on edge')

Someone with PTSD may be very anxious and find it difficult to relax. They may be constantly aware of threats and easily startled. This state of mind is known as hyperarousal.
Irritability, angry outbursts, sleeping problems and difficulty concentrating are also common.

Emotional numbing

Some people with PTSD deal with their feelings by trying not to feel anything at all. This is known as emotional numbing. They may feel detached or isolated from others and have feelings of guilt.
This is a big point i want to look at in my film, the idea of being numb, isolated and completely detached. 
Someone with PTSD can often seem deep in thought and withdrawn. They may also give up activities that they used to enjoy.

Other symptoms

Other possible symptoms of PTSD include:
As with may other mental health conditions, PTSD sometimes leads to the breakdown of relationships and causes work-related problems.

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