- People with Major depressive disorder experience major depressive episode without having any history of mania in their diagnosis. The disorder may be additionally categorized as recurrent if it has been preceded by previous episodes; seasonal if it changes with the seasons; catatonic if it is marked by either immobility or excessive activity; postpartum if it occurs within four weeks of giving birth; or melancholic if the person is almost totally unaffected by pleasurable events.
- People with Dysthymic disorder display longer-lasting ( at least 2 years) but less disabling pattern of unipolar depression. When dysthymic disorder leads to major depressive disorder, the sequence is called double depression.
- Emotoinal Symptoms: Most people who are depressed feel sad and dejected. They described themseleves as feeling "miserable", "empty", and "humiliated". They report getting little pleasure from anything, and they tend to lose their sense of humor. Some also experience anxiety, anger, or agitation.
- Motivational Symptoms: Depressed people typically lose the desire to pursue their usual activities. Almost all report a lack of drive, initiative, and spontaneity. They may have to force themselves to go to work, talk with friends, eat meals, or have sex. This state has been described as a "paralysis of will". Suicide represents the ultimate escape from life's challenges. Many depressed people become uninterested in life or wish to die; others wish they could kill themseleves, and some actually try. It has been estimated that between 6% and 15% of people who suffer from severe depression commit suicide.
- Behavioral Symptoms: Depressed people are usually less active and less productive. They spend more time alone and may stay in bed for long periods. Depressed people may also move and even speak more slowly, with seeming reluctance and lack of energy.
- Cognitive Symptoms: Depressed people hold extremely negative views of themselves. They consider themselves inadequate, undesirable, inferior, perhaps evil. They also blame themselves for nearly every unfortunate event, even things that have nothing to do with them, and they rarely credit themselves for positive achievements. Another cognitive symptom of depression is pessimism. Sufferers are usually convinced that nothing will ever improve, and they feel helpless to change any aspect of their lives. Because they expect the worst, they are likely to procrasinate. They also frequently complain that their intellectual ability is poor. They feel confused, unable to remember things, easily distracted, and unable to solve even the smallest problems.
- Physical Symptoms: People who are depressed frequently have such physical ailments as headaches, indigestion, constipation, dizzy spells, and general pain. In fact, many depressions are misdiagnosed as medical problems at first. Disturbances in appetite and sleep are particularly common.
Causes of Unipolar Depression:
Episodes of unipolar depression often seem to be triggered by stressful events. The current explanations of unipolar depression point to biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. Today, many therapists believe that the various explanations should be viewed collectively in order for unipolar depression to be fully understood.
to be continued...