While there are many forms and levels of depression but one thing is for sure. Depression causes negative effects on the way a person lives, the way a person is perceived, and the stability of their well being. Depression is a type of illness that affects the whole body, mood and thoughts. It affects your self esteem, the way you eat, sleep, feel and do your day to day activities. People with major depression can't even pull themselves together and without proper treatment the symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years.
Depression is an emotional crippler. There is no disease in the world that can do to a person what depression does. A person suffering from depression can have no physical problems, not even a runny nose and yet still be not able to get out of the bed in the morning. Depression has been described as a large wet carpet draped over the body. It is impossible to move with it; harder to remove it. Sometimes it seems the only solution is to go with it, lie down and stay in bed. Yes, depression is that devastating.
Depression is a serious condition affecting many people at any time. Occasionally feeling depressed is part of being human. It is normal and natural for people time to time feel sad or moody for a day or two. Bur when that feeling becomes extended then there could be a depression.
The symptoms of depression may vary from person to person. Major depression, however, is usually easy to spot. The person who is severely depressed will want to spend most of the day sleeping. There are two reasons for this. One is that depression takes a terrible toll on the body. Every minute of depression fills like eternity and this makes getting through the day very difficult. The second reason is that a person who is severely depressed feels that sleep is the only escape from the terrible feeling that hangs over them day and night. The problem is people who are severely depressed have difficulties with sleep, so there is really no escape from this illness.
The trademark of depression is an insistent sad or empty mood, sometimes experienced as tension or anxiety. The negativism associated with depression leads to changes in behaviour. Some people start to complain about everything and get relieve from their anger in the form of temper outbursts. Life is going on without joy. People with minor depressions may go through the motions of eating, sex, work, or play, but the activities seem like pointless. People with major depression withdraw from these activities, feeling too worn-out, tense, or hostile to take part. Sexual desire disappears, resulting in lack of sexual activity. In the extreme, people may neglect their personal appearance, even neglecting basic hygiene. There is often a constant nagging fatigue, a sense of being incapable of focusing, a feeling of being inefficient.
Imagine how bad the situation can get for a person if those symptoms last for weeks, months or years. The whole life can take a turn for the worst. Such people need professional treatment to tackle the problem. Remember, depression is treatable. Instead of worrying about whether you are depressed (or a family member), do something about it.
There are a lot researches conducted on this problem. Stats show that while depression can affect anyone, its effect may vary depending on your age and gender. Women have twice as higher risk of suffering from depression than males, because of hormonal changes brought on by puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy. Elderly people are also very likely to get depressed, especially if they have lost their loved ones and are living alone.
What helps? Martin Luther King Jr told that the best 10 cures for depression are "Do something for someone less fortunate. Repeat that nine more times." Good advice, I think.
The bottom line is; rather than try to define what depression is, there is more focus on trying to determine the exact cause, so that the 100+ million sufferers in the world today can look forward to a brighter, happier future.