They have diminished interest or pleasure in all ormost activities, most o the day, nearly every day.Nothing spurs their interest.So, unctionally they become greatly impaired,ailing to do things they previously excelled in. This decreased ability o unctioning is also relatedto cognitive changes. The depressed nds difcultyin concentration and clear thinking. Their thoughtsare dominated by negativity, guilt and lack o sel-esteem. They may also seem to have become retarted in theirmovements and may sleep too much or too little,generally waking up too early or too requently –with difculty in alling asleep again.
Clinically, there are dierent types o depression.Psychiatrists usually classiy them into threecategories: normal depression, reactive depressionand endogenous depression. These types have since been renamed in mostmodern classications o mental illness but the earliertypology is clearer and probably more accurate.Normal depression is the more common typeaicting most people. Most o us, rom time totime pass through periods o sadness. We eeldown in the dumps and lack our usual ability o concentration and creativity.
However, this change in mood passes away quickly
and we return to our happy hard-working selveseventually. So, i you nd yoursel in a dejected orsad mood, with no interest in everyday activities thatyou usually enjoy, do not jump to the conclusionthat you are suering or are beginning to suerrom depression. The second type is known as reactive depression.It is caused by a catastrophic incident in one’s liesuch as the death o a close relative, ailure in anexam or loss o money. Sadness, pessimism andnegative thoughts are more severe and can last ormuch longer. To give you, readers a personal example, I willmention the case o my mother. She came downwith depression ater my dad passed away.When we bought her a new mattress, she keptcomplaining that the previous one was soter andthat the new mattress was too hard and she couldn’t
sleep at night. Of course, insomnia was one of the
symptoms o her depression.We once brought her out or lunch but no matterwhich restaurant we went to, she elt that theood was not delicious. The negative thoughts sheexperienced because o the grie over my ather’sdeath was in act generalised to everything.Fortunately, this type o depression is treatableby taking anti-depressant drugs such asuoxetine, paroxetine, doxepin, phenelzine andtranylcypromine. Cognitive therapy by itsel or incombination with drug therapy may also help. The third and most severe orm is termedendogenous depression. In modern terminology,this may also be identied by terms like majordepression or uni-polar depression.
MAR/APR 2009 • OH!