Depression: Do You Suffer With Depression?

Editor: Arissa Brunelli

What is depression?

It is normal from time to time to experience feelings of sadness or depressed mood, and feeling like you want to withdraw from the world for a while.  Evolutionary psychologists have suggested that these emotions served a protective function for the brain and body in the short term, encouraging individuals to rest from social activity and find new ways to solve a problem through ruminating thought.

However, persistent feelings of sadness, tearfulness, irritability and misery, accompanied by a loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities for more than two weeks may be a sign you’ve crossed out of ‘normal circumstance’ where it is helpful, into a scenario where prolonged depression is harmful for your health and wellbeing.

Heart disease is more common among individuals that suffer with depression and it affects recovery and increases the risk of further heart-related incidents such as heart attack and sudden death.  Individuals who do not have good social support networks (such as someone to confide in and opportunities to participate in social activities) are also at greater risk of depression and heart disease.  Often, individuals with depression have trouble performing everyday activities, have difficulty concentrating on their work, tend to isolate themselves, feel lethargic and often lose the ability to feel pleasure from activities such as eating and sexual intercourse.

 

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