Many health professionals classify depression as a mood disorder that affects a
persons thoughts and feelings. A person with bipolar (episodes of depression) or manic
depression, swings wildly from frantic highs to numbing lows. A person with unipolar
depression (one or more episodes of depression) experiences only the lows. Both types of
depression cause major depressive episodes characterized by bleak moods, irritability, sadness,
pessimism, anger, anxiety, hostility, guilt and a conviction that their misery will never
A major-depressive episode can occur at any age, but is usually first experienced by
people in their late twenties. Major depression is twice as common in women as in men.
Some factors that can increase a persons susceptibility to an episode of depression are
chronic physical illness, alcohol, cocaine and other drugs, the death of a loved one, or divorce.
Occasionally childbirth precipitates a major depressive episode, which is called postpartum
depression and can range from mild to severe.
One famous person we all know who suffered from depression was Abraham Lincoln. He
I am now the most miserable man living, If what I
feel were equally distributed to the whole human family,
there would not be one cheerful face on earth.
Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell; I awfully
forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible.
I must die or be better, it appears to me.
The sooner a person realizes that he or she is depressed the easier it is to break out of the
downward spiral. A number of self-help strategies can help the mildly depressed. More serious
and persistent forms of depression will require professional treatment. Here are some self-help
strategies: Exercise and weight lifting will help your mind as well as your body.
Do things you enjoy – hobbies, activities, sports…….
Understand your problems, and take time to be alone (chill time) a day
Give yourself a break- dont be critical or negative about yourself (Im ugly or
Self-help groups – find a sympathetic listener.
Some professional treatments are psychotherapy, antidepressant drugs, special
fluorescent light, and shock therapy.(The Encyclopedia of Health, Depression 37-38)
Depression can be placed under several theories, the Behavioral and Cognitive because
of environmental conditions. The Psychoanalytic Approach because of the unconscious mind
and early childhood experiences. The Humanistic Approach because of personal growth and free
will. The Behavioral Neuroscience Approach because there could be something mentally wrong.
The Sociocultural Approach because it has to do with behavior, thought and emotions.
My personal experience with depression has been minimal. I have had my bad moods but
they have been short. My main problem with depression was after the birth of my second child. I
suffered from postpartum depression but it was mild. I agree that exercise and staying busy are
great for working through depression. I walked as my main exercise and I worked in the yard a
lot. I think you can overcome depression if you really want to.