It is a condition that affects a person’s daily life due to their overwhelming emotions, such as sadness, irritability, loss, or impotence. We can all experience these feelings at times or for certain days, but when they last for weeks, months, or years, we are talking about depression, which can occur in children, adolescents, young people, and older adults due to various circumstances, generally due to a stressful or painful event.
Depression occurs for different reasons, but when analyzing the brain of a patient with depression, significant elevations in various chemical substances such as cortisol, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are observed, which can happen due to genetics, family environment (alcoholism, drugs, chronic diseases, affective losses, stressful or painful situations), behaviors learned at home or a combination of these causes.
This disease does not distinguish social status, age, or sex and is classified as:
- Major depression: when the depressed patient’s daily life is affected for more than several weeks.
- Psychotic major depression: when the person loses contact with reality.
- Persistent disorder: when the depression lasts two years or more.
- Postpartum depression: some women may develop depression after having a baby, and the symptoms can be as severe as those of major depression.
- Seasonal affective disorder: it usually occurs in the coldest and darkest seasons of the year, perhaps due to the absence of sunlight.
- Bipolar disorder: when the depressive state alternates with mania, hence the term manic-depressive.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: women can become depressed a week before menstruation and the symptoms disappear at the end of it.