Depression is a very common mental disorder which causes symptoms that affect how you think, feel, and how you handle certain situations and activities. It is one of the most common forms of psychopathology as well as mental disorders in the United States, affecting over 16.2 million adults (National Institute of Mental Health). There are many different symptoms some of which include persistent sadness, irritability, loss of interest in hobbies, aches or pains, and major fatigue. Some people also stray away from close family members and friends, isolating themselves from any interaction. These symptoms must last at least two weeks in order to be deemed depression. However, not all these symptoms have to be present for one to be diagnosed. Depression is different for every individual who suffers for it, therefore they will each have their own separate journey as well as treatment.
    Not every form of depression is the same, but they all somewhat fit under each of these five different types. One type of depression is called Persistent Depressive Disorder, also known as Dysthymia. This form of depression usually is over two years but the symptoms are less severe. Dysthymia is difficult to self-diagnose because people have been dealing with the effects for so long that they tend to believe the traits and aspects of the depression are actually apart of their character. Another form of depression is Postpartum Depression, which occurs after a woman gives birth. Some mothers experience so many different emotions and this type of depression is easily confused with basic “baby blues”. Mothers experience extreme sadness, exhaustion, and major anxiety, all of which affects their duties as mothers. Psychotic depression is another form of depression that occurs when a person has severe depression along with some sort of psychosis. This could include hearing or seeing things that are not actually there, an example would be hearing a voice telling you, you are worthless in your head. Another could be delusions, where you believe that you are being threatened or afraid of something that is actually not there. Seasonal affective disorder is another form of depression, except this type occurs usually during winter months when there is less sunlight. It usually lifts during spring and summer months, but it usually comes back. There is also Bipolar Disorder, which although it is different from depression, it usually involves the same symptoms and feelings. This type includes extremely low moods that can be considered depression.
    Depression can exist with other serious medical conditions present, especially in adults and the elderly. Depression can be a side effect of medications taken for physical illnesses such as diabetes and Parkinson’s. This is why it is so important to always consult with a doctor, preferably your primary care doctor, when being prescribed certain medications.
    Many scientists, doctors, and other professionals have argued the difference between nature and nurture. Depression happens to stem from both nature and nurture. Berger, defines nurture as a “general term for all the environmental influences that affect development after an individual is conceived.”