Depression and Emotional Health
From time to time everyone can feel a little "depressed." Sometimes someone might describe this as feeling sad or blue. But usually these feelings are fleeting and last, at most, a few days. The difference between this and a depressive disorder is that when people are suffering from a disorder, depression interferes with their dally life and routine. It causes pain for the person with the disorder as well as those who care about them.
Many people who have depression never seek help or treatment. However, even with severe depression, people who seek treatment get better as research has shown. Treatment can coincide with your own belief system meaning it can range from medication, to psychotherapy, to group counseling.
Forms of Depression
Major Depressive Disorder: symptoms that interfere with ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy pleasurable activities. Person cannot function normally. May occur once, however most commonly is reoccurring.
Dysthymic Disorder (dysthymia): symptoms that have lasted two years or longer with less severe symptoms than above, but can still prevent one from totally feeling well. Usually experience one or more episodes.
Psychotic Depression: severe depressive illness is sided by a form of psychosis (break in reality, hallucinations, and/or delusions).
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): onset of depression during the winter months, often related to less sunlight. Depression usually lifts in spring and summer. Light therapy is a good treatment, ask a counselor for more information on which you can do. If a lulled response to light therapy, it can be used in combination with another form of treatment or medication.
Bipolar Disorder (manic-depressive illness): is not as common as major depression or dysthymia, but has cyclical mood changes. The cycle usually loops from extreme highs in mood (mania) to extreme lows in mood (depression).
Information modified and changed from the National Institute of Mental Health.