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Depression - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Depression is a medical illness which needs to be taken seriously. It is way beyond the occasional bouts of feeling sad or being blue. In more than 19 million teenagers and adults in the US have been found to persist over prolonged periods. And eventually, they take their toll and interfere with the everyday activities of a person’s life.

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
Loosing interest in daily activities Insomnia or oversleeping Anger Irritability Loss of energy Self loathing Concentration issues

Popular Health Tips

Winter Depression

Ms. Upasana Chaddha Vij 87% (17 ratings)
MA - Psychology
Psychologist, Delhi
Winter Depression
With the onset of winters, not only people experience lazy mornings but many also find themselves in low spirits or what we call winter blues . Winter depression or seasonal affective disorder should not be confused with general laziness and oversleeping that comes with the onset of winters. Many people are diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, it is a clinical disorder which occurs with the change in season, specially during winters. It is a sub type of depression. Peole experimce mood chnages and symptkms similar to depression with during the winter season and improves with the arrival of spring and summer season. Symptoms of s. A. D If the symptoms have been occuring with the onset at the specific time of winters for the last two years without any other associative incident. 1. Loss of apetite/ increase in apetite 2. Crying spells 3. Loss of interest in routine activities 4. Feeling low or sad. 5. Sleeping more than usual. Treatment It can be effectively treated with psychotherapy, light therapy and/or medications. While symptoms improve with change in season but treatment could help the person get relief from depressive symptoms quickly. People should either try to expose themselves to sun whenever possible in winters. Stay connected to your environment and people. Talk about your symptoms with a psychologist. It is a manageable condition and treatment would help you enjoy the winters.

Domestic Violence - How It Can Kill Your Spirit?

Dr. Akshata Bhat 97% (1380 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
Domestic Violence - How It Can Kill Your Spirit?
People who have been victims of domestic violence not only suffer physical abuse, but from emotional abuse as well, which may stay with them for their whole life. The trauma associated with domestic violence can be deep and takes time to heal even after the relationship with the perpetrator is over and there is no communication or contact between them. Emotional harm is greater than physical harm Women make up the significant majority of domestic violence victims. When they face violence within the home sphere, they experience a wide range of emotions like anger, sadness, powerlessness, fear, resentment, vindictiveness and much more. Physical violence not only harms their body, but their mind and spirit are equally wrecked as the memory of being physically subjugated scars them emotionally in a very deep manner and can take years to heal. Some of the long term impact of domestic violence on women is mentioned below. Physical Effects Any kind of physical injuries like bruises, cuts or dislocated joints and bones. Many women suffer from hearing impairment Loss of vision is also another effect Miscarriage or premature childbirth Sexually transmitted diseases A feeling of fatigue and weakness In certain cases, unreported domestic violence may result in homicide or murder which is the ultimate and most unfortunate manifestation of physical abuse gone too far, That is why it is important to seek help early on before things escalate too far. Mental Effects The mental effects of domestic violence take much longer time to recuperate from than the physical effects. If the shock is severe, it can render women mentally unstable for life in extreme cases. Even if a woman recovers from it, the emotional scar may remain and might manifest in the future. Depression: This is one of the worst mental effects of domestic violence is depression. The good news is depression is often temporary and can be cured. Signs of depression include a feeling of hopelessness, sadness, weight gain or loss, sleeplessness, loss of appetite and a consequent lack of interest in whatever you love to do. This can affect one s decision making ability and in extreme cases can render one suicidal. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: When you encounter any violent experience, then you are most likely to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The signs of this disorder include frequent flashbacks of the traumatic experience, nightmares and extreme anxiety. Women who face these kinds of traumatic experiences find it difficult to cope with their present situation for a while. Counselling and support from their loved ones can heal these problems fast. Other effects of domestic violence may also include seizures, addiction and substance abuse and fainting.
1 person found this helpful

Nutrition And Mental Health

Dr. Satheesh Nair S 89% (171 ratings)
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Mphil in Medical Psychology, PG Dip Edu Counselling , Certificate in Nutrition & Mental health, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Psychologist, Trivandrum
Nutrition And Mental Health
There is increasing scientific evidence regarding the role of diet and micronutrients in the recovery from mental illness.Advantages are that it is nontoxic and acceptable to all and reduce stigma since it can be taken by all.Those with illness and those like to prevent illness. There are large number of studies in mainstream journals about its effect in reducing symptoms of depression anxiety and psychosis. For example omega 3 fatty acids are proved to be an all round nutrient particularly in mental healfth and brain health.There are about 27000 studies on the health benefits of fishoil suppliments.Likewise vitaminB12 deficiency manifests as depression,anxiety,memory loss and even psychotic symptoms.Chronic deficiency can cause dementia and Alzheimers . Mocronutrient suppliments are found to be reducing child behaviour problems,ADHD and impulsive reactions in children.J.Rucklidge,MTaylor etallJL of child and adol2015. Vitamin B3 is proved to be the only and wonderful vitamin in schizophrenia and congenital disorders. There is dearth of trainned professionals in nutrition and mental health so that service to public is less in this area.Data generation and trainning professionals are need of time.It is becomming highly promising in alleveating distress in mental and brain disorder.
3 people found this helpful

What Suicidal Depression Feels Like!

Dr. Dolly Anadkat 92% (490 ratings)
Ph. D - Psychology, Professional Certified Coach
Psychologist, Ahmedabad
What Suicidal Depression Feels Like!
Depression is an illness which has a direct impact on the brain. People feel that it s just feeling down but it is more than that. It is a serious illness caused by changes in brain chemistry. There are other factors also that contribute to the onset of depression, including Genetics, Changes in hormone levels, Stress, Difficult life circumstances. Any of the above mentioned factors or combination can precipitate changes in brain chemistry and may lead to depression. Depression is a serious and a very common condition these days which may lead to suicide in extreme cases. Signs of Depression: Loss of pleasure in virtually all activities, Feeling of fatigue or lack of energy, Difficulty with concentration or memory, An increase or decrease in appetite, with a corresponding change in weight. Thoughts of suicide Depression & Suicide. A major cause of suicide is mental illness, very commonly depression. People feeling suicidal are overwhelmed by painful emotions and see death as the only way out, losing sight of the fact that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary state. Most people who succeed with living feel glad that they resist and are alive today. Suicidal thoughts may be fleeting or more frequent, passive or active. People who are in depress state often start preparing for death, such as giving away possessions or acquiring a gun and these are cause of great concern and should be taken very seriously. How to judge if suicide is a possibility? There may be some warning signs, though hard to predict but can be an area of concern: Being depressed or signs of some mental disorders. Talking about the loss of interest in living or not to be around. Increased social isolation. Mood swings very often. Buying suicide materials. Preoccupation with death. While anyone can become suicidal, there are certain risk factors that make suicide more likely: Previous suicide attempts. Recent losses like loss of a relationship or job. Cultural and religious beliefs supporting suicide. Access to means of suicide. How to help a depressed person? Let the person know if you've noticed a change in their behaviour. Spend time talking with the person about their experiences and let them know that you're there to listen without being judgmental. Suggest the person see a doctor or health professional and/or help them to make an appointment. Offer to go with the person to the doctor or health professional. Help the person to find information about depression and anxiety from a website or library. Encourage the person to try to get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy food. Discourage the person from using alcohol or other drugs to feel better. Encourage friends and family members to invite the person out and keep in touch, but don't pressure the person to participate in activities. Encourage the person to face their fears with support from their doctor/psychologist. Remember that your loved one's depression isn't anyone's fault. You can't fix the person's depression but your support and understanding can help.
2 people found this helpful

Common Signs Of Mental illness In Adults And Adolescents

Ms. Anu Gehlot 88% (10 ratings)
M.Phil - Psychology, Masters In Psychology, BA-Psychology
Psychologist, Delhi
Common Signs Of Mental illness In Adults And Adolescents
Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following: Excessive worrying or fear or Feeling excessively sad or low Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable highs or feelings of euphoria Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger Avoiding friends and social activities Difficulties understanding or relating to other people Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite Difficulty perceiving reality Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs Thinking about suicide
7 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi doctors, I got married late in 27 years, I was working as lecturer in maths, due to marriage I resignef for job, my in laws promised to send me to hyderabad as he works here, but atr marriage I was in laws dint sent me to hyd, I was kept in in laws home, they torchured me a lot, even my husband listens to his parents write more, he also left me in in law home for four months even though we are newly married, later I came here I got conceived I was happy wot my husband, but in. My fifth month again in laws told my husband to live me in their home, my husband respects his parents a lot he will not care me in presence of his parents, I went there forcefully, but in three days I was aborted, in my fifth month, I was made to. Do work more so I got aborted, baby was dead in. Stomach.but they dint care, I went to mom. Home my parents took. Care of me, I felt I got rebirth, I suffered a lot in one year, now husband home directly from mom. Home, im not able to judgr anyone in. My family, y thy torchured. Me so much, my husband s very good but he ll change bcz of his parents influence, wencan I plan for. My second baby, I am. Willing to do job, as I got break its new place for. Me im not knowing how to search job also, please guide me, shall I go to job or shall I stay in. Home till. My second baby delivery, can I work even during next pregnancy, how to understand my husband, and his parents lplz guide me, your suggestions help me a lot for my Please suggets me i am i so much depression cause of that.

Dr. Reena Kawatra 92% (4105 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
You are an adult and if in the past you felt you lost your child due to physical and mental stress caused at your in-laws house we suggest you should get the second child delivery done at your own mom's place and then with passage of time everything will be fine and your husband will also be bonded to you more strongly. In case you still need any further information or assistance or any advice you may get back to us on a private consultation.

Sir I am 20 years old and my tsh level is 8.3. I feel nervous and tired all the day. Nowadays I feel depressed and can not concentrate on my studies. So which medicine should I prefer in homeopathy and should I intake those medicines life long.

Ms. Priti Srivastava 86% (23 ratings)
PGDCA, BA-Psychology, MA-Psychology
Psychologist, Ghaziabad
Try to improve your will power rather than depending on medicines do meditation for concentration start taking multivitamin for your fatigue.

I am taking allopathic medicine from last 4 years because of anxiety attacks, depression, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal but I want to switch to ayurveda so please suggest the best treatment accordingly and can ayurveda treatment cure my problem in whole life.

Dr. Rahul Gupta 88% (115 ratings)
Bechhlor of ayurvedic medicine and surgery
Ayurveda, Ghaziabad
Medha vati 2 bd after meal Ashwagandharisht 3 tsf +saraswatarisht 3 tsf Both to be taken 6 tsf of water after meal twice a day Badam rogan - - put 2-2 drops each nostrils twice a day.
1 person found this helpful

Hi, I am 21 Female. I am in a relationship. It's been 5 years now but our relationship doesn't look good. There is no understanding between us. He can't understand me he loves me but he takes everything so easy. He can live for months without talking to me but I can't even be a day without communicating him. I don't know how to change him. I just want to live happily without him but I'm failing every time he convinces me so quickly and easily but I'm not getting that how to change him and convince him I just want to live happily without him but I don't know how. Please suggest me either to change him or to leave him please I am almost getting mad. I'm always thinking about him and I have no thought. I'm unable to eat and sleep. Please suggest me.

Dr. Sidharth Chellani 91% (68 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi
One of the major issues appears to be your pre-occupation with the partner and relationship. It appears to be a good time to rekindle with your original self, the way you were before the relationship. Allow yourself to nurture your original hobbies and activities, your previously pleasurable activities eg. Meeting up with other people (friends/cousins. But with a focus on yourself and not to change him. Let time take it's course from there on. Try and meet a counsellor for individual therapy. Best of luck.
1 person found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Depression & Weight Management In Diabetic Patients!

Dr. Sushil Patel 89% (97 ratings)
Diabetologist, Vadodara
Depression can hinder weight loss. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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Coping with Grief and Loss: The Five Stages

Ms. Sandhya C 93% (131 ratings)
M.Sc - Psychotherapy
Psychologist, Bangalore
Ignoring the pain of loss and not crying will help you get over grief quicker. True or false? Take this quiz to find out.
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Are ayurvedic remedies effective in treating depression?

Dr. Rajeshkumar Radadiya 89% (255 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Ahmedabad
Persistent irritability can be a symptom of depression. True or False? Take the quiz to find out!
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Are you contributing to your depression?

MS - Psychotherapy & Counselling
Psychologist, Chennai
Depression will pass away with time if ignored. True or false. Take a quiz to know more.
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Anxious all the time- What can be the reason?

Ms. Atika Shukla 87% (15 ratings)
Post Graduate Diploma in Pyschology
Psychologist, Noida
It is impossible for a person to come out of anxiety disorder. True or False? Take this quiz to know now!
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