Depression is the leading cause of suicide worldwide. Approximately 21 million people in the U.S. suffer from depression at some time in their lives. Depression not only affects mental health but also hurts physical health. Statistics show that depression is more common in women, but men also suffer from it but do not talk about their feelings because of stigma. Many clinical research organizations conduct clinical trials of depression to help thousands of people cope with mental health problems. Depression is an enduring psychological problem.
It takes a lot of time and effort to fully overcome negative emotions and feelings of hopelessness. In this blog, we will discuss depression and depression treatment strategies in detail.
Depressive disorders (DR) are one of the most disabling conditions in the world, having a significant negative impact on daily activities, quality of life, cognitive function, employment, and productivity.
The complexity of MDD, which often encompasses multiple chronic and acute conditions, including both physical and psychiatric disorders, poses a challenge to researchers studying the disease. In particular, MDD patients with multiple symptoms, an unclear diagnosis, and an erratic response to treatment can be very difficult to treat.
What happens during a depressive episode?
A major depressive episode lasts at least 14 days, and during that episode, the person has one or more of the following depressive symptoms
- Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
- Weight gain or loss
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in former favorite activities or suicidal thoughts
Even if the person tries to improve, these symptoms can be frustrating and difficult to change. People with a major depressive disorder often have periods of depression.
How is depression diagnosed?
Generally, all illnesses are diagnosed through laboratory tests. However, this does not apply to the diagnosis of mental disorders such as major depressive disorder.
Your doctor must know certain symptoms of depression to properly diagnose and treat depression. He or she may ask a few general questions to find out if depression is present. Although the physical exam determines the patient’s general health, the doctor may also get other information from the patient that is important in diagnosing depression. For example, the patient may provide information about his or her daily mood, activities, and lifestyle.
Diagnosing depression is often challenging because clinical depression can manifest in different ways. For example, some people with clinical depression appear withdrawn and apathetic. Some may experience restlessness and even irritability. Excessive eating and sleeping habits may occur.
How do symptoms of depression lead to a diagnosis?
To be diagnosed with depression, a person must have at least five of the following symptoms.
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Attacks of anger
- Loss of interest
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Memory problems
- Suicidal thoughts
- Physical consequences of depression, such as back pain, headaches, and cramps.
Types of Depression
Major depressive disorder (MDD)
Symptoms that last longer than two weeks and interfere with daily life.
People with bipolar disorder alternate periods of depression with periods of extreme energy, also known as mania. During periods of depression, depressive symptoms such as loneliness, hopelessness, and lack of energy may occur.
Depression (before and after birth):
Women of childbearing age may experience periods of depression around or after giving birth.
This depression is milder than major depression and is also called a depressive disorder.
This is a severe premenstrual syndrome that lasts until the onset of menstruation.
This type of depression is associated with hallucinations and delusions.
Seasonal affective disorder:
It usually begins in late autumn with the change of season and lasts until the transition from spring to summer.
What causes depression?
Many different causes can lead to depression.
Chemicals in the brain:
Abnormalities in brain chemicals can cause depression.
If someone in your family already suffers from depression, you are more likely to develop depression yourself.
Stress, past traumatic events, isolation, and lack of social support can cause depression.
Long-term physical illnesses or conditions can cause depression. Depression often accompanies illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, or Parkinson’s disease.
Depression is a side effect of taking certain medicines. Alcohol and recreational drugs can cause or worsen depression.
People who have problems with control and are easily overwhelmed may be more likely to have depression.
The prognosis for people with depression
Depression can range from mild to severe, depending on symptoms. Once diagnosed, it needs to be treated as soon as possible to ensure a long and healthy life.
How is depression treated?
There are many ways to treat depression and some of them are listed below.
Exercise, adequate sleep, and time with loved ones can greatly relieve the symptoms of depression.
Talking to a psychologist to help you understand your problem can help you understand your symptoms better and help you manage them.
Complementary therapies can help relieve symptoms of depression.
Antidepressants work by changing the brain chemistry that causes depression.
Brain stimulation therapy:
Can be effective for people suffering from severe depression. Types of brain stimulation include electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and vagus nerve stimulation.
Support from your loved ones
It can be very difficult to treat depression alone. It is important to help and support your loved ones. Gratitude and kind words can be very helpful. Therefore, always thinking of others can help you in your recovery.
You can do the following to support someone with severe depression.
- Learn about depression by seeking it out and asking knowledgeable people in your area. Understand that it cannot be solved all at once.
- Try to listen to what they say. Listen to understand, not just react.
- Make them feel valued.
- People with depression need constant support and encouragement. Reminding them of their value from time to time can help them calm down.
- Recommend or suggest that they see a therapist to help them learn more about their symptoms and coping strategies.
Major depression is a serious illness that affects millions of people each year. It can occur at any age. Depression can hurt a person’s physical and mental Health. It is important to be aware of your symptoms and try to improve your lifestyle so that they do not get worse. The key to a quick recovery is a determination to get better. Remember that no one can help you more than yourself. Find clinical research organizations in the US that can help people with complex diseases.
In this blog, you can learn more about the main types of depression and how to treat them.