It is common for depression to be called as „disease of modern era” and it represents one of the most common medical illnesses. Name comes from Latin word „deprimere“, which means suppress, repress, push down. Some predictions shows that until 2020, depression will be the second health problem, and what makes it so serious is the fact that around 15% who suffer from depression commit suicide.
It is important to be aware what depression is and what is not. People very often use word depressed to describe when they are in bad mood, low mood after boring/exhausting day or when they feel sad. Also, when people have some accident or loss of someone close they feel sad, but it is part of the grieving process not depression.
Depression embedded with sadness, but it is much more than that. If sadness shows up without reason or it is disproportionate to cause, person cannot work, hang out with people, cannot feel joy about life, then it stops to be regular bad mood that everybody experienced in some period of life.
Depression is not choice, it is medical condition.
According to DSM- 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), criterion to make a diagnosis of depression are below and person has to experience five or more symptoms during two weeks and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
4. A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
5. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
6. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
8. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
In addition, depression is a set of symptoms that affect opinions about environment and person itself. Sometimes, it cannot be seen from family members and friends and also can be covered with too much work and productivity.
For person who is depressed it is hard to connect with others, and for close people can be challenging to be there for person who suffer from depression. Often, family and friends do not understand how depressed person is feeling, they can think that person is lazy, rude, weak and they can start to avoid or to push him/her to move and do daily activities, which increase feeling of inadequacy that patient already has.
It is necessary not to minimize depression, feelings of person who is suffer from it, and to seek professional help. Depression is curable and the best results can be achieved by medicaments (anti-depressants) and psychotherapy. Family members can involve themselves in support groups and learn/improve skills that will be self – supportive and useful for family members who suffer from depression.