Severe depression is something that many people deal with every day. It can be debilitating and in some cases even lead people to commit suicide. This is an issues in every country around the world. Here are a few things you need to know about severe depression.
What is the Difference with Depression
A common misconception around the world is that depression is its own category which is why many people are confused when they hear the term severe depression. This is because there are different types of depression a person can have. Here are the different types of depression and what you should know about them. Understanding this will help you to see the difference in each of them.
- Mild Depression– This is often the most untreated form of depression because people tend to think they simply are not bad enough to need help. People with mild depression will experience general depression symptoms such as being disinterested in activities, which is noticeable but not severe. This can often be treated with lifestyle changes and therapy though some cases do require other forms of treatment.
- Moderate Depression- This depression can cause issues for people socially, in the work place and in relationships. People with moderate depression tend to have lessening self confidence that snowballs and becomes worse over time. They may find that they are not as productive as they once were in almost every aspect of their life. There are several treatments that can help people with this, including the use of certain medications.
- Severe Depression- This differs from the first two in the way that it impacts their life. People with this condition tend to be distressed, agitate easily and tend to have a loss of interest for everything in their life they once loved. This is also referred to as major depression. It is essential that people with this condition seek treatment right away because the symptoms can continue to get worse and can lead to many issues, with suicide being one of the biggest concerns.
- Unipolar Depression- When looking at the different types of depression, it is important to look at the different forms of depression. With unipolar depression, a person tends to stay in the depressive state. People can have this form of depression that is mild, moderate or severe.
- Bipolar Depression– This is also referred to as cyclic mood disorder or cyclothymia. It used to be referred to as manic depressive. Essentially what it means is that people with this form of depression go through cycles of lows and highs. The lows are the depression and then they transition into feelings of euphoria- the highs.
Stats on the Severely Depressed
According to the World Health Organization depression is something that more than 350 million people around the world of all ages suffer from. It is the biggest cause of disability and contributes to the burden of disease around the world. More women are affected by depression than men are. In the US alone, there were 16 million reported cases of depression in people 18 years or older in 2012. It is also important to note that studies have found a link between severe depression and anxiety as well as a link between people with severe anxiety and depression.
Severe depression is often found with many different illnesses. For instance, those with HIV have a one in three chance of being depressed. Also those with Parkinson’s disease are likely to be depressed in 50% of cases. Moreover, studies have shown that at least 50% of all people who commit suicide are depressed. While not all people who are depressed will commit suicide, it is still a large enough figure to show the importance of early detection and treatment of depression.
What Causes Someone to Become Severely Depressed?
There are many factors that play into someone becoming depressed at all, some of which modern science has yet to determine. One of the major aspects that comes into play here is genetics. Some people are going to be naturally predisposed to being depressed but this does not mean that only people who have it in their genes become depressed. It can also be the result of their environment. This includes the people the person interacts with, the situations they find themselves in and every day activities. These can have a larger impact on someone than they ever realize.
Even people who would not normally be predisposed to depression will find that they can become depressed from the growing study of epigenetics. This has found that different aspects of a person’s environment throughout their life, such as smoking, toxins and other factors can cause genes for different conditions to turn off or on. This is still a fairly new science so the exact details of how this impacts depression as well as other conditions is still a mystery that scientists are trying to solve.
Signs of Severe Depression
One of the first questions people have is what is severe depression? While most people understand that this is depression that impacts a person’s life in a significant way, it is helpful to know what the symptoms of severe depression are. This will allow you to recognize it in yourself or in others you care about. The severe depression symptoms include:
- Feeling unhappy, sad or empty
- Frustration or outbursts over small matters
- Losing interest in pleasures or activities that were once loved
- Issues with sleep- either insomnia or oversleeping
- A loss of energy
- Changes in appetite one way or another
- Excessive worrying or restlessness
- Slowed body movements or speaking
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Memory issues or problems concentrating and making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Unexplained health problems, usually seen with pains in the body or head
Diagnosing Severe Depression
If you or someone you care about is experiencing these symptoms, then you may think that the best thing they can do is take a severe depression test. The problem is that there is no one definitive test you can take that will tell you one way or another. Rather, you will need to be seen by a mental health professional. They will examine you and ask many questions.
Even though the diagnosis aspect of mental health care facilities can seem long and overwhelming, it is important. They will be able to give you a better understanding of what is going on with you. Not only will they be able to tell you if you are suffering from depression, but also how severe the depression is. On top of this you may learn about other issues you have that you may never have even realized you had.
Treatment for Severe Depression
There are many forms of treat this condition and this is why most mental health facilities will take on the issues with multiple treatment options. They will often use a combination of medications, treatment and lifestyle changes as severe depression treatment. When used together like this, people often experience better results and find that their depressive episodes subside quicker.
There are several forms of therapy that can be used. Often the most common is cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on the behaviors of a person that is leading them to the situation they are in and helps them to find better behaviors to make. For instance, a person who becomes depressed because they can never have kids may find themselves going into baby stores or following boards about babies, which only worsens the depression. The therapist will help the person recognize these behaviors and find other healthier behaviors to replace them with.
There are many lifestyle changes that can help with severe depression. Exercise is one of the most recommended forms of change. This is because it helps to make the body healthier and it releases endorphins that naturally help to stabilize a person’s mood. Diet is another change that is recommended because it can help the body to operate optimally, which will lead to a natural regulation of the mood.
Overall, there are many things that can be done to help those with depression. If you or someone you know is suffering from severe depression help should be looked into right away. This is a serious matter as it so often leads to suicide. Do not put it off. In the same way, if someone makes threats of suicide, do not just dismiss it as a cry for attention. Get them the help they need so they do not commit suicide. Keep in mind that while this is a serious condition, it is highly treatable.