Depression: A Whole-body Illness

Depression is a whole-body illness—it involves the body, nervous system, moods, thoughts, and behavior. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you react to and think about the people and things around you. Symptoms can last for weeks, months, years or even decades. There are many types of depression, with variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.

Depression is twice as common in women as in men. People with depression typically withdraw and hide from society. They lose interest in things around them and many feel incapable of experiencing pleasure. Everybody experiences depression differently, but there are many common symptoms including chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances (either insomnia or excessive sleeping), changes in appetite, headaches, backaches, digestive disorders, restlessness, ir­ritability, quickness to anger, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies, and feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. Many think of death and consider suicide. Things appear bleak and time seems to pass slowly. A person with depres­sion may be chronically angry and irritable, sad and de­spairing, or display little or no emotion at all. Some try to “sleep off” depression, or do nothing but sit or lie around.

But this can change; we know – we’ve seen it happen thousands of times.