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Depression - A Real Illness That Is Often Ignored!

Written and reviewed by
DNB, Diploma In Psychological Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Psychiatrist, Mumbai  •  10 years experience
Depression - A Real Illness That Is Often Ignored!

Life is full of surprises, some are pleasant and some not so pleasant which makes all of us ride the roller coaster of emotions. Sadness is a part of life as well, in some cases, it tends to pass while in some it affects a person deeply; this is called depression. This is can affect your daily routine to a great extent.

What are the various types of depression?

  1. Major depression: Severe symptoms that can affect work, sleep, eating habits, study and all other activities of daily life.
  2. Persistent depressive disorder: The symptoms affect a patient for at least two years with several episodes of major depression accompanied by some period of less severe symptoms, but the signs somehow last for at least two years.
  3. Psychotic depression: This is the case when a person has some form of psychosis along with depression. This may include having false beliefs, delusions or hearing or seeing things that others don’t hear or see.
  4. Postpartum depression: This occurs in mothers of newborn’ when there are several hormonal and physical changes taking place accompanied by a new and utterly unknown responsibility.
  5. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): SAD is characterized by a depressed mood during the winter months when there is comparatively less sunlight. Light therapy along with anti-depressants and psychotherapy can lower the symptoms of SAD.
  6. Bipolar disorder: Though this condition is a lot different from depression but has been included here as it has episodes of extreme low moods. A person can have bouts of severe high moods also in this case.

When to seek medical help?
If you are consistently experiencing persistent sad or anxious mood, feeling hopeless, pessimistic or guilty, lower levels of energy, loss of interest or lack of concentration or thoughts of death, suicide or suicide attempts, it is essential to seek medical help to confirm if you are suffering from depression and proceed with the treatment process.

How can it be treated?
Even in very severe cases, depression can be treated. Most of the patients have a distinct improvement in their lives when put on antidepressant drugs, talk therapy or a combination of both. The earlier the symptoms are identified and communicated to the doctor, the easier it becomes to treat the patient effectively. At times, medicines or underlying medical conditions can create symptoms of depression which can be identified and addressed by the doctor accordingly. However, if no medical condition is found, psychological evaluation becomes necessary.

To win over depression, one must know that depression is a real illness which can affect in many different ways but is treatable. So, if the symptoms are noticed, the first step to take is to make an appointment with the doctor. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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