Making even the simplest tasks feel impossible, depression is a mood disorder that affects over 250 million people worldwide. It often leaves men, women, and children feeling constantly worried, sad, and restless, with symptoms slowly escalating over time. It's also this steady increase in symptom severity that makes treatment paramount.
However, as is often the case with mood disorders, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. Instead, the best way to address depression differs depending on the type and the individual. Although persistent feelings of sadness and worry exist across all types of depression, healthcare professionals categorise the disorder under the following diagnoses: major depression, persistent depressive disorder (PDD), seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and bipolar disorder.
As for why depression occurs, and when—there isn't a clear answer. However, there are contributing factors such as genetic disposition, medication, age, life events, and trauma or abuse to consider. These causes can trigger an onset of depression, leading to some of the symptoms and diagnoses outlined above.
The negative impact of depression doesn't have to stop you from living the life you want. While it may be a complex mood disorder, there are dozens of possible treatments and coping techniques. Sometimes, simply speaking to others living with the condition can help you get a handle on symptoms. For more severe cases, therapy, antidepressants, and lifestyle changes can help keep depression at bay.
What remains essential, above all else, is not suffering in silence. Depression accentuates our worries and concerns. Whether it be a trained therapist or a friend, speaking to others helps you put those worries into perspective and realise they may not be as insurmountable as you first thought.