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Overview

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

Popular Health Tips

Feeling Needy - Is There A Way To Reduce That Feeling?

Dr. Srikant Sharma 87% (24 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Feeling Needy - Is There A Way To Reduce That Feeling?
Man is different from the other species in that we are social beings. One of the main differentiators is our constant need to 'connect' with our fellow beings. Be it family or friends or society at large, we constantly need to be connected to our near and dear ones and want attention, affection, and assurance. We need to respect this basic desire and appreciate that there is nothing wrong in feeling needed. Problems arise when this feeling to be needed gets excessive. There is a significant constant demand from the needy person, especially from those who are close to them. Some cases where neediness is demonstrated are in new relationships. In the beginning, there is a great urge to please and therefore a greater focus on interacting with them. There is a fear of losing attention, there is insatiable excessive demand for attention - be it pleas, accusations, or demands - so as to not feel abandoned and deserted. Neediness is also quite evident in people with depression. Again, an attempt to not be abandoned by their near and dear ones. By making a conscious effort, the neediness can be reduced, thereby making the relationships smoother and less painful to both the parties involved. As the saying goes - 'acknowledging the problem is half the problem solved'. Needy people should realize or accept if told that there is an issue and make a conscious effort to work on reducing neediness. 1. Divert attention - As simple as it might sound, it is equally effective. Indulge in whatever interests you - exercise, meditation, dance, sing, etc. The idea is to divert attention so that the urge to feel needy and act on that instinct is reduced. This reduces the fear of being lonely and works magic. The busier you get, the less bored you are. As they say, be alone but not lonely. 2. Clarity in communication - One of the intricacies of neediness is making unclear demands. Sadly, quite often, the person does not know what he wants, and so are the demands or requests which are equally unclear. Once you are aware that your neediness is making you do this, make an effort to clearly communicate what you actually want. This reduces the stress on both the parties involved and leads to a happier engagement. 3. Clarity in relationships - Take a step back and see if your neediness is affecting any major relationships. If yes, revisit and clarify. Make an attempt and reestablish the relationships. If it is your truly near and dear ones, they will be very forthcoming and understanding. 4. Move on - In cases where your neediness has affected another person, be wise to accept their wishes and not be more 'needy' or clingy. This acceptance will make way for a lot of healthier relationships as you learn to deal with accepting your issues. 5. Socialize - Use your hobbies to make more friends and socialize more. Having more people to interact with reduces your need to be accepted by the same people. You have more people to rely on and might make more friends for keeps. These are some simple ways to reduce neediness on others, but as mentioned, the first step is to accept and then work on ways to reduce it.
1 person found this helpful

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.
3 people found this helpful

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.
3 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 45, suffering in mental depression, fear, inferiority complex etc. Since long. Is there any medicine to recover from it. If yes please tell to whom I should consult Psychologist or Psychiatrist?

Dr. Saul Pereira 93% (38518 ratings)
Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist, Bangalore
You must go and meet with a counselor immediately and if that person advises that you meet with a doctor (psychiatrist) you must do so and cooperate to your utmost. Please visit these professionals along with your parents. In the meantime please do the following sincerely because you could resolve the problem better with good cooperation: Have a good night’s sleep, have a good breakfast of more proteins, meditate often, remain free of stress, eat a lot of fiber, nuts, avocado, exercise regularly, eat dark chocolate, do Yoga meditation exercises, etc. I suggest you do the opposite of what this depression makes you feel like doing (actually, not doing): you will need to fight this condition. You must become active; stay upright during the daylight time; meet people; never sleep during the day, wake up by 6 am every day, play some active games, especially contact games, do physical exercises, talk to people and join some social clubs, attend Yoga classes etc. Watch sitcoms on TV or comedies and cheer yourself up. Go for excursions in groups, for outings, camps, conferences, and religious conventions. Get a pet dog and spend time training it, exercising it and relating to it. Expose yourself to some sunlight every day, at least, 30 minutes but not in the scorching heat. Whatever happens, please incorporate these three important adaptations in your life: always be responsible, be respectful, and be functional. If you did these three, lots of things will go well in life. Please pray and have faith in God to alleviate your sufferings. Don’t wait for others to help. Use your own motivation, which might be at its lowest, but persevere and win this battle. Above all to be really happy, you need to live in love and for love. Learn all about emotions and how to handle them and that will get you out of the depression rather easily and quickly. A counselor is there only to facilitate you, all the hard word must come from you, and your cooperation with that person is very critical for your success. Be positive every day and learn to be contented with what you have. Do some left brain exercises: it is the happy brain. Here are a few suggestions: shut your left nostril and breathe, move your eyes from right to left and vice versa for at least half a minute at a time, and do calisthenic exercises with some form of counting, regularly. Whatever happens please cooperate with the therapy and do not discontinue until the condition is completely resolved.
7 people found this helpful

I am suffering from depression what can I do. I do not know that what kind of treatment I want to do.

Dr. Saul Pereira 93% (38518 ratings)
Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist, Bangalore
At your age this claim is serious. If you have depression then there are some major ramifications to take into account. I believe there may be some genetic predisposition or there has been some childhood issue, related to anger, that needs urgent attention. You must go and meet with a counselor immediately and if that person advises that you meet with a doctor you must do so and cooperate to your utmost. Please visit these professionals along with your parents. In the meantime please do the following sincerely because you could resolve the problem better with good cooperation: Have a good night’s sleep, have a good breakfast of more proteins, meditate often, remain free of stress, eat a lot of fiber, nuts, avocado, exercise regularly, eat dark chocolate, do Yoga meditation exercises, etc. I suggest you do the opposite of what this depression makes you feel like doing (actually, not doing): you will need to fight this condition. You must become active; stay upright during the daylight time; meet people; never sleep during the day, wake up by 6 am every day, play some active games, especially contact games, do physical exercises, talk to people and join some social clubs, attend Yoga classes etc. Watch sitcoms on TV or comedies and cheer yourself up. Go for excursions in groups, for outings, camps, conferences, and religious conventions. Get a pet dog and spend time training it, exercising it and relating to it. Expose yourself to some sunlight every day, at least, 30 minutes but not in the scorching heat. Whatever happens, please incorporate these three important adaptations in your life: always be responsible, be respectful, and be functional. If you did these three, lots of things will go well in life. Please pray and have faith in God to alleviate your sufferings. Don’t wait for others to help. Use your own motivation, which might be at its lowest, but persevere and win this battle. Above all to be really happy, you need to live in love and for love. Learn all about emotions and how to handle them and that will get you out of the depression rather easily and quickly. A counselor is there only to facilitate you, all the hard word must come from you, and your cooperation with that person is very critical for your success. Be positive every day and learn to be contented with what you have. Do some left brain exercises: it is the happy brain. Here are a few suggestions: shut your left nostril and breathe, move your eyes from right to left and vice versa for at least half a minute at a time, and do calisthenic exercises with some form of counting, regularly. Whatever happens please cooperate with the therapy and do not discontinue until the condition is completely resolved.
1 person found this helpful

Because of tension of study I got in depression. What can I do for this problem. Please help me.

Ms. Rachna Mishra 91% (141 ratings)
M.Sc - Applied Psychology, MS - Counselling and Psychotherapy, PG diploma in child guidance and family therapy
Psychologist, Delhi
Hie, If you are having one of that dark days of depression “ its okay “ Its okay to feel that darkness If you're going through some sort of depression, I know it feels bad, bad enough that it might be even so hard for you to get out of your bed but just remember “ depression comes to the people who uses it as fuel “ There are two types of people The one who becomes the victim Second is the one who accepts the fact that • Depression makes him/her stronger •Depression makes him/her wiser •Depression makes him/her grow I know its painful for you because life's freaking painful but suffering is a CHOICE Just remember • you are not built to be average You should study hard! I know, It can be stormy now but it won't rain forever. Someone wise said" everything in the end will eventually be okay and if its not okay then its not the end" AND JUST JUST READ THIS STORY. I had something similar to this when I was a senior in college. I had been so antisocial and fatigued, that I literally lost contact with people even in the next room and all down the hall in my dorm. I, of course, had reached a point where I had to at least pass every class that I was taking. I was in a relationship that I wasn't sure was right for me. And, I simply could not focus, and felt so sad. I happened to be taking a psych class. One day, after class, I followed my psych prof to his office and very nervously told him how I was feeling. His advice, of course, was given to me as a teacher, since we did not have a doctor patient relationship. This is a summary of his suggestions for me. He told me that I should make any decisions that I could, even if in the long run that decision had to be examined again. He felt that the inner debate on making a decision about my relationship was taking too much emotional energy. I was at a point where I just could not get any work done. He asked me what I thought the longest time was that I could study/do my work. I told him maybe 10 or 15 minutes. So he said to begin with 10 minutes. Take a break. Think about what you accomplished. Walk outside for a few minutes. When you go back into the dorm, say hello to anyone you see. Just hello and their name if you know it. If there are any doors wide open on the hall, just lean in a bit and say hello, and name. Then my next session should be 15 minutes. Then the same as above. He suggested that I have some kind of system to get me back on track after the breaks…have a friend check on me every hour or so, use a timer, have my parents call every hour, use an alarm clock…anything that would mark an ending and beginning to work. And then 20 more minutes of work and a break with leaving the dorm, saying hello to people, and thinking about whatever I wanted. He asked what I thought was reasonable break time and I just didn't know. So we talked about the most imposing things I needed to get done, and the amount of time that would take and the due date. So we decided that my breaks should be no more than 15 minutes. If there were things that took a larger block of time, like getting lunch or dinner, then I would extend the break to 30 to 40 minutes and then I returned to the work-break schedule. So after 15 min. Of work, then a break thinking about what I had accomplished, going outside, speaking to people was for the first 5 days, increasing to 20 min. Of work and then 30 minutes the last week. It worked those last few of weeks of school. I felt like a robot and that is exactly what I needed to survive that time period. He met with me again for an hour, after a week and then an hour the next week. Of course, he agreed to help me based on my agreeing to get therapy as soon as I finished up. In summary, I think what he was trying to do was stabilize me and put me into an autonomic program, so I could accomplish something, He also felt that I should at the least make human contact by speaking to people by name. Of course, what happened was people saying hi in return, asking about this or that, and a few people dropping by my room to chat. And, frequently, I found myself stretching out the length of the work time. I had to limit my talks with the person in my relationship, and not be with him for about 3 weeks. It was worth it since I did not want to lose an entire semester of school with only 3 weeks left. I hope this helps. You need to talk this through with your parents so that you can see a therapist as soon as possible. If for some reason you cannot approach your parents with this, either choose a teacher, a minister, other family member, or any adult who can be your advocate with your parents. You school or local community may also be able to provide help or counselling. By gaining some control over your life, it makes you feel more alive and helps you think about solutions. You will be in my thouGHT. THANK yOU All The best.

Hi doctor, My name is SAKSHI. I am 24. I have been suffering from anxiety and depression from 3 years. I had went to several doctors but it was not cured. I am losing my memory day by day. I had heard that bacopa is good for anxiety and depression. Can I use it if yes how much mg I need to take daily. Is it safe.

Dr. Amit Agarwal 90% (656 ratings)
MSW, Clinical Hypnotherapy, MBA, Post Graduation in Counselling
Psychologist, Guwahati
I am not supposed to recommend you any medication, would instead suggest you to contact any qualified homeopath in your area or any psychiatrist. Alternatively you may join some form of yoga. Relaxation or meditation and also pursue your hobby, it would help you relax. If need be you may approach a counsellor, with whom you can share your thoughts freely.
4 people found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Depression & Weight Management In Diabetic Patients!

Dr. Sushil Patel 89% (97 ratings)
MBBS, MD, FAIIDR
Diabetologist, Vadodara
Depression can hinder weight loss. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
Start Quiz

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.
Start Quiz

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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