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Depression - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

The Different Forms of Depression

Depression manifests itself in one of its several forms. These are:

  • Major Depression- In the case of major depression the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to sleep, work, study, eat and enjoy his life. Major depression episodes may occur a single time or more commonly even multiple times in a person’s life.
  • Dysthymia or Dysthymic disorder- In this variant of depression the symptoms are less severe but persist over prolonged periods that stretch to two years or more.
  • Minor Depression- In the case of minor depression the symptoms are not all that severe and persist for only a small amount of time.

What are the causes of depression?

Depression may be caused by a single or a combination of factors like:

  • Genetic Propensity- People whose families have previous histories of depression are more susceptible to having the illness than people with no family history of depression.
  • Brain Chemistry- The chemistry of the people suffering from depression is different from those who do not have the disease.
  • Stress- Sometimes events that evoke strong emotions like a dear person’s death, a difficult relationship or other situations that are acutely stressful may be enough to trigger bouts of depression.

Treatment of Depression

The first step in treating a patient with depression is to consult a mental health professional or doctor. This visit may be followed by examinations and laboratory tests to rule out other similar conditions. Medications taken by a patient too fall under scrutiny. The doctor takes into account detailed family and medical history of the disease and then proceeds to prescribe antidepressants accordingly. However, the medicines are slow to take effect. But medical antidepressants often have severe side effects that may not be acceptable in all cases. Psychotherapy is another option that may help in the treatment of depression. It works by teaching new behaviour and ways of thinking that may help to alleviate some of the symptoms. It gives a person an insight into why the depression is occurring and what makes the situation worse.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Usually self diagnosable
Symptoms
Loosing interest in daily activities Insomnia or oversleeping Anger Irritability Loss of energy Self loathing Concentration issues

Popular Health Tips

How To Help Your Children Recover From The Trauma Of A Divorce?

MD, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi
How To Help Your Children Recover From The Trauma Of A Divorce?

Separation or divorce is never a smooth or pleasant experience for children. It, in fact, is a particularly sad and stressful time for them. Children, regardless of how old they are, tend to feel confused, shocked and agitated at the prospect of their parents parting ways. Though it is normal for every child to be worried and anxious about his or her parents’ divorce, it is the responsibility of a parent to make the ordeal less traumatic for them.

Here are a few tips that can help you reduce the emotional burden for your child.

Be honest
Children are entitled to be aware of the reasons due to which their parents have decided to part ways. One should also keep in mind that giving long-winded reasons may confuse them. Parents should make the conversation simple yet honest. Parents should also tell them that while they may not be able to get along together, as parents they will never stop loving their children and won’t get separated from them. You should also tell your children that you love them no matter how cliché it may sound.

Listen to your children
It goes without saying that children feel a heavy sense of loss during the divorce of their parents. Thus, parents should encourage their children to approach them and talk freely with them. When they do approach you as parents, you should diligently listen to them. They may want to vent their innermost feelings, which could constitute sadness, frustration, even agitation or any other emotion that they may be experiencing. Some children may even have difficulty in expressing how they feel. As parents, you may also help them find the right words and motivate them to talk.

Acknowledge that they are having difficulties
While parents can do little to reduce their pain and anxiety, they can still acknowledge their problems rather than dismissing them as trivial and baseless. Parents should make their children understand that they can empathize with them which, in turn, can build trust and inter-dependence with the children. If your children are not quite young, they may have questions and concerns regarding what has happened, and you should try to be as straightforward and honest as possible while answering them.

Be patient while reassuring them
Children may behave in a perplexing way. They may show that they have understood you on one day, and they may have thousands of questions on the following day. You should always try to treat your children’s misunderstandings with utmost patience. You must always remind them they have no part to play in their parents’ divorce and that as parents, you will continue to love them always.

Make sure that your words and actions remain consistent throughout. Also, ensure that you give enough time to come to terms with the fact of their parents will no longer be together as a family. This will help them heal. You must offer them the support, care, and love they need.
 

3080 people found this helpful

Depression In Young Adults - What Should You Know?

MBBS, MD Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Alwar
Depression In Young Adults - What Should You Know?

It is a serious mental disorder that effects and impacts the brain.It is also reffered as a mental health disorder, a psychiatric condition. Specifically, it is a mood disorder characterized by persistently low mood in which there is a feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

Depression is known by different medical terms, some of which signify a particular diagnosis:

  1. Depression can affect appetite.
  2. Clinical depression.
  3. Major depression.
  4. Major depressive disorder.
  5. Persistent depressive disorder.
  6. Dysthymia.
  7. Dysphoric disorder.

Causes:

  1. Genetic.
  2. Biological – with changes in noradrenergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmitter levels theorized.
  3. Environmental.
  4. Psychological and social/psychosocial.

Why do adolescents get it?

There are multiple reasons that account for depression in young ones.Some of them are:

  1. Life events – for example, unemployment, divorce, poverty, although these events lead to lasting, severe depression.
  2. Personality. Failure of adaptive mechanisms strategies to stressors.
  3. Genetic factors. First-degree relatives of depressed patients are themselves at higher risk, and occurrence of depression between identical twins is high.

Childhood trauma can cause long-term brain changes affecting responses to fear and stress. Other history also raises the risk, including a suicide attempt, or any form of abuse.

Abuse of recreational drugs including alcohol, amphetamines.

  1. A past head injury
  2. Past diagnosis of depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

  1. Depressed mood.
  2. Reduced interest or pleasure in activities.
  3. Unintentional weight loss (without dieting) or low appetite
  4. Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping).
  5. Psychomotor agitation (for example, restlessness, pacing up and down), or psychomotor retardation (slowed movements and speech).
  6. Fatigue.
  7. Feelings of guilt.
  8. Worsened ability to think, concentrate or make decisions.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or attempt at suicide.

What treatments can be used to overcome it?

  1. PsychotherapyPsychological or talking therapies for depression include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy and problem-solving treatment.
  2. Antidepressant medications.
  3. Support: ranging from discussing practical solutions to contributing stresses, to educating family members.
  4. Electroconvulsive Therapy: Severe cases of depression that have not responded to drug treatment may benefit from electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which is particularly effective for psychotic depression.St. John’s wort, exercise and other therapies
  5. St. John’s wort is a herbal treatment (Hypericum perforatum) that may be effective for mild depression although the evidence is mixed.
4607 people found this helpful

Alzheimer's Disease & Depression - How They Are Related?

MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Gurgaon
Alzheimer's Disease & Depression - How They Are Related?

Depression is possibly regarded as the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. According to a research, the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and depression is very interesting. It has been found that the life of people who are suffering from dementia is affected in 2 different ways. Individuals who have suffered from depression in their lives are at a greater risk of developing dementia. It has also been observed that people suffering from dementia also have depression. The health condition should be treated immediately because if it is ignored it can damage the quality of life and result in worst conditions like memory loss. Temperament, as well as behavioral changes, may precede memory problems in people with the disease.

Risk factor of dementia
The significant risk factor for dementia or common form of Alzheimer’s is developing depression at a younger age. The other reasons for the link are not very clear, however, it has been speculated that the inflammation that occurs in depression is a contributing factor to the Alzheimer’s disease. The risk of dementia also increases with certain proteins which spiral with depression. The common signs of Alzheimer’s disease include lack of appetite, sadness, agitation, weight loss, and anxiety. People suffering from this condition are unable to tell if they are depressed, but their actions help in communicating a message. It is always better to seek the assistance of a physician as doctors can make use of tools to assess the neurological disorder.

Best way to treat patients with Alzheimer’s
The best way to treat patients suffering from dementia and who are depressed is to engage them in activities. It is important that they step out and do some exercises. They should go out in the sunshine. It is necessary to engage them in activities and conversations and help them to lead a higher quality of life. Some of the symptoms of dementia and depression are alike but not all of them. The major symptoms of depression include feeling tired most of the times, feeling restless, irritable, feeling worthless/guilty, unplanned weight gain and trouble in focusing. These symptoms often occur for more than 2 weeks or longer.

Difficulties caused by Alzheimer’s disease
In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, it becomes very difficult for the individual to communicate, learn or remember mainly because the damage is caused to the brain. Due to the brain damage, there is a possibility of changes in the personality and moods of individuals suffering from this health condition. The quality of life is affected by depression as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, it is always better to treat the condition immediately. For that reason, it is very important to set up a pleasant environment around and help patients suffering from this condition by helping them do enjoyable tasks and make them feel positive about life.

3 people found this helpful

How An Abusive Relationship Affect Your Health?

Ph. D - Psychology
Psychologist, Delhi
How An Abusive Relationship Affect Your Health?

The effects of an abusive relationship are sometimes not visible until it is too late. While most of you will think of the emotional torture that the person goes through, there is more than what meets the eye. Imagine a female who is in a relationship with a guy who is very strict with finances. She might even be reluctant to ask for money so that she can buy her medicines regularly. For someone with asthma or epilepsy, this could be a devastating situation.

  1. Physical effects: Depending on how aggressive the person gets physically, the injuries could range from bruises to cuts to broken bones. There are instances of head injuries, and most partners suffer through in silence. When regularly subjected to abuse, the person could end up with chronic headaches, back pain, and digestive issues. They may not eat well or eat very poorly, leading to multiple health issues. In some cases, patients even fear from going to sleep as they feel scared of being raped or murdered. Regular medications may not be taken, which is very common and leads to various complications. For instance, not taking regular medications for diabetes can cause various complications.
  2. Emotional: Given that an abusive relationship is often suppressed, there is severe depression and anxiety that is beneath the surface. The person could become suicidal or get into substance abuse. There is low self-esteem and self-confidence in a person who is in an abusive relationship. This is worsened when the person who is abusing is around. The affected person would not be able to make decisions, feels tired, and has no zest for life. Worse is abuser convinces the other person that the problem lies with them. With kids around, the children could be subjected to long-term emotional damage. They could end up being rebels, get into bad company, get into substance abuse, feel neglected socially - and become anti-social.
  3. Social: A person in an abusive relationship often gets into isolation and tries to stay away from family and in particular friends. 

It is never too late to get out of an abusive relationship - seek help from an expert!

4609 people found this helpful

Postnatal Depression - How Eating Right Can Help You?

PhD - Clinical Psychology, Diploma in Clinical and Community Psychology, MA - Clinical Psychology, BA - Psychology
Psychologist, Delhi
Postnatal Depression - How Eating Right Can Help You?

Giving birth to a baby should make a mother ecstatic but in many cases, this can lead to post-natal depression. This can include crying spells, mood swings, insomnia and anxiety. Post-natal depression can begin a few days after delivery and can continue for a few weeks post-delivery. In some cases, this depression can become a long-lasting condition known as post-partum depression. Hence it is important to be able to manage these feelings.

Here are a few tips.

  1. Eat right: Giving your body the right nutrition can help improve your mental health and prevent mood swings. Keep away from processed foods and eat fresh wholesome meals. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  2. Get a massage: New mothers often find it hard to sleep and this can aggravate post-natal depression. A massage is a great way to soothe tired muscles and calm the mind. Massages can also help the body recover from the strain of childbirth. Using certain oils can further intensify the benefits of a massage.
  3. Meditate: Meditation can be very beneficial for post-natal depression. The best time to meditate is as soon as you wake up. A mere 5-10 minutes of meditation can help calm the mind and give you the strength to get through the day.
  4. Counselling: If you feel yourself spiralling downwards, you must ask for help. A counsellor can understand what you are going through and can give you the tools you need to fight against it. Counsellors can also help you set realistic goals for yourself and teach you ways to respond to situations. In some cases, family therapy for you and your spouse could also help.
  5. Join a support group: Understand that you are not alone. Post-natal depression is a common condition faced by many young mothers. Joining a new mothers group can help you come to terms with the change in your life and help you deal with situations in a better way.

 

2742 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Just related to crying, my life partner leave me alone seven years back, I really really miss her badly, not crying openly because my children should not see but from my heart it really very hurt me, every movement she is in my mind, some time feels not worthy to live.

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Chennai
Why she left. Surprised the kids also she left along with you. Try to win her back, else try to get cope with the present and take care of the kids and consult a psychiatrist for counselling and if needed antidepressants for a short time. All the best.

Hello I had been going through a lot from past two years, I do not know whats wrong but I had sudden palpitations, the first thing when I wake up is in a state of panic and anxiety. I have to rush to bathroom to defecate, I consulted a doctor and he suggested me its chemical imbalance and he put me on serta 50 & nexito forte twice daily, added nortriptyline 25 mg once daily, then added modalert 200 to keep me awake during the day, its crazy I am 30, I have two kids and a job, I had not been myself since taking these medications and its not improved, I sulked in and now I have fear resting deep in me regarding losing my job, death what will happen after death, will I have a heart attack or cancer or I do not know. When I see someone casually my first thought without me thinking is about his death, how will his family respond to loss of a near one. If its depression, health anxiety, panic attacks, stress or any other mental disorder it should had been improved by now. I smoke from a long time and its not so easy to quit every time I visit I am asked to quit smoking, but will that change my condition. Is there anyone out there who could offer me a helping hand not as a doctor but as friend someone who really cares that I am the bread earner for my family. I do not want to take these medications forever and ever, live with a confused, dizzy state of mind and weight gain affecting my work life balance. I am on sertraline 50 twice a day escitalopram 20 mg & clonazepam 1 mg - twice a day nortriptyline - 25 mg once day flupentixol - once a day zolfresh 10 - once daily. Modafinil -200 mg once daily.

PhD - Psychology
Psychologist, Patna
If you take online psychological treatment with some medication that will give you better results for the removal of your problem actually you have phobiatic anxiety and depression and it can be removed through online process within three weeks.

I have hair fall in v shaped pattern like my father, I also have dandruff problem, I also suffered from mental stress and depression.

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Chennai
Dandruff, hairfall and secondary depression is what you seem to have, but being depressed worsens dandruff, so consulting a psychiatrist and a course of antidepressants along with antidandruff treatment would most likely help. All the best.

I am a house wife and I have a son I am a patient of depression and lack of sleep and 6 month before my husband was died then I depressed seriously doctor prescribed me quel, clonazepam lorazepam auxamin200 and quetiapine by taking these medicines I felt relieved but since 2 months I facing lack of sleep so what I do now please tell me.

MBBS, D.P.M, MD, PLAB, MRCPsych
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
Dear mam, I am sorry for your loss. It must be a difficult time for you and coping with everything could be quite overwhelming. The first step will be to see your psychiatrist and restart the medications as it had helped you in past. Apart from medicine, you need to work on your coping skills and how to deal with your loss. Try and build a strong support system as you will need them time and again. Talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling. Take care of yourself. Take out some time to exercise and meditate. You will also benefit from psychological therapy to help you deal with your stressors.

Table of Content

The Different Forms of Depression
What are the causes of depression?
Treatment of Depression
Play video
Depression - Things To Know About It
Depression is recognized as a mood disorder characterized by the prolonged feeling of sadness and loss of interest in otherwise regular activities. The symptoms include loss of sleep and appetite, loss of interest, persistent feeling of sadness and lowered self-esteem. These symptoms should last for a minimum of 4 weeks for the individual to be diagnosed with depression.
Play video
Depression And Anxiety In Children
Depression in children and young people affect people from ages 5 to 18. About one in four children in India suffer from childhood depression. Boys and girls up to the age of 10 and 16 respectively, are more prone to depression. As per the report released by WHO, among 10 South-East Asian countries, India has the highest suicide rate.
Play video
Depression
Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a mental health condition marked by an overwhelming feeling of sadness, isolation and despair that affects how a person thinks, feels and functions. Depression can affect people of all ages, races and socioeconomic classes, and can strike at any time.
Play video
Depression
Feeling tired all the time? Do you feel that you can t focus on things anymore? Have you lost interest in things and people you once loved spending time with? Does your temper fly off the hook at the drop of a hat? If it is a yes to the questions above, then you might be slowly but steadily succumbing to depression. Depression is a psychological disorder that is characterized by symptoms of extreme sadness, worthlessness and hopelessness over a prolonged period of time.
Play video
Self-Help Steps For Depression
In the initial stages or in the milder structures or in individuals who don't know about the illness, depression can go unidentified till its suggestions turn out to be excessively self-evident. Individuals regularly neglect it as an unimportant low state of mind or some begin expecting it as a piece of their psychological makeup.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice