What is depression?

What is depression?

We all feel bad sometimes: we feel sad, disappointed, irritated, down – these are all normal emotions in reaction to the setbacks and failures in our day to day lives – they are part of life. Depression is something more than just a temporary bad mood or sadness – depression is an illness. A person who is suffering from depression finds it difficult to cope with their daily life and has lost hope that things could get better in the future. They feel down and miserable most of the time over a longer time period, at least two weeks. Depression has a significant effect on mental as well as physical well-being. Depression can be described with the phrases ‘I am completely down and empty’ and ‘everything is hopeless’.
Depression is often associated with anxiety, which means that you can also feel anxious and irritated with depression. If you are experiencing anxiety, click here for more info. siit.

It was very difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning. I just wanted to hide under the duvet and not talk to anyone. My appetite was gone and I was losing weight. Nothing seemed interesting or cool anymore. Everything was lame. I was tired all the time and kept waking up during the night. But I knew that I had to keep going, because otherwise the things I needed to do would be left unfinished. At the same time, everything felt impossible, I felt like nothing would ever get better.

Depression is a permanently manifesting low mood, which is characterised by a lack of joy and decreased energy and which causes a reduction in the ability to cope and the quality of life.

How frequently does depression occur?

You may feel like you are the only person in the world who is suffering from depression. It is actually thought that one person in five will suffer from depression during their lifetime. Depression can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, nationality, education, profession, or financial status. Depression affects the entirety of the person, taking all their life force, energy, interests, hope, and making them see only the negative side of everything.

Eestis on depressiooni levimus viimastel aastel läbiviidud uuringute järgi olnud 5,6% – see tähendab, et uuringu toimumise ajal oli Eestis depressiooni käes kannatavaid inimesi ligikaudu samapalju, kui on Pärnu, Viljandi ja Rakvere linnas kokku elanikke – umbes 75 000.

How can I tell that I am depressed?

The experience of depression may vary between people. Depression is a very multi-faceted disease and it does not have one specific symptom, but there are certain signs which are associated with depression. The signs have to have been present for two weeks – experiencing these once does not constitute depression. The symptoms of depression manifest in behaviour, thinking, emotions, as well as the physical reactions of the body.

Teaduspalavik: Must meel (ERR, 2015)

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