Depression :Causes and Treatment

August 1, 2023 0 Comments

Depression is a chronic feeling of emptiness, sadness, or inability to feel pleasure that may appear to happen for no clear reason. It is distinct from grief and other emotions. It can undermine a person’s relationships, make working and maintaining good health very difficult, and in severe cases, may lead to suicide. In fact, depression contributes to nearly 40,000 suicides in the United States each year. It can affect adults, adolescents, and children.

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Depression (also known as major depression, major depressive disorder, or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks.

There are several types of depressive disorders. Clinical depression, or major depressive disorder, is often just called “depression.” It’s the most severe type of depression. Without treatment; depression can get worse and last longer. In severe cases, it can lead to self-harm or death by suicide. The good news is that treatments can be very effective in improving symptoms.

Causes

Its causes can vary from person to person. It’s often believed to result from a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.

Changes in brain chemistry or neurotransmitter imbalances can play a significant role in causing depression. For example, a decrease in serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine levels can affect mood regulation.

Family history of depression can increase the likelihood of developing the condition. If you have close relatives with depression, you may have a higher risk of experiencing it too.

Fluctuations in hormones, such as during pregnancy, postpartum, or menopause, can influence mood and contribute to depression.

Experiencing traumatic events, such as the loss of a loved one, physical or emotional abuse, accidents, or natural disasters, can trigger depression.

Suffering from long-term physical health issues or chronic pain can lead to depression due to the emotional and physical toll it takes.

Misuse or addiction to drugs and alcohol can alter brain chemistry and exacerbate depressive symptoms.  Stress or anxiety can contribute to the development of depression.

Certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem, pessimism, or being overly self-critical, can increase vulnerability to depression. Lack of social support and feelings of loneliness can contribute to feelings of hopelessness and depression. Significant life events, such as job loss, divorce, or relocation, can trigger depression, especially when they lead to a sense of loss or uncertainty. Early-life experiences, including neglect, abuse, or a dysfunctional family environment, can impact emotional well-being and increase the risk of depression later in life. Difficulties in coping with the death of a loved one or another type of loss can lead to depression.

Treatment

It is important to note that depression is a treatable condition. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s essential to seek professional help from a mental health provider. They can offer appropriate support and treatment options to manage and overcome depression.

Depression can also involve other changes in mood or behaviour  that include:

Increased anger or irritability, feeling restless or on edge, becoming withdrawn, negative, or detached ,increased engagement in high-risk activities, greater impulsivity ,increased use of alcohol or drugs, isolating from family and friends, inability to meet the responsibilities of work and family or ignoring other important roles, problems with sexual desire and performance.

Causes : Depression, even the most severe cases, can be treated. The earlier treatment begins, the more effective it is. Depression is usually treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.

Medications and psychotherapy are effective for most people with depression. Your primary care doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms. However, many people with depression also benefit from seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional.

If you have severe depression, you may need a hospital stay, or you may need to participate in an outpatient treatment program until your symptoms improve.

If a family member has responded well to an antidepressant, it may be one that could help you. Or you may need to try several medications or a combination of medications before you find one that works. This requires patience, as some medications need several weeks or longer to take full effect and for side effects to ease as your body adjusts.

Don’t stop taking an antidepressant without talking to your doctor first. Antidepressants aren’t considered addictive, but sometimes physical dependence (which is different from addiction) can occur.

 Stopping treatment abruptly or missing several doses can cause withdrawal-like symptoms, and quitting suddenly may cause a sudden worsening of depression. Work with your doctor to gradually and safely decrease your dose.

Being depressed can make you feel helpless. You’re not. Along with therapy and sometimes medication, there’s a lot you can do on your own to fight back. Changing your behaviour — your physical activity, lifestyle, and even your way of thinking — are all natural depression treatments.

 These tips can help you feel better — starting right now. Get in a routine. If you’re depressed, Depression can strip away the structure from your life. One day melts into the next. Setting a gentle daily schedule can help you get back on track.

When you’re depressed, you may feel like you can’t accomplish anything. That makes you feel worse about yourself. To push back, set daily goals for yourself.

It temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It may also have long-term benefits for people with depression. Regular exercise seems to encourage the brain to rewire itself in positive ways.

How much exercise do you need? You don’t need to run marathons to get a benefit. Just walking a few times a week can help. You can do meditation, yoga and go at the place where you feel relax and calm .

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Start by making some changes to your lifestyle. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try not to nap. Take all the distractions out of your bedroom — no computer and no TV. In time, you may find your sleep improves.

The next time you’re feeling terrible about yourself, use logic as a natural depression treatment. You might feel like no one likes you, but is there real evidence for that? You might feel like the most worthless person on the planet, but is that really likely? It takes practice, but in time you can beat back those negative thoughts before they get out of control.

 Push yourself to do something different. Go to a museum. Pick up a used book and read it on a park bench. Make time for things you enjoy. 

Depression is a silent killer .It takes hundreds of lives every year and  count is increasing day by day .To beat depression we have to stand united .We have to change our habits ,lifestyles and way of thinking towards life .We have to train our society to live stressless life .

Related links 

Psychological treatments: A call for mental-health science 2014-Jul-16

No dishonour in depression 2013-Jun-12

Mental health: On the spectrum 2013-Apr-24

Nature special: Depression

Nature special: The autism enigma

Nature special: Schizophrenia

Related external links

National Institute of Mental Health on depression

World Health Organization on depression

 

 

 

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