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Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects how one feels negatively. It causes a feeling of sadness and loss of interest in daily routines and it impacts both a person’s mental and physical health. While everyone gets sad or depressed once in a while, depression is a long-term condition that affects over 350 million people worldwide. Although so many people suffer from the disorder, there are still some misconceptions about depression. The main misconceptions are: that depression is only for women, depression is a sign of weakness, that depression is just sadness and talking about it will only make it worse.
There are a few common types of depression such as major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder. Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, is a disorder that is characterized by at least two weeks of low mood. It interferes with a person’s ability to function in daily life and also contributes to loss of interest in activities that one once enjoyed.
Dysthymia, also known as persistent depressive disorder, is a chronic long-term for of depression. With dysthymia, one can lose interest in normal activities, lack productivity and overall feeling horrible about one’s self worth. Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes mood swings, shifts in energy and activity levels. It is also called manic depression. Those with bipolar disorder experience intense emotional changes, also called mood episodes. Their sleep pattern changes along with energy levels and activity.
Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. It affects 10 to 20 percent of women. After childbirth, the levels of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in a woman’s body drop, which leads to chemical changes in the brain which may trigger mood swings. Many mothers are unable to get the rest they need after childbirth which may trigger mood swings. Constant sleep deprivation can lead to exhaustion and discomfort.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a depression that’s related to changes in season. It tends to start in the fall and continues through the winter until spring or early summer. It is diagnosed more often in women than in men and occurs in younger adults as opposed to older adults.
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