Depression is much more than just being a little sad for a short period although feeling sad is of course one of the symptoms, it comes in many forms but all will generally present as a low mood, many of your regularly pleasurable activities you may lose interest in, a general lack of excitement in any or all aspects of your regular lifestyle and can result in a lethargy.
Sometimes it will be accompanied by a feeling of distance from local events or a feeling of being not quite in place in terms of time and present or a feeling of numbness.
It can be accompanied by a lack of sexual drive, changes in weight, feelings of guilt, insomnia or even too much sleep and a lack of focus on tasks at hand.Thoughts of self-harm or ending are also common in deep depression.
Depression can have many triggers such as acute grief (from loss of a loved one), physical trauma such as a temporary or permeant injury, extreme events and changes in lifestyle and circumstances, such as changing or losing work, changing relationships, migrating.
Depression can also be endogenous, that means “coming from the inside”, with no external triggers. It is part of personality, like being more extrovert or introvert. It is really an aggression against oneself and the therapeutic journey helps to explore your internal world, discover how you “work”, possible dysfunctional patters and build together more functional and satisfying way to deal with life events, being less harsh on yourself and love you more.
Post-natal depression caused by adjustment of life with a new child and the associated re-balancing of the hormones related to pre and post birth body, as well as body self-perception. Stress relating to adjustment to the new situation and juggling multiple children post birth also contributes as does fatigue.
Bipolar Disorder can often be accentuated by stress, alcohol and/or non-prescription medication or illicit drugs as all of these can trigger or exacerbate the symptoms. It usually presents itself in episodes of mania or depression and an extremity of either. Extreme activity, intensity, insomnia and then on the other end lethargy and depression, feelings of hopelessness. In some cases, manifestations can be delusion, hallucinations, paranoia (this will often result in believing that their medication is poisoned). In the case of Bipolar Disorder it is common to also consult with a Psychiatrist who will introduce mood stabilizer medication to help eliminate the extremes of behavior.
Melancholy is typical of depression in general, lethargy, lack of interest and general lack of motivation.
Psychosis is notable for the paranoia and delusions and requires medication, although also having regular psychological sessions help in keeping the person grounded and, through constant reality check, more connected to everyday life.
Depression is one of the more common causes to bring people to therapy.