It is normal for anyone to feel depressed at times. We are all familiar with how it feels to be despondent about life when something gets us down. We have all felt hopeless and inadequate about our ability to cope with things. This is simply part of life and living.
When these feelings become severe, though, and last for a protracted period, it may no longer be about feeling dejected. Someone whose feelings of despondence interfere with the way they deal with everyday life and the usual, routine things, may have a depressive disorder.
This is a feeling of immense sadness – and of being worthless. Sufferers from depressive disorders seem to lose their desire to do anything that could be interpreted as being enjoyable. This is not a passing moment or a mood that will improve. Depression is a disorder that needs to be accurately diagnosed and carefully treated.
A depressive disorder should be understood as being an illness. The sufferer from the disorder should be understood holistically. The illness is not simple and can interfere with the way a person functions in the world – causing pain for the sufferer and those close to him/her.
We need to show sympathy and understanding for those who suffer from this illness. These people are not simply able to get themselves out of the state of feeling depressed. They cannot just make the choice to feel happier, or more positive and then act on that decision. Depression should be understood as a disease – and needs to be treated. The treatment can be in the form of drugs, or therapy. Or both.
There are different types of depressive disorders. Although they may be similar, the symptoms of depressive disorders of each type differ slightly and need to be understood and treated as individual illnesses.