#AtoZChallenge – D is for Depression and Doubt

Once again I pick something I’ve spoken about before. My previous post on depression talks about the fleeting moments of sadness or unexplained wistfulness (if there is such a word).
But depression is much more than that.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health:
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances, such as:

Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia) is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered persistent depressive disorder.
Perinatal depression is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany perinatal depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.
Psychotic depression occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
Bipolar disorder  is different from depression, but it is included in this list is because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
The full article can be found here

Doubt in my dictionary means:
To lack confidence in; to disbelieve, question, or suspect.
This definition works perfectly for self doubt.
Self doubt is a stumbling block to progress. It is the inability to believe in yourself.
I believe the only way to end the cycle of quitting that is caused by self doubt, is to start small, begin facing those fears, doing those things that you thought you couldn’t do. Starting small helps you build confidence. But you need to remember that even if you fail you have to try again.
A good thing to have when you have any of the above mentioned issues (i.e., depression or self doubt) is to have a good support system of family and or friends.

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