This post is not one that you would normally expect to see on a Real Estate Blog but I think it is something that I feel compelled to write about to make people aware of. My father had major depression in his life. It was something that he lived through after his motorbike accident. Dad lived a normal life and although we all knew what was in the background no one ever made a fuss and it never was a big deal. And this is a way that almost 30% of people in New Zealand are living with at any one time.
When putting their house on the market or buyers are negotiating an offer I notice quite a few people’s attitudes change. More often than not these attitudes change to a very gloomy and down way. I have heard things such as this is depressing, I am feeling very depressed about the current market, I am depressed because I can’t sell my house. But the fact of the reality is you aren’t depressed (you could be) but most times its stress. Ant there are many different ways to deal with stress. A friend of mine in Raymond Chua has a fantastic Blog on dealing with stress and if you are finding times stressful at the moment read some of the things in his blog and you will find some gold nuggets to help you along the way.
Stress is a reaction to something happening in your life. Such things as change can be big contributors to stress. Other things that can cause stress are work, life, money or relationship pressures. These are just common things that all of us have dealt with from time to time. Depression is a mental health disorder that can affect the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. A depressive disorder is more than a passing mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness, and it cannot be willed or wished away.
A depressive disorder involves the body, mood, and thoughts. People who are depressed cannot “snap out of it” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for months or years. Treatments such as antidepressant medications and psychotherapy can reduce and sometimes eliminate the symptoms of depression.
Types of Depression
Depressive disorders come in different forms. Three of the most common are Major Depression, Dysthymia, and Bipolar Disorder. Even within these types of depression there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.
Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms (see symptom list below) that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Some people have a single episode of depression, but many have episodes that recur.
Dysthymia is a less severe type of depression that lasts a long time but involves less severe symptoms. If you suffer from dysthymia you probably lead a normal life, but you may not be functioning well or feeling good. People with dysthymia may also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives.
Bipolar Disorder (also called manic-depression) is another type of depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder is thought to be less common than other depressive disorders. If you have bipolar disorder you are troubled by cycling mood swings – usually severe highs (mania) and lows (depression). The mood swings are sometimes dramatic and rapid, but usually are more gradual.
Some of the Symptoms of Depression
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
- Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
- Restlessness, irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
Although some of these symptoms of depression are ones which a stressed person will display there is a difference. But this difference is quite hard to distinguish. Stress is usually brought on by change of one’s comfort zone or the pressures of their everyday life. Depression can manifest itself at any time whether change is bought on or not or whether that person has any ongoing work or life pressures. Depression is a hard concept to understand, but it is one that we face probably more often than not, and if you respect that depression is an illness I think that will go a long way in understanding it.