Everyone you know and everyone you see gets sad. It is a common feeling for any human being and completely natural for people to have high and low moods. But at what point does sad become “too sad?” There does come a point when being sad for a long period of time or being too sad can actually affect your health, and can become dangerous. “Almost everyone suffers from occasional depression with symptoms like sadness, pessimism, and low energy. It is only when depression lasts 2 weeks or more that it becomes a clinical disorder at which point it is called major depression.”(What is Depression?). This paper will explain everything about depression: what exactly it is, how to recognize it and realize the symptoms, treatments, affects, and even how to notice it and possibly prevent it from getting worse.
Depression is not just an emotional state but it is a physical one as well. The brain plays the most important part because it is the neurons and neurotransmitters that are in charge. Neurotransmitters are “chemicals that transfer messages throughout structures of the brain's nerve cells. These nerve cells, called neurons, are organized to control specialized activities.” (All About Depression). Essentially there are three identified neurotransmitters that have been linked with depression. “..Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These three neurotransmitters function within structures of the brain that regulate emotions, reactions to stress, and the physical drives of sleep, appetite, and sexuality.” (All About Depression).
Low levels of all three of these chemicals provide enough imbalances in the brain to alter a person’s emotions. Dopamine is considered to be the chemical that gives you the “natural high” that everyone feels every once in a while. Serotonin is basically the messenger, while norepinephrine is balancing the nervous system. It is evident why these three neurotransmitters are so important and how an imbalance can throw off the function of the brain.
Depression can become something very serious so it is important to at least be aware of the symptoms and the difference between being sad and actually being depressed. As previously noted, being qualified as depressed means having symptoms for over two weeks. These symptoms include: “a depressed mood during most of the day, particularly in the morning, fatigue or loss of energy almost every day, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, impaired concentration or indecisiveness, insomnia or hypersomnia, markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities, recurring thoughts of death or suicide, a sense of restlessness or being slowed down, significant weight loss or gain.” (WebMD). If any five of these nine symptoms are present at the same time for at least a two week period, it is evident that depression is the diagnosis and needs to be tended to immediately. It sometimes can be hard to decipher the difference between just feeling sad or a little bit off track and...