by - 5/01/2013

Depression is a state of low mood and loss of interest for activities, which can affect a persons behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being.

There is more to depression than just feeling sad or downcast. Depression can also mean intense feelings of sadness and other symptoms like lack of interest in things you enjoy.

I will briefly discuss two types of depression; Major Depressive disorder and Chronic Depression or Dysthymia.
Major Depressive is characterised by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a persons ability to do normal activities the individual does everyday, such as sleep, work, eat and pleasurable activities. Major depression prevents one from functioning properly.

Chronic Depression is characterised by a long term depressed mood. Chronic depression is less severe than major depression, also chronic depression does not disable a person as much as major depression does.

Depression may arise due to:

  • Loneliness.
  • Lack of social life.
  • Recent stressful life experiences.
  • Family history.
  • Relationship problems.
  • Financial Strain.
  • Abuse (childhood trauma).
  • Alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Unemployment or underemployment.
  • Health problems.
Here are just three simple ways one may use to decrease risk of depression:

1) Connect to others: When we start to feel downcast or depressed, we tend to isolate ourselves. This makes the depressed feelings get worse. Human beings are built for social connection and community. Seek social connections that are of positive influence to you. Engage yourself into positive social activities even if its not of interest to you at that time, but hopefully after sometime you will find pleasure in it.

2) Find meaning and purpose: Find yourself engaged in activities of relevance and importance to your life. Seek relationships that give meaning to your life, statistics show relationships and marriages as major causes of depression. It is easy to restrict yourself to things that are of less importance to your life.

3) Seek help and support: Seek help and support from professionals, older or more experienced people. Some people pass through situations which may be difficult for you to scale through, you can consult them for help and guidance.

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