WORTH KNOWING - What is depression?
February 23rd - National Day for Combating Depression
Yesterday we celebrated the National Day for Combating Depression, but it’s important to remember about this topic every day.
People often say that they feel depressed, but it is worth knowing the difference between sadness, which is normal in difficult situations and the disease, which is depression. It is an illness that affects our life, significantly reducing its quality. It is a mood disorder that can manifest itself at different times of life, in different forms and severity. Depression is closely related to our brain, because people who suffer from the disease have a reduced ability to produce serotonin - commonly known as the happy hormone. Depression is not a temporary feeling like sadness (emotion) and is usually not the result of just one unpleasant event in our life. People who suffer from depression feel sadness but also show other symptoms.
What are the symptoms of depression?
- Feeling continually low and hopeless;
- Losing enjoyment and interest in things;
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much;
- Feeling constantly exhausted or having the loss of energy almost daily;
- Having a sense of low self-esteem;
- Decreased ability to concentrate and difficulty focusing on learning;
- Negative thoughts about self and future;
- Suicidal thoughts or self-harm may occur.
What we can do?
You can develop depression regardless of age; it is not a choice. It is an illness that is hard to deal with on your own, it also involves feeling of isolation. If you feel unwell, it is a good idea to talk about it with someone who can listen to you. For example, a parent or guardian, a teacher, a psychologist or school counselor, a doctor, or a friend.
Professional help is essential in treating an illness like depression. If you recognize symptoms in yourself do not delay - contact a specialist (psychologist, psychiatrist) or ask someone to help you.
Depression is not an excuse, a bad day or weakness. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed illnesses in the world that is treatable.
- NFZ o zdrowiu. Depresja, Warszawa 2020.
- Materiały kampanii „Depresja. Rozumiesz – Pomagasz”, Ministerstwo Zdrowia, Warszawa 2018.
- James, A., Stowell, L. (2018) Looking after your Mental Health. London: Usborne Publishing.
- World Health Organization. Depression (WHO, 2018).
- World Health Organization. 2017. Depression and other common mental disorders: global health estimates.
The text is written and prepared by school psychologist, Adrianna Pawlak.