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The reality of depression


Mojabeng Dorcas Senekal

THE best medicine is to know when you are sick, what it is you are suffering from; because you then know how and what to deal with. Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. We have all gone through it, we all go through it but do we really know what it is, do we know if we are really over it? Depression causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, thin and handle yourself on a daily basis. Should you have them for over two weeks, then you have depression and you have to attend to it as soon as possible. Some forms of depression are slightly different and may develop under unique circumstances such as;

Perinatal depression; many women experience it after giving birth. Women with perinatal depression experience full- blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery. The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety and exhaustion that accompany perinatal depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves or for their babies.

Persistent depressive disorder; a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with it may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered persistent

Psychotic depression; it occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs or hearing or even seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see. The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive theme such as delusions of guilt, poverty or illness.

Seasonal effective disorder; it is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural light. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. It brings feelings of boredom, sadness and emptiness, the environment looks and feels like one has been deserted. Winter depression typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal effective disorder.

Bipolar disorder; a person with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression, but they also experience extreme high- euphoric or irritable moods called “mania” or a less severe form called hypomania. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few weeks ago and my life has never been better. I have learnt exercises that help me deal with the mania; whenever I feel hyper I jog, go to the gym and fight so hard with the punching bag. When I am in a low mood (which happens more often) I stay away from music, I cut out all the relationships in my life that need me to invest lot of energy into. Sometimes I write down all of my thoughts on paper, and it works for me, because thereafter the episode shifts or tones down.

Just like eating disorders, depression is real. If you have ever had one of these experiences I have mentioned get a proper diagnosis from your doctor and who knows, knowing that you have or do not have depression may be the best curve of your life.      


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