Although depression sometimes has an obvious trigger, it often intrudes on a person’s life without warning. Your life is suddenly darkened by a cloud of sadness for no apparent reason. Nobody you know has died, and nothing distressing has occurred. Yet, you feel dejected and listless. And nothing will make the cloud go away. You are overwhelmed by feelings of despair, and you don’t know why.
Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. Yet, Jon in Brazil felt ashamed to be diagnosed with depression. In fact, eight years later I still feel ashamed of myself, she admits. In particular, she finds it difficult to deal with her emotional anguish. The suffering is sometimes so intense, that I feel physical pain. All the muscles in my body hurt. At such times it is impossible to get out of bed. And then there are the times when Jon cannot stop crying. I sob with such intensity and become so exhausted, she says, that it feels as though my blood has stopped circulating.
There are a number of treatments for depression, varying according to the symptoms and the severity of the illness. Many people may be helped by their family physician, but some need more specialized treatment. The doctor might prescribe antidepressant medication or recommend some other form of assistance. Some people have experienced good results with herbal medications, dietary adjustments, or a controlled exercise program.
 Well-meaning friends with little or no medical training might try to tell you which method of treatment to accept and which to reject. They might also have strong opinions about whether you should take herbal medicine, prescribed medication, or nothing at all.
CONSIDER: Make sure that any advice you accept comes from a reliable source. In the end, you are the one who must make an informed choice.
 Discouragement may make patients discontinue their choice of treatment because they do not seem to be getting better or because of unpleasant side effects.
CONSIDER: There is a frustrating of plans where there is no confidential talk, but in the multitude of counselors there is accomplishment. A program of medical therapy is more likely to succeed if there is good communication between doctor and patient. Frankly explain your concerns or describe your symptoms to your doctor, and ask whether you need to adjust the treatment or simply to persevere before you will begin to experience benefits.
 Overconfidence can make patients stop their medical remedy abruptly after a few weeks because they feel better. They may forget how debilitating their symptoms were before they started their medication.
CONSIDER: Suddenly terminating medical treatment without consulting a doctor can have serious and even life-threatening consequences.
The effectiveness of any particular medical approach depends on what type of depression a patient has.
MAJOR DEPRESSION has symptoms that are severe enough to last six months or longer if untreated and that impact on most aspects of a sufferer’s life.
BIPOLAR DISORDER is also known as maniac depression. Sufferers may experience emotional extremes that careen between prolonged episodes of intense hyperactivity [maniac] and devastating lows [depression]
DYSTHYMIA although not as disabling as major depression, has depressive symptoms that make it difficult for the patient to function normally. Some may also experience intermittent periods of major depression.
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION is a debilitating emotional condition that affects many mothers after they give birth.
SEASONAL EFFECTIVE DISORDER likely occurs as a result of a lack of sunlight during autumn and winter. It usually clears up during spring and summer.