Depression is a continuous feeling of helplessness and sadness. Feelings of despair or helplessness are normal at some phases of life, however, if one feels sad all the time without any reason, then he or she is said to be depressed. Symptoms are:
• Feeling hopeless and helpless
• Loss of interest in socializing and day to day activities
• Tiredness and exhaustion
• Loss of concentration
• Irritability and anger
• More indulgence in alcohol
HOW IS DEPRESSION DIAGNOSED?
There are no physical tests for depression, though the health care practitioner may examine and do some urine or blood tests to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms, such as an underactive thyroid. The causes for depression can be:
• Loneliness and isolation
• Lack of social support
• Recent stressful life experiences
• Family history of depression
• Marital or relationship problems
• Financial strain
• Early childhood trauma or abuse
• Alcohol or drug abuse
• Unemployment or underemployment
• Health problems or chronic pain
HOW IS DEPRESSION TREATED?
Depressed mood may not require professional treatment, and may be a normal reaction to life events, a symptom of some medical condition, or a side effect of some drugs or medical treatments. A prolonged depressed mood, especially in combination with other symptoms, may lead to a diagnosis of a psychiatric or medical condition which may benefit from treatment. Different subdivisions of depression have different treatment approaches. In the United States, it has been estimated that two-thirds of people with depression do not actively seek treatment. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 2009 guidelines indicate that antidepressants should not be routinely used for the initial treatment of mild depression because the risk-benefit ratio is poor. The treatment of depression is best managed by lifestyle choices, which includes, diet, sleep, and exercise. A recent meta-analysis also indicated that most antidepressants, besides fluoxetine, do not seem to offer a clear advantage for children and adolescents in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder
DID YOU KNOW?
Women have a higher rate of major depression than men.
Feeling a bit low from time to time is pretty normal and may happen when there is some sort of temporary pressure in life. But when you constantly feel stressed out and experience the emotions of hopelessness and despair all the time, you may have a problem. This condition is called depression. Depression can make your daily activities of life very problematic, and sometime even make it difficult for you to get through the day. It is known to be a common mood disorder, which affects about 350 million individuals across the world.
The kind of depression one suffers from generally varies from individual to individual. Some common symptoms of depression include-
• Feeling desperate and helpless
• You may lose interest in day to day activities
• Loss of appetite or increase in hunger pangs (resulting in excessive weight loss or gain)
• Changes in sleep pattern
• You may become short tempered and irritable
• You may feel tired and lethargic
• You starts self-loathing
• You may experience problems with concentration
• Aches and pain becomes common
• Obsessive compulsive disorder
Depression has been characterized into 5 different types namely-
1. Persistent depressive disorder
2. Perinatal depression
3. Psychotic Depression
4. Seasonal affective disorder
5. Bipolar disorder
Among the mentioned types of depression, bipolar depression is slightly different. The initial symptoms of a patient with bipolar disorder is very similar to that of depression. Thus, many a times the condition may be misdiagnosed.
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms of depression be sure to visit a doctor. Initially your doctor may recommend some depression tests, which includes blood tests, CT scans and ECG. These tests are generally done to rule out the possibility of any physical problem which may be causing your depression.
Once your doctor diagnoses the cause of depression he may prescribe medicines or psychotherapy sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist, who will help you figure out how to overcome depression. In case of many individuals suffering from depression a combination of both is recommended.
Depression is not a condition which affects adults only, your child may also be susceptible to depression, which may have grave consequences in his social and personal life. If your child shows symptoms of persistent sadness and lack of interest in things, take him to a counsellor who specializes in child psychology. Regular counselling may do wonders for your child’s health and emotional state.
It is best that you seek treatment for depression as soon as possible. If left untreated this condition can lead to serious consequences.
Lybrate offers a great opportunity to consult the top psychologists and psychiatrists and seek their help either through online means or face to face. Through Lybrate you can choose and consult the top doctors all across India. Locate the top psychologists, psychiatrists and general physicians in Rajkot, Surat, Thane, Thoothukudi, Vadodara etc. Lybrate.com is a great platform which offers online support to your medical issues. Subscribe to Lybrate.com and contact the doctor of your choice for tips on how to overcome depression and Bipolar disorder.