Speaking in terms of “depression” this word can often be confused and bring unwanted consequences. Depression is seen as much as a “normal mood” or a “clinical disorder”.
Maybe when your favorite football team loses, it may be that for a moment you feel emotionally down. Now, if you play in a football team and it loses because of you, the self-criticism and the state of depression will be much deeper. However, both cases can be considered as normal states of depression.
According to a study by the University of Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, these states are so common that 95 percent of the population has gone through periods of hopelessness, self-criticism or some type of depression.
Therefore, we must think that depression states are more common than we think, even in animals. Do you know that researchers are looking for horses, as an example, since they behave similar to humans when they are depressed? If you are tuning in next November, for the Breeders’ Cup classic, remember the spirit of the animal might affect his results.
Somehow, for most people it is a passing state: until one becomes aware of the cause, the cause disappears over time, is suppressed or treated in some way.
We must say that there is no clear dividing line between a “depressive mood” and a “clinical depression“, but the most important differences can be seen in the most severe behaviors, duration, and types of symptoms.
Clinical depression is associated with distinctive disabilities (it can translate into both people who stop going to work in such states, and what they do, but they are not efficient enough because depression affects their performance).
The most common symptoms of clinical depression can result in changes in libido, loss of sleep or appetite, loss of energy, inability to experience pleasure, inability to feel animated, even thoughts as dark as wishing for death. Clinical depression, if not treated on time and properly, can last for months or even years.
According to the formal classifications of the manuals that talk about this topic, there is a tendency to see clinical depression as a unique condition that can vary simply by the severity with which it occurs:
- Major depression.
- Set of minor depressions (for bad, this type includes normal depressive states).
However, to understand with a little more clarity, we can distinguish two main types of depression:
- Situational depressions
Melancholy refers to this concept. In some cases, it can be a bit more severe since individuals may experience hallucinations or delusions, they may also hear voices telling them that they are useless or even prompt them to their lives. For those who suffer a bipolar disorder, for example, these episodes can be of a psychotic or melancholic type or become a pathological fault.
It is known that melancholy has a genetic basis. If one of the parents suffers from melancholy, the child will have a 10 percent chance of suffering the same; if the two parents suffer from melancholy, the chances skyrocket at 40 percent.
There are several types of antidepressants such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) that increase the levels of serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain that correct chemical alterations caused by depressive conditions.
Melancholy is also defined by disturbances in neurotransmitters such as dopamine and noradrenaline.
Also known as social and psychological depression is usually caused by social stress. Self-esteem is compromised. It can happen in dating, employment, family, or other relationships.
In general, these scenarios are considered a normal depressive state, although a little more severe. In general, individuals who go through these states can neutralize them or improve responses on clinical-depressive parameters.
Other non-melancholic disorders are triggered by psychological factors based on the personality of each individual, which once again may result from social stressors.
According to an investigation, other types of personalities prone to enter states of depression are:
- – Shy people who have suffered some type of abuse before.
- – Self-focused. People who are irritable and hostile to others.
- – People abused or neglected at some point in their lives.
- – Perfectionists. Prone to self-criticism. Limited adaptation to stress.
- – People hypersensitive to the criticisms of others.
- – People with high levels of general anxiety.
Although many studies are still missing, serotonin is the neurotransmitter most involved in treating chemical dysfunctions of non-melancholic disorders.
On the other hand, we should not let depression be classified as a single disorder that encompasses other minors since there are many varieties of depression, both clinical and normal, which in turn translate into social, psychological and biological causes for which treatments that focus on the causal factors are needed.