Depression is a common illness of the body that involves emotions, thoughts and behaviour. There are 3 main types of clinical depression: (i) major depressive disorder (ii) dysthymic disorder (iii) bipolar depression. Dysthymic disorder is a milder but chronic form that may last for years and result in people feeling that they are not functioning at their full capacity and have issues functioning socially. Bipolar disorders involve alternating episodes of depression and mania and may be associated with inflated self-esteem, less need for sleep, racing thoughts, distractibility, physical agitation and risk-taking.
Triggers: tension, traumatic life event, stress, nutritional deficiencies, chemical imbalances in the nervous system, lack of exercise and food allergies.
Symptoms: can last for weeks, months or years. They depend on the type of depression, but can include: change in sleep patterns, low self esteem, a feeling of isolation, a loss of interest in work and hobbies, chronic fatigue, changes in appetite, headaches, backaches, restlessness and irritability.
Who to consult: Dietician, GP, herbalist, homoeopath, music therapist, naturopath, pharmacist, physical therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist.