Living life daily can make most of us feel sad or depressed but this is likely to pass and not go on for weeks, months or even years. Depression is more than a low mood, it’s a serious and lasting condition that affects a person’s physical and mental health. It usually results from a combination of events or long term personal factors.
Personal Factors may include a genetic risk as depression can run in families. Some people are more at risk because of their personality – those that worry, have low self-esteem, are sensitive to personal criticism or have negative views. Coping with a serious medical illness can lead to depression especially if pain is involved or physical activities are curtailed. Drug and alcohol use can both lead to – and – result from depression.
Involving the Brain
- Depression is not simply the result of a ‘chemical imbalance’; it is far more complicated. Some drugs can alter the way the brain regulates mood.
Most antidepressants effect the brain’s chemical transmitters (serotonin and noradrenanaline which relay messages between brain cells – this is thought to be how medications work for more severe depression. Psychological treatment can also help to regulate.
QUOTES: These can give us insights into how depressed people feel (no two people feel the same).
“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” (Laurel K. Hamilton, Mistral’s Kiss).
“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.”
“There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.” (Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees).