What is Depression?
Depression is a normal feeling that everyone suffers. Depression makes people feel low, avoid doing any type of activity and try to keep to themselves. Normal depression has a short span and goes away. If a person suffers from depression for more than 2 weeks they might be suffering from MDD (Major Depressive Disorder). Patients with MDD experience loss of interest in activities, low self-esteem, low energy, body aches without a cause, hallucinations, visions, and nightmares.
What Are Common Types of Depression Disorder?
Depression is a really complicated mental health condition. There are many different types of depression. Some can be ignored without requiring treatment while others might require proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some common types of depression disorders and their brief descriptions.
MDD (Major Depressive Disorder)
MDD is the severest form of Depression. If a patient consecutively suffers from depression for two weeks or more, they are probably suffering from MDD. In such a situation patients need to get a full evaluation from a health professional and start treatment as soon as possible.
PDD (Persistent Depressive Disorder)
If a patient has a depression for a period of 2 years or more, they are suffering from PDD, also called dysthymia. It usually takes a long time to get properly diagnosed and treated for PDD.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
It is a short-term depressive disorder. People suffer from SAD when the seasons are changing. Usually, during the early weeks of winters when people limit their outdoor activities and spend more time inside, they tend to develop a seasonal depressive disorder. Some people suffer from it for a few days or a week, while others can suffer for the entire length of winters.
Psychotic depression has all the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder paired with paranoia, Hallucinations and Delusions.
PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder)
Women usually suffer from PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) before and at the start of their periods. The symptoms and severity differs from woman to woman. Some women can cope without requiring help while others might need proper medication.
Women experience postpartum depression after childbirth. It usually goes away on its own in many cases. Yet some women might need to take antidepressants.
What Causes Depression?
Causes of depressive orders are unknown. Over the decades researchers have put forward many different theories but none has been verified as the cause. The most likely cause of depression is the environment and conditions a person is in. There are many cases in which people suffering from anxiety, obesity or other disorders tend to start suffering from depression. In such cases usually, underlying health conditions are treated first.
What Are Signs & Symptoms of Depression?
Depression is different for every patient. Every patient has their own mind and body. So the signs and symptoms are different for every person. All this can sometimes make the detection of depression really hard. Some people might experience severe signs and symptoms while others may feel or experience nothing. Here is a list of some signs and symptoms that people need to look out for.
- A constant and long-lasting feeling of sadness and emptiness.
- Constant feeling of hopelessness, guilt or helplessness.
- Loss of interest in life, activities, and hobbies.
- Weakness and fatigue
- Forgetfulness and lack of concentration
- Loss of appetite and weight
- Narcolepsy or Insomnia
- Random body aches without a reason
- Suicidal thoughts
It is not necessary that a patient experiences all or any of these symptoms. In some cases, a patient might show none of these. If a patient has any doubts, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
How Is Depression Diagnosed?
Note: If you have doubts that you are suffering from depression, please don’t diagnose or treat it on your own. Make an appointment with a doctor to get a complete diagnosis.
Diagnosing depression requires time and information. A doctor needs to check a patient’s complete medical history and perform tests to check for any underlying health conditions. Many people wish to get diagnosed as soon as possible but there is no quick test that can diagnose depression.
Doctors nowadays are used to checking and asking their patients for symptoms of depression regularly so that they can recommend further diagnosis or treatment if required.
How Is Depression Treated?
Treating depression can be complicated and in many cases patients are recommended both medications and therapy to properly deal with depression.
Treating Depression With Medicine
Roots of depression lie within the brain when the chemicals for the proper functioning of the brain get imbalanced. The best option for treating depression quickly is to balance the chemicals in the brain. There are many different antidepressants available for depression treatment. Some of the common antidepressants are Lexapro, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, and Prozac.
Treating Depression With Therapy
The best therapeutic treatment for depression is psychotherapy or talk therapy. It takes multiple sessions of psychotherapy to show any results but it has proven to be effective against moderate depression. Apart from that CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is also a good therapeutic option for depression treatment. CBT focuses on changing lifestyle, habits, and behavior of a patient towards things that might be causing depression.
In some rare cases a more severe ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) is used. It is a really strong therapy that doctors usually avoid. It is only recommended for patients with severe depression. For ECT patients are given mild anesthesia and electric shocks are given to the brain. ECT sessions are usually carried out under the supervision of expert medical professionals. A slight mistake and a patient can suffer brain damage.
How To Manage Symptoms of Depression?
Managing symptoms of depression can be really easy. The first thing that is recommended for most of the patients is to change their diet. Eating flavorful and freshly cooked food has been linked to lower depression levels. Medication and yoga are known to help with depression more than anything else. These activities help the brain to pause for some time and relax.
Exercise as often as possible. When a patient exercises their body releases chemicals that help the brain to get rid of stress, anxiety and depression. People usually feel relaxed and calm after exercise sessions. Change and manage sleep routine. Going to bed on time and waking up early has a really positive effect on the mood of people suffering with depression. Spending more time awake while the sun is out, helps the body to get rid of toxins that cause depression.
Does Depression Affect Everyday Life?
Depression if not treated can ruin anyone’s life. There are millions of cases of people losing their relationships, jobs, admissions and other things just because of depression. Most of the people suffering from depression cut themselves from the rest of the world. As a result of which they are unable to propagate in their life. So if you or someone around you is having trouble or experiencing symptoms of depression, get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.