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When does being sad, become an emotional hinderance to the brain? (AKA Depression)

Definition: Although most people may feel down from time to time, few of these people are actually suffering from what psychologists consider depression. Depression is a mental illness, classified by psychologists as a mood disorder. It affects a person's mood, how he/she thinks and even how he/she feels physically. Generally, doctors will make a diagnosis of depression if someone has suffered for an extended period of time(two weeks or more).


History--Depression is not a new phenomenon; rather, it has been well documented throughout history. In ancient times, people believed that mental illness was caused by supernatural forces. To rid the person of their illness, any may have practiced trephanning, which required holes to be cut into the afflicted person's head in order to let evil spirits out. The Greeks later explained the mental illness in terms of four major humors, or fluids in the body. According to this theory, melancholia(or depression) was caused by an excess of black bile(the humor connected to the element of air)in the body.


Depression Affects Your--

*MOOD: People diagnosed with depression usually feel extremely unhappy most of the day, everyday for an extended period of time. They may also experience a lack of interest in activities, even ones they used to enjoy. In addition, many people feel worthless or guilty and may suffer from recurring thoughts of death or suicide. They also might feel generally hopeless nd discouraged.


*MIND: Depression affects how people think. Many people with depression find that they have trouble thinking, concentrating or making decisions. They may also have extremely negative views about themselves, the world and the future.


*BODY: Depression can also mess with daily physical functions. Some people feel like their movements have slowed down drastically or have been sped up. Other people notice changes in their eating habits, sleeping patterns, or sex drive. Depression may even lead to an increase in physcial illness because it impairs the immune system, making the body less effective to fight disease.

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