Is Depression Like What I See on TV?

Depression is one of the most commonly misunderstood psychological disorders. Film and television often depict a person suffering from depression as being visibly sad. While this is certainly one possible result of depression, the truth is that this disease has many symptoms that are rarely depicted on screen. Understanding these symptoms and the truth behind this disorder can help depressed individuals get treatment that will bring them real relief.

The Cause of Depression

In the dramatic arc of a television drama depression is often the result of a failed relationship or other life event. It is true that traumatic experiences can cause depression, but there are many other causes that are far less obvious. Depression is the result of an imbalance in certain naturally occurring chemicals that manage emotions in the brain. This fragile system can be disrupted by such factors as the following:

  • A biological predisposition toward chemical imbalance and depression
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Co-occurring mental health concerns such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or personality disorders
  • Diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors
  • Childhood abuse or neglect
  • Trauma
  • Physical injury to the head such as concussion or traumatic brain injury

Sometimes depression evolves gradually over a long period of time, while other times it develops quickly. Many people who believe depression to simply be about how a person chooses to feel will have a difficult time admitting to themselves or others when they are depressed. They may not even know that they are experiencing this serious disease, until it has had time to become well-established.

The Symptoms of Depression

Many of the symptoms of depression are visibly obvious, while others are hard to detect. The following list covers many depression symptoms:

  • Emotional numbness (the inability to feel either happy or sad)
  • Persistent melancholy or “blues”
  • Marked changes in appetite (either eating too little or too much)
  • Sleep disorders
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of interest in previously important activities or relationships
  • Sexual disinterest or dysfunction
  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Apathy
  • Substance abuse

While some of these symptoms may be obvious to friends and loved ones, the depressed individual may be unable to perceive their condition or to feel motivated to change it.

Successful Treatment of Depression

If left untreated depression can lead to serious consequences including addiction and suicidal thoughts or actions. Effective treatment is available through innovative programs that treat all aspects of a person’s mental and physical health. These treatment options are likely to include a combination of counseling and education along with possible medical treatment. While television shows often show depressed individuals coming out of their depressed state, once the circumstances of their life change, this is often not the case in the real world. Depression rarely takes care of itself, and professional help is required.

Find Real Help for Depression

If you are struggling with depression or think you may be experiencing depression symptoms, please call our toll-free helpline. Our specially trained counselors will answer your questions and can connect you with the best depression treatment available. Don’t endure the misery of depression any longer, and don’t allow your friend or loved one to slip further into its grip. Call today, and let us help you take the first steps away from this dangerous disease.