We all suffer from the blues from time-to-time, but when those down moods turn into something more, you may be suffering from depression.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that 350 million people suffer from this condition worldwide. Depression is also among the leading causes of most mental disabilities.
In this post, we will explore depression, the different types of depression, its symptoms and how individuals with this condition may benefit from an Emotional Support Animal (ESA).
What is Depression?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is defined as a serious, yet common mental illness that negatively affects the way you think, feel and act. They go on to state that individuals that suffer from depression will also lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, and may also experience profound feelings of sadness.
Types of Depression
There are many types of depression. These include;
- Major Depressive Disorder – this is characterized by the individual feeling sad, hopeless, lacking focus and losing interest in daily activities. This must go on for at least two weeks to be considered MDD.
- Postpartum Depression – after the birth of a baby some women experience depression which is thought to be caused by a dip in hormone levels.
- Seasonal Depression – also known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD) this condition affects between 3% to 5% of Canadians. SAD is brought on by the loss of daylight in the Fall and Winter months.
- Bereavement – the loss of a loved one can sometimes lead to depression.
How Do I Know If I Have Depression?
There are several symptoms associated with depression. These conditions can affect you emotionally, physically, cognitively and behaviorally. Note, these symptoms can vary from person-to-person and even gender-to-gender.
Emotional Symptoms of Depression
- Feelings of sadness
- Not liking oneself
- Feeling like life is not worth living
- Guilt for dragging others down
Physical Symptoms of Depression
- Lack of appetite or weight gain
- Lack of energy
- Back pain
- Stomach upset/pain
- Sleeplessness/waking up in the middle of the night
- Aching joints
- Feeling like always in slow motion
Cognitive Symptoms of Depression
- Can’t make decisions
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thinking in “slow motion” or fuzzy thinking
- Feelings of not performing well at work
Behavioral Symptoms of Depression
- Restlessness and feeling on edge
- Loss of intimacy with a partner
- No interest in moving from couch or bed