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Studies have indicated that almost 50 per cent of people who have been diagnosed with depression are also affected by anxiety disorder. Fortunately, these problems can be addressed either separately or together. However, you must be aware that depression and anxiety aren’t the same thing.
What types of depressive disorder are there?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
SAD often strikes people during the winter months. A lack of sunlight, exercise and fresh air causes irritability and lethargy in people who suffer SAD.
As the name suggests, post-natal depression occurs in women who have recently given birth. The time of onset varies; it can occur as early as three months or as late as a year after delivery
What causes depression?
There are many causes of depression. It can be genetic, meaning the patient has a family history of depression. Personal traumas, such as a bereavement or a failed relationship, can also cause depression. Social isolation or loneliness can be a contributory factor.
What are the signs of depression?
Feeling lethargic, being socially withdrawn, or feeling sad all the time may all indicate that you are depressed.
Emotional symptoms of depression
The emotional symptoms of depression include the following:
- Not wanting to socialise
- A loss of interest in previously enjoyed hobbies
- Constant irritability or sadness
- Constant pessimism
- Feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing.
Physical symptoms of depression
Depression doesn’t just affect the mind; it also affects the body. Some of its physical effects include erratic sleep habits or insomnia, loss of appetite (or increased appetite with atypical depression), fatigue, muscle aches, headaches and back pain. It’s easy to dismiss these symptoms as stemming from another condition, but they are often due to depression.
The short-term and long-term effects of depression
In the short term, depression is likely to cause loss of appetite, weight loss, and other physical symptoms. If you develop insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much), you will be fatigued and lethargic. In the long term, you can experience malnutrition from not eating enough or become obese from eating too much. You may also experience poorer short-term memory, and forget things more often than usual.