Misunderstood Symptoms of Depression

This is a really good article about one of the most missunderstood symptoms of depression. In addition to feeling “down” when you have depression, one of the biggest symptoms is how it alters your behaviour. This will present differently for everyone, just as everyone’s personality is different, and everyone’s physical features are different, each person’s brain chemistry is different.

Mental illness is one of the last true societal taboos. Although we’ve made progress in talking about mental health issues, […] the stigma of mental illness remains.

This article is specifically speaking about episodic depression, which is extremely common. In my particular case, my depression is chronic, and relatively mild. My type of depression is what was formerly known as Dysthymia, in the DSM-IV, but is now grouped together with more severe depression under the name Persistent Depressive Disorder, in the DSM-V. This type of depression can include episodes of major/severe depression, but the biggest difference between this and what is known as Major Depressive Disorder or clinical depression, is that is is chronic. Persistent.

It may come and go, increase and decrease in severity of symptoms, but the key is that you have the symptoms more days than not, for a minimum of two years.

Two years.

Clinical depression only requires two weeks to be diagnosed, but Dysthymia requires your symptoms to be present for more than two years.

It’s harder to see the end of it when you have chronic depression that has been there for as long as you can remember. That doesn’t make either form of depression any more or less serious. This article still applies!

You can’t see depression the way you can see the symptoms of cancer or kidney disease. It affects the brain, which affects behavior, so it often gets dismissed as “drama.” But “depression is a mental and a physical disease,” says Deborah Serani, PhD, a psychologist in Smithtown, NY. “It is not a result of laziness, attention-seeking, or weakness.”

Read the whole article here: The Depression Problem No One Talks About | by Kristine Solomon

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