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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

Depression - Did You Know It Is Related With Food?

Ph. D - Psychology
Psychologist, Jammu
Depression - Did You Know It Is Related With Food?
Depression is a clinical, mental, and emotional condition that may give rise to feelings of hopelessness and chronic sadness. It slows down the way people process everyday activities and leads the patient to a sense of constant gloom and doom. It is a disabling mental condition as per WHO, and may be caused due to reasons like genetics, changes in the balance of hormones, stress, grief, trauma and prolonged, chronic physical ailments. Depression is also connected with food and nutrition. Do you want to know how? Read on to see the three ways in which food and depression are connected. * Severity and Duration: Depression is a mental illness that signifies an imbalance in the hormones and the emotional faculties in the brain. Nutrition is the fuel that keeps the brain and body in prime working condition. When a depressive state sets in or becomes emotionally rooted, then nutritious eating and a proper diet take a back seat as the patient succumbs to a state where he or she is not concerned about the food intake. As a result, the brain and hormonal balance get further affected. This can have an adverse effect on the severity and the duration of the depressive mode, which makes it all a vicious cycle of sorts. Poor appetite, not having proper meals, skipping meals, eating junk, avoiding social settings where food will be served, and even emotional eating are all outcomes of depression too. * Eating Disorders: Many patients who have eating disorders often experience deep rooted and chronic depression. Since despondency and hopelessness are the main characteristics of depressive behaviour, the outcome is that the patient tries to behave in a way that seeks approval. And in all this, the patient usually thinks that he or she is not 'good enough'. In such a scenario, the patient may start trying out fad diets and eventually fall prey to eating disorders like Bulimia that make the patient overeat and then vomit. These eating disorders usually come with phases of binge eating, throwing up, starving and then repeating the cycle again. Eating in secrecy is also a symptom of this condition. * Nutrition to Fight Depression: Nutrition and proper food intake can build a sense of resilience by first of all improving the overall physical condition of the patient. This can take care of a lot of angst even as the minerals and vitamins travel to the brain for better functioning in the long run. Ensure that you eat right as a part of your therapy for depression. This is as good as taking your medication on time!
2 people found this helpful

Depression During Pregnancy - How To Manage it?

Dr. Shalini Raman 90% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Lucknow
Depression During Pregnancy - How To Manage it?
Pregnancy is that wonderful and beautiful phase that most women rejoice about. However, many may find it hard to believe that pregnancy can bring with it a condition known as antenatal depression . This is a common condition in expecting mothers and should not be ignored. Depression during pregnancy like regular depression is a clinical condition and requires further investigation and management. Pregnancy is related to the female hormones and therefore, mood swings are common (as during PMS and menopause). However, depressed pregnant women would typically have the following associated symptoms too. Altered eating habits Altered sleeping patterns (too much or too less) Loss of attention/ability to focus Losing interest in activities which usually interest the person Feeling very anxious Constant feeling of sadness Uncertainty about the future Feeling of worthlessness Suicidal tendencies It has been noted about 25% of women can get depressed during pregnancy for varying periods of time. Some potential reasons for this are as below. Strained relationships: One of the most important factors for a healthy pregnancy is a happy relationship, not just with the partner, but with immediate and close family members with whom there is a high level of regular interaction. Work stress: For working women, a stressful office environment could take a toll on their moods. Previous miscarriages: This can cause anxiety and depression about possible repeat incident. Potential complications: If the periodic examinations showed up possibility for complications in pregnancy, the chance of depression in the mother increase. How it affects pregnancy? A depressed mother would not be able to care for herself and therefore, the baby may not get adequate nutrition for its development. Additionally, the potential for nicotine and alcohol abuse increases, which also negatively impacts the baby s growth. There could be low birth weight, premature birth and developmental delays after birth. How it can be managed? While the hormonal changes during pregnancy causes mood swings, diagnosing if it is depression is important. A consultation with a psychiatrist may be required for some women. Some of the options available for treatment include support groups, individual counseling, and medications. It is important to understand that this is a common condition and you are not the only one going through this. Talking to other women who feel depressed can help in mood uplifting of all involved. If you are too shy about it, individual counseling could be the next best thing. Stress management including light exercise, music, meditation, rest, diet, and support from close friends and family are highly recommended. Since most antidepressants would reach the baby, it is advisable to avoid these less you need them as a last resort.
3 people found this helpful

The Surprising Psychological Benefits of Music

Ms. Parveen 87% (97 ratings)
Bachelors In Psychology, Masters In Psychology, Post Graduate Diploma In Guidance & Counselling
Psychologist, Jalandhar
The Surprising Psychological Benefits of Music
The Surprising Psychological Benefits of Music Listening to music can be entertaining, but is it possible that it might make you healthier? Music can be a source of pleasure and contentment, but research has also shown that there are many different psychological benefits as well. The notion that music can influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors probably doesn't come as much of a surprise. If you've ever felt pumped up while listening to your favorite fast-paced rock anthem or been moved to tears by a tender live performance, then you easily understand the power of music to impact moods and even inspire action. But the psychological effects of music can be more powerful and wide-ranging than you might assume. Music therapy is an intervention sometimes utilized to promote emotional health, help patients cope with stress, and boost psychological well-being. Some even suggest that your taste in music can provide insight into different aspects of your personality. Music can relax the mind, energize the body, and even help people better manage pain. So what other potential benefits might music provide? 1-Music Can Improve Your Cognitive Performance. 2-Music Can Reduce Stress. 3-Music Might Help You Eat Less. 4-Music Can Improve Your Memory 5-Music Can Help Manage Pain. 6-Music Might Help You Sleep Better. 7-Music Can Improve Motivation. 8-Music Can Improve Your Mood. 9-Music Might Reduce the Symptoms of Depression. 10-Music Can Improve Endurance and Performance. Final Thoughts Music has the power to inspire and entertain, but it also has powerful psychological effects that can improve your health and well-being. Instead of thinking of music as pure entertainment, consider some of the major mental benefits of incorporating music into your everyday life. You might find that you feel more motivated, happy, and relaxed as a result.
2 people found this helpful

Depression - Does It Make You Feel Guilty?

Ph. D - Psychology
Psychologist, Jammu
Depression - Does It Make You Feel Guilty?
In order to answer this question, it is important that we first discuss what depression is. Feeling sad, lonely or low is very common. So how can we point out which is depression and which is sadness? Well, sadness is a fleeting feeling and is the most normal reaction to loss or life s struggle. Depression, on the other hand, is pretty permanent (may be not permanent, but it may last really really long or may occur very frequently, if not consulted with a professional). It is so overwhelming and inexplicable that these mental feelings start involving physical symptoms as well. Depression can keep an individual from leading a normal and an active life. Depression, if not treated, may take an even worse form and might possibly end at suicide. Clinically, certain symptoms that occur persistently might point towards depression. Inability to concentrate Fatigue Guilt and shame Insomnia Irritability Hopelessness Eating disorders Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities Persistent headaches, pains, aches, digestive problems Empty feeling Suicidal thoughts Here comes the part about guilt and shame. One of the very common symptoms of depression is feeling of unnecessary guilt or shame. Guilt is a feeling of remorse or regret for violating an internal value. Shame is an overall feeling of self contempt. While both these are pretty normal feelings for a normal individual, for depressed individuals, these feelings get magnified to unimaginable extents. How are these manifested? Constantly apologising for things one hasn t done Blaming themselves for everything Thinking they don t deserve happiness Feeling inferior or unworthy Feeling of being a burden The next plausible question is why does this happen? These feelings generally tend to go back to childhood. People who have faced childhood traumas or have been physically, emotionally or sexually abused are more prone to feelings of depressive guilt or shame. In the young age, they do not really have proper understanding of the situation and hence they end up blaming themselves. During adulthood, they keep believing the same, thus causing intense feelings of guilt and shame. A lot of counselling can bring such individuals to the understanding that whatever happened to them as children was never their fault. Also, it has been researched that the region in the human brain associated with shame and guilt is unusually active in depressed individuals.
1203 people found this helpful

Depression - How Unani Therapy Can Help Treat It?

Dr. N A Khan (Unani Specialist) 94% (774 ratings)
Doctor In Unani Medicine(D.U.M.B.I.M)
Sexologist, Delhi
Depression - How Unani Therapy Can Help Treat It?
Depression is a common, debilitating, life-threatening and serious mood disorder with an increased morbidity and mortality that affects more than 300 million individuals worldwide. It interferes with an individual s thoughts, behavior and feelings, affects a person s ability to work and form relationships and is responsible for destroying the overall quality of life. It is the fourth leading cause of disability, which contributes a major role in increasing the overall global burden of disease. In case, left untreated it can also lead to suicidal tendencies in a person and presently, is responsible for 850,000 deaths every year. It is characterized by the change in mood, lack of interest in surroundings and enjoyment, feeling of sadness, gloominess or melancholy. Many depressed individual experience anxiety symptoms, disturbed sleep, poor concentration, feelings of guilt or low self-worth and increased or decreased appetite, and may have even medically unexplained symptoms. Mental depression is classified into unipolar and bipolar depression. Unipolar depression is more common and accounts nearly 75% of cases, in which mood swings are always in the same direction. It is accompanied by symptoms of anxiety and agitation, shows a non- familial pattern and closely related to stressful life events. Bipolar depression is less common (about 25% of cases) which shows a familial pattern, appears in early adulthood and usually have no relation with external stress. Over a period of time more and more people are getting affected with it, therefore to deal with such an illness what is required is boosting the body s self-preservation power which Unani medicine strongly focuses on. Know when to seek medical help The first step to treat any condition is to acknowledge that problem exists when the signs are noticed. The most prominent symptoms of depression are developing a strong sense of loss, loss of energy, inexplicable sadness, fatigue and lack of interest about the things happening around. In the majority of depression cases, lack of sleep or a disturbed sleep is also another striking symptom. Even, unexplained physical problems like headaches or back pain, weight loss, reduced appetite, restlessness, feeling agitated all the time are also very common symptoms of depression. Identifying the factors causing the issue Determining any specific factors that trigger depression in one is impossible. But it is definitely stress and anxiety that gives rise to this emotional illness. A certain amount of stress is natural in everyone s life. But when the pressure of matching with one s ambition, aptitude and inertia increase excessively and the person fails to cope with his own and others expectations, then the emotional crisis gives birth to depression. How Unani helps in combating depression? According to Unani medicine, illness is natural processes, and their symptoms are nothing but the reaction of the body to them. In Unani medicine, it is believed that the body has its own self-preservation power that helps in maintaining a balance between its humor, such as blood, yellow bile, phlegm, etc., it facilitates the body to strengthen and regain its natural balance. And when it comes to treating depression with Unani, it works in three steps. The first is distracting the mind through various distractive methods and adaptive changes, then excreting the problems caused by mental illness and lastly strengthening the mind as well as the heart through proper drug therapy, if necessary, diet therapy and regimental therapy also. The principles of treatment based upon which depression is treated by the Unani physicians are very much testified by the modern medicine for its usefulness as well as efficacy. When the intense sadness due to depression continues to last for days to weeks and sometimes months, it can take a toll on your day to day life, interrupting you from living normally and happily. Remember, depression is caused due to certain changes in the brain chemistry which requires immediate medical attention. And since, Unani aims towards aiding the natural processes of the body without causing any side-effects, treating depression with Unani can be advantageous, no doubt. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
1794 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I have recovered from depression 2 months ago but still I have difficulty learning and studying. I always keep thinking how to improve this. Is it persistent depression. Do I need to take meds for it?

Dr. Amit Agarwal 87% (755 ratings)
MSW, Clinical Hypnotherapy, MBA, Post Graduation in Counselling
Psychologist, Guwahati
I think you should contact a qualified counsellor or hypnotherapist in years area. Depression has an underlying cause and when the psychological cause or emotion is taken care of through the above mentioned therapies the same may disappear and you will feel normal.

My question is how stress free in our life how to manage the stress ,depression and anxiety.

Dr. Sadique Bhati 89% (232 ratings)
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), MA Clinical Psychology, Diploma In Hypnotherapy, Diploma In Naturopathy & Yogic Science (DNYS), Certificate In Naturopathy & Yoga
Psychologist, Nagpur
Dear Lybrate user Stress, depression and anxiety have become very common these days. Everybody is having some sort of stress. Stress, depression and anxiety all these are psychological and Psychotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy works great in managing stress and getting rid of anxiety as we identify the stressful situations, stressors and triggers and teach how to deal with, manage and/or avoid them. Same goes for anxiety and depression. Whats making you anxious and depressed, the preoccupations and the automatic negative thoughts etc. We work on all these things so that you get to live a healthy happy and a desired life. Contact me for more information regarding this and a free pre therapeutic consultation. Take care. Good luck.

I am in love with a girl who is about to get married next month. We met before three months. We use to chat daily on Whatsapp and I use to talk to her every time. We both use to flirt wit each other and it was a healthy flirt nothing serious. She met me on valentine day but her father called her and shouted at her. She also asked whether I wanna say something on that day but I thought it’s not the right time. Now after that she has started ignoring me and does’t chat like her before. I am going into depression is it advisable that I send her a long feeling message from the beginning till now whatever I had msgd her and felt about her daily messages to remind her that she was the best feeling in my life. Or else leave it as she is getting arrange marriage next month itself.

Dr. Saul Pereira 91% (40719 ratings)
Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist, Bangalore
You have to leave it. She has already chosen her course of action when she obeyed her father and since then has been cold-shouldering you. Why would you then want to disturbed her peace. Even if her decision is wrong, who are we to judge? It would be disrespectful of you to continue to tease her affections for you if she has made her decision. Go find another girl without comparing with this one and choose wisely someone who is free and not spoken for already. You will find that person if you are sensible and patient.
12 people found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Work Anxiety - How Best It Can Be Handled?

Dr. Ajay Sharma 87% (20 ratings)
Psychologist, Indore
Work anxiety has harmful effects on one s health. True or False? Take this quiz to know more.
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Anxiety - Know How It Can Be Treated!

Dr. Kalrav Mistry 86% (102 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Ahmedabad
Anxiety is an essential part of life as it is protective and stimulating in nature. Whether you are walking down a dark street or you are about to give a test, normal anxiety is helpful to you. But an intervention is necessary when it becomes more than just a normal anxiety as it may manifest itself as an anxiety disorder. Take this interesting quiz to find out how much you know about anxiety.
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Headaches - Types and Reasons!

Dr. Aparna Pradhan 87% (88 ratings)
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People experiencing a throbbing headache can benefit from the use of cloves. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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Making Your Body Baby Ready - Are You Doing It Right?

Dr. Yuthika Bajpai Sharma 88% (38 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Kanpur
Depression or other mental health issues could cause problems in conceiving. True or false? Take this quiz to find out now.
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Depression - Exercise To Get Over It!

Dr. Safiya M S 87% (20 ratings)
MS - Counselling and Psychotherapy, Diploma in Psychological Medicine , MBBS
Psychiatrist, Bangalore
Not having enough sunlight can make you feel depressed. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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36 people took this quiz

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