Life is full of emotional ups and downs. But when the "down" times are long lasting or interfere with your ability to function, you may be suffering from depression. Depression affects everyone differently. It can affect your moods, emotions, behaviors, and relationships with friends and family. Sometimes symptoms last short periods of time, but for some people they persist. Everyone experiences feelings of sadness and stress from time to time, but if these feelings increase in duration and severity and you are unable to function as usual, you should talk to your doctor. There are many factors that are at play in the development of depression. Some of these factors are genetic, biochemical (dysregulation of certain brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters), environmental, psychological and social.
There are different types of depressive illnesses:
The good news is that depression is very treatable. Just as there are many causes and types of depression, there exist many treatment options. Some of the most common treatments are medications, herbal therapies and psychotherapy. There are also things you can do for yourself like participating in support groups, eating well, and exercising. If you think you have some of the symptoms of depression, you should talk to your primary care doctor, or you could ask that he or she refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker.
"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."