General Information on Depression

 What is depression?

Depression is a type of mind-body illness that affects both the mind and body negatively. Serious depression is kind of sickness that can make a person feel so helpless that he or she will have no control over his or her activities and will be self-destructive.

Depression features as one of the natural human responses to stressful life events such as
death in the family, bankruptcy, negative experiences or unfortunate situations. It is characterized by a low yet continual state of sadness and gloom, with physical manifestations in form of aversion towards work, lack of motivation etc. But when this disturbed mood state persists in a person for two weeks or more despite the absence of any stressor; it then becomes a major depression disorder.

Signs & Symptoms

The following are some of the symptoms of double depression:

•    Withdrawal from family and friends
•    The feeling of hopelessness, which is the major characteristic of depression, worsens in this condition
•    Patient loses interest in previously considered fun-filled activities
•    Persistent feeling of sadness and pessimism
•    Feeling of guilt, low self esteem also exist

Depression Treatment


The foremost goal for treating depression is to find a cure for the depressive disorder. Once this is done, the patient can again continue working on the causes, which were responsible for the outbreak of his or her mental condition. Since most of the times, the depression and dysthymia
suffer from under-diagnosis, a person does not receive any treatment until he or she experiences visible and obvious depression symptoms. Antidepressants, other kinds of medication, hospitalisation, different experimental treatment, electroshock therapy or ECT, or general therapy can be used for treating depression.



Depression Resources for Further Reading

Types of Depression:

Chronic Depression 

Given specific conditions and their persistent nature such as a challenging job environment, unhappy marriage etc a person might find it hard to cope and thus plunge into a long-lasting state of depression. This inveterate mood condition is termed as chronic depression, and it is regarded as a dysfunctional clinical syndrome.


Existential Depression 


Depression manifests itself on various levels, existentiality being one of them. However, being depressed existentially (read ‘in spirit’) goes much deeper than the obvious realms of psychological depression. Unlike general depression which requires an insanely critical life-situation like death of a dear one, total bankruptcy, physical displacement due to a natural disaster etc to trigger the mood disorder, there are no such requisites for existential depression.


Psychotic Depression 

Psychotic depression or PD generally occurs in the form of episodes where the marquee symptoms are psychotic in nature. These primarily involve hallucinations and delusions. Both these aspects are explained below:

• Hallucinations – A person diagnosed with PD would often hear voices in his or her head, which can be quite threatening or critical. Sometimes, these voices can be accusatory in nature and thus induce suicidal tendencies in the subject. Visual hallucinations, while less common may also be experienced during such depression episodes.

• Delusions – This refers to the ‘break from reality’ phase wherein the brain misinterprets natural phenomena or events and produces feelings or thoughts incoherent with the real world.

Delusions of guilt, persecution, worthlessness, and impending disaster are commonly seen with PD patients.


Extreme Depression 

Although the symptoms of extreme depression vary from one person to another but they are quite easily identifiable. People suffering from such a depression often show self-destructive characteristics. They are sad at all times and can find no reason to enjoy the things that they once used to enjoy, before they were sick. They are often burdened by guilt and self-criticism. This depression destroys all kinds of thought process belonging to a sane mind. These people are often uncomfortable in social gathering and they become apathetic. They cannot enjoy life and thus are unable to sustain a normal life. They feel lonely and depressed


Double Depression, Major Depression and Dysthymia  

Double depression is actually an condition where a person experiences dysthymia, which is a condition, where he or she suffers from mild to moderate depression, and then as time passes, eventually he or she progresses to major depression which is superimposed on the condition of dysthymia.

About two to three percentage of the population in the entire world suffers from this disease. This long-term spells of depressed moods causes various changes in the body, which increases the chances of heart diseases, diabetes, and other kinds of medical sickness. In order to cure double depression, one needs to cure major depression first and then resolve the underlying condition of dysthymia.


Atypical Depression

Atypical depression is a kind of depression with symptoms that are almost similar to those of a major depression. Though the term suggests that this is an unusual kind of depression but it is in fact one of the most common forms of depression.

However, it is still under-diagnosed, as this depression is not as severe as the major depression. This is the opinion of various medical practitioners. The symptoms of this depression include experiencing one of the less severe forms of bipolar disorder.
Most of the time people having this disease may not show any symptoms of depression, or even if they do show, then it is mostly the signs of depression during their teenage days.


Bipolar Disorder 

Bipolar disorder is often misconstrued as depression. In many cases it isn’t diagnosed and treated in time, which can not only endanger the patient but also those around him/her. This article attempts to offer a range of helpful information on bipolar disorder so that it can be better understood and tackled with grace.

Depression Screening – Test yourself if you have Depression:

Depression Screening Tool


Medications, Supplements and Methods for Treating Depressive Conditions:

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI) – what is it and definition

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