Depression is specified as a mood disorder that causes sadness and interest loss. It can also be defined as depressive disorder or clinical depression. It affects our feelings, thinking, and behavior. That leads to various physical and emotional problems. You face trouble in normal day-to-day activities. Also, sometimes you’ll feel as if life isn’t worth living.
The fact is that depression isn’t a weakness. You can’t just snap it out from your brain. Depression requires long-term treatment and medication. It will help if you keep motivating yourself. Medication & psychotherapy are ways depressed people feel happy.
In most cases, depression occurs at teenage around the mid-’20s. The effect of depression is seen among 6.7% of persons per year. And 16.6% of people will experience depression for a period of time in their life. Depression is found in women more as compared to men. Some studies show that 1/3 of girls will have a depressive period in their life. There’s a high role of genetics (approximately 40%). The possibility is that if our relatives (parents/children/siblings) have depression, it will be carry forward to us.
Various sorts of depression
Some sorts of depression are slightly different, or they’ll develop under unique circumstances, such as:
• Persistent Clinical Depression: It is also called dysthymia. It is a depressed mood that lasts for a minimum of two years. You can face a significant disorder for a period of time, even after the diagnosis. The symptoms in this will be less severe.
• Postpartum Depression: It is far more severe than other disorders. It is the depression women feel after childbirth. It is unlike others where anxiety can be cured within a fortnight
This can be seen during pregnancy or after childbirth. The reason behind this is emotions of anxiety, excitement, and sadness that prevails after or during childbirth. Thus new mothers unable to focus on daily activities just after childbirth.
• Depressive Disorder: It occurs when a person is already suffering from hallucinations or delusions. These illusions might be because of anxiety, fear, poverty, guilt, etc.
• Seasonal Disorder: This is caused due to changes in seasons, like during winters when the sunlight is low. During spring and summer, the effects of depression change. These changes can cause weight gain, excess sleep, junk eating, lower energy in the body, etc.
• Manic Depression: It is way different from depression, but it is in this list because people with manic depression experience low moods, which is also the symptom of bipolar depression. People with this depression also suffer from irritability, mood swings, or a lea severe hypomania.
How is depression different from Sadness/Greif?
There exist lots of difficult situations in one’s life. Death of loved ones, unemployment, financial crisis, breakups, etc., are some of them. The feelings developed in this situation are sadness or grief.
However, staying sad does not mean depressed. The grief we suffer depends on how we look at any situation and is not the same for everyone. Both effects our life in the same way, but there are also
differences that are given below:-
• In grief, painful feelings are frequencies, often mixed with deceased’s positive memories.
A bit in depression, mood, and interest pleasure decrease for many fortnights.
• In grief, self-esteem is generally maintained. In major depression, feelings of uselessness and self-loathing are common.
Grief and depression can exist together. For some, the death of a loved one, unemployment, financial crisis, breakups, severe disaster can cause depression. While grief and depression occur simultaneously, the suffering is more severe. Also, it can last longer than grief.
Distinguishing between grief and depression is essential and may help people get the assistance, support, or treatment they require.
Depression occurs only once in a lifetime, but one experiences its aftereffects many times. During these experiences, the symptoms observed are as follows:-
• Feelings of sorrow, emptiness, tearfulness, and hopelessness.
• Angry outbursts, frustration, or irritability, even over small or negligible situations
• Loss of interest or excitement in most or all normal activities, like sex, hobbies, sports, etc.
• Sleep disturbances, including insomnia & excess sleep.
• Tiredness and lower confidence, so even small tasks take more efforts
• Reduced appetite, weight loss, increased cravings for food or weight gain
• Anxiety or restlessness
• Slowed speaking, thinking, and body movements
• Feelings of uselessness, guilt, past failures or regrets
• Trouble thinking, focusing, decision making, and remembering things
• Frequent or repeated thoughts of death, suicide, or suicide attempts
• Unexplained physical problems, like body pain or headaches
For most people, symptoms are difficult to notice. But they do face problems in day-to-day life. They do deal with issues in school, colleges, social activities, or in relationships without knowing why.
Depression Symptoms In Children and Teens
Symptoms in children and teens are almost similar. But there do lie some points one should take care of. Some of the symptoms are given below:-
· In younger children, symptoms include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches, and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.
· In teens, symptoms include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance, low attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, use of drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping much, self-harm, loss of interest in everyday activities, and avoidance of social interaction.
Depression symptoms in older adults
It is not a part of life. It is a serious issue even in adults. But, unfortunately, people assume it’s common to have depression if you are an adult. This is not true; you should always be kind towards those and help them as far as possible. Symptoms of Depression may be different or less noticeable in older adults, such as:
· Memory difficulties or personality changes
· Physical aches or pain
· Fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeps problem, or loss of interest in sex
· Often wanting to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things
· Suicidal thinking or feelings, more in older men.
Features of Depression
Symptoms always vary from person to person. To get specific and precise knowledge. Consult your doctor. You may have depressed with specific features. These features are as follows:-
In this, people worry about possible events, lost control, and suffer restlessness.
It includes elevated self-esteem, too much talking, and increased energy.
It disturbs our activities in which we find pleasure. Symptoms include lack of interest in things, early morning awakening, worsened mood in the morning, significant changes in appetite, feeling of agitation or sluggishness.
It includes over-excitement, excess cheered by happy events, increased appetite, excessive need for sleep, sensitivity to rejection.
If one has delusions or hallucinations involving personal inadequacy or other negative setups in mind.
In this, motor activities are involved. That involves uncontrollable or purposeless movement, fixed or inflexible posture.
It occurs during pregnancy or in the weeks or months after childbirth.
Depression is among the most treatable mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% percent of people eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms after diagnosis.
Before any checkup, a health professional will conduct an oral evaluation to understand the source. After this, patients are advised to go through a physical evaluation. In some cases, blood tests are enough, but in some cases, the diagnosis may be complex.
The evaluation will find the source of specific symptoms and will also check family medical history as well as cultural and environmental factors. After reaching the goal of diagnosis, proper action of the plan will be prepared.
The doctor determines a diagnosis of depression based on factors given below:-
The cause may be some physical issues or ache. Thus physical examination and asking questions about your health is the process to be followed. In some cases, it may be linked to an underlying physical health problem.
It includes a blood test, thyroid test, and screening to make sure about the negative changes they make on our body. This will also help us to correct the functionality.
In this, you will be asked about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns. You will be asked to answer the bulk of the questions.
Your mental health professional will use the criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Treatment and Therapies
It can be treated even in the worst scenario. The earlier treatment will begin, the more it will be easy to treat. Depression is usually treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of these two.
Apart from these treatments, we also have electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and other brain stimulation therapies to reduce the symptoms.
It takes trial and error methods to find the treatment that works best for you as each person shows different signs.
Antidepressants are used to treat depression. They help chemicals improve the effects that control moods or stress. You need to analyze different antidepressant medicines before one results into, that improves your symptoms and has negligible side effects.
Antidepressants take time – usually 2 to 4 weeks – to work. More often, symptoms such as sleep, appetite, and concentration problems mood lifts improve. So, it is crucial to give medication a trial before reaching towards a conclusion about its effectiveness.
If you begin taking antidepressants, kindly do not stop consuming without the consultation of a doctor. Sometimes people taking antidepressants starts to feel better, assuming they do not further need to. Thus, he stops taking them. Stopping them abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Your doctor probably will stop the medication after a course of 6-12 months. The doctor will help you slowly and safely decrease your dose.
In some cases, people with an age fewer than 25 may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts or behavior while taking antidepressants. This mainly occurs in the first few weeks after starting or when the dose is changed.
Many types of psychotherapy/ talk therapy/ counseling can help people fight depression. Evidence-based examples and approaches that resulted in the treatment of depression include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and problem-solving therapy.
Brain Stimulation Therapies
This therapy is used when medications could not help.
Some researches and results on this therapy are listed below:-
- ECT provides relief to people suffering from severe depression and not be able to treat with other options.
- ECT is a proven effective therapy for depression. It acts as a front-line where quick response is required, or medication was not at all resulting.
- Earlier people are being admitted to hospital for the procedure. But these days, with advancements in technology, it works on an outpatient basis. The treatment has sessions three times a week for 2-4 weeks.
- ECT also causes some side effects that include confusion, disorientation, or memory loss. Although these side effects are short-term, it does effects problems related with memory.
- Advancement in ECT devices and methods has made this safe and more effective for the majority of patients.
- ECT is not painful. It’s hard to feel electrical impulses during the process. You will still be given anesthesia and muscle relaxant before the treatment. The treatment takes only a few minutes. Patients feel normal after 1 hour of the treatment.
Other recently launched brain stimulation therapies that are used to treat medicine-resistant depression include Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (RTMS) and Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS).
If you think you have depression, please see your doctors may be your health provider, counselors or psychologist specialized in treating and diagnosing health problems.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment that has been used for patients having severe depression. Those who have not responded to other treatments. The procedure involves mini electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.
A patient typically undergoes ECT 2 to 3 times a week for continuous 6 to 12 treatments. It is basically managed by a team of qualified medical professionals, a psychiatrist, an anesthesiologist, a nurse, or a physician assistant.
Self-help and Coping
There is a list of self-care methods to cope up with depression. In most cases, regular exercise helps create a happy mood and improves anxiety. Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol also help in reducing depression.
Depression is a serious illness. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the vast majority of people have already been cured of depression.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, a first step is to see your family physician or psychiatrist. Talk about your concerns and request a thorough evaluation. This is a start to addressing your mental health needs.
Things You Can Do
There are many ways to help your dear ones fighting with depression. Below mentioned are some of the tips:-
- Try to be active and exercise daily.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Try to spend time with older people.
- Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss your situation with others for a better opinion.
- Continue to educate yourself.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world. Researches suggest that cause of depression is a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
There is no age limit for depression but mostly found in adults.
Depression has now started occurring in kids and adolescents, although it sometimes presents with more prominent irritability than low mood. Many chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults begin as high levels of anxiety in children.
Depression, in midlife or older adults, brings along various other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
The situation gets even worse if depression is also present in there. Sometimes medications works that are being used for such physical illnesses may cause side effects that contribute more to increase depression. Always consult a doctor who has experience in treating this kind of situation and look for the best treatment strategy and plans.
It is defined as the differences in certain chemicals in the brain that contribute to depression.
Depression can be hybrid and circulate in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness at some stage of life.
People whose confidence level is low are prone to easily overwhelmed by stress and are generally pessimistic in appearance are to be more likely to experience depression.
Continuous exposure to violence, neglected, abused, or poverty expectations make many people more vulnerable to depression.
In most cases, the things that make you more suitable to make you depressed are things that you can’t control. These include your genes, chemicals in your brain, or your environmental effects. But, in many cases, depression starts after a significant life change or tragic trauma. It can also occur if you are suffering from any health problem, such as cancer, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease.
Many times it’s totally getting difficult to prevent yourself from these situations. But you can always change how you handle the stress or look towards any problem they can cause. If you are already suffering from depression, you can stop it from getting worse.
Below listed are some of the tips to prevent yourself from depression:-
Stick with your treatment plan. If you are on medication, take it as prescribed, whether you feel comfortable or not. Don’t skip therapy sessions, counseling, or dosage. Let your doctor know what is and isn’t working for you.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. It might seem like these are making you feel better. But they will actually make it harder to treat your depression.
Try different ways to fight stress; some include meditation and yoga.
Spend time with family, elders, and friends. Think about joining a social group. Do things that keep you connected to others.
Know yourself. Pay attention to the things that seem to make your symptoms worse. Keep notes and tell your doctor or therapist about your positive and negative points.
Don’t make big life decisions on a day when you’re feeling down.
Talk to your therapist or doctor about medicine that can stop depression from coming back.