Depression Key Facts: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments have provided the basic information about depression causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a consistently low mood/feeling down, sadness, and loss of interest in pleasurable activities.
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People who are depressed are mostly found alone in enclosed places. Quite a huge sum of the population today often mistakes the fluctuation of mood that people experience in their normal daily living, for Depression. Depression is definitely a different ball game entirely.
Temporary emotional instability to the challenges of life does not constitute depression. Likewise, even the feeling of grief resulting from the death of a loved one is not depression if, it does not persist.
Depression affects how you feel, think, behave, and could result in a variety of emotional and physical challenges. It makes you feel as if life is not worth living and the world should end immediately.
Research by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that depression is the most common illness worldwide and the prime cause of disability. WHO estimates that 350 million people are affected by depression all over the world.
And depression seems to affect more women than men. However, depression is a condition that should be addressed as fast as possible because it can pose a defect in the quality of life and health.
Depression can also become more severe if left unattended to, resulting in chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and even premature death.
Depression may require long-term treatment depending on how chronic it is. A of people with depression feel better with psychotherapy/medication or both.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of Depression are as follows:
- Reduced pleasure or interest in the activities they used to enjoy
- Feeling worthless
- Loss of sexual desire
- Unconscious weight loss/loss of appetite
- Inability to think/make decision
- Slowed movement and speech
- Thought of death
- Suicide attempts and many others.
Factors that can cause Depression
The causes of depression could be linked to a complex combination of factors that include:
- Environmental factors
People with depression appear to have physical changes in their brain, which could be linked to:
1. Brain chemistry
The body has Neurotransmitters (chemical messengers that transmit signals around the body). An alteration/change in the function of these neurotransmitters, and how they interact with the human neurocircuit, could result in depression.
2. Hormones Change in body
Hormones Change in body balance of hormones could trigger depression. Body hormone change could be due to gestation, weeks, or months after delivery (postpartum), thyroid problems, menopause, etc.
3. Inherited traits
Though, experts are yet to find the specific gene that causes depression. But, Depression is common in people whose blood relatives also suffer from this condition (it could be either recessive or dominant).
The following factors can cause depression if not checked:
- Low self-esteem
- A difficult relationship can cause depression
- Financial challenges can cause depression
- The loss of a loved one can cause depression
- Sexual abuse( such as rape) can cause depression
- Stressful events can cause depression
- Alcoholism can cause depression
- Lesbianism can cause depression
- Gay can cause depression
- Bisexual/transgender can cause depression
- History of mental health disorders can cause depression
- Chronic illness (such as cancer, stroke, heart diseases, liver disease, etc.)
- Pessimism can cause depression
- Drug abuse can also cause depression etc.
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To reduce the risk of developing depression, you are advised to:
- Increase your resilience and boost your self-esteem
- Reach out to family and friends especially, when things seem rough. (share your problems/talk it out). You might even get a solution by doing that.
- Consult a Doctor at the earliest sign of any health challenge.
Diagnosis/Treatment of Depression
Depression is mental instability. The diagnosis and treatment of depression begin with consulting a mental health expert. They are psychologists. They’ll help enumerate the causes, ensure a proper diagnosis, and proffer effective solutions/treatments.
There are basically three components to the management of depression:
This is all about loved ones/family members coming around to be with the depressed. This could help reduce thinking and ease relief to an extent.
This is done by a medical psychologist. It is mostly the first therapy given to the depressed. This therapy is also known as talking/verbal therapy.
The psychologist runs cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy on the patient to test the functionality of the brain. CBT may be delivered face-to-face, in a group, or over the telephone with one or more therapists.
Interpersonal therapy is conducted to help patients identify emotional challenges (such as relationship failure/heartbreak or robbery attack) and how these, in turn, affect mood and can be changed.
3. Drug treatment
Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic, selective serotonin, and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) are prescribed by medical doctors to patients.
These antidepressants, inhibit the reuptake of neurotransmitters in the body and dominate the nerves within the brain.
Antidepressants should not be taken without a Doctor’s prescription. Any intention to even stop taking an antidepressant should as well be communicated to the Doctor, to avoid relapse.
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Take note of the following:
1. Exercise increases the level of endorphin in the body which helps stimulate norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter), related to mood. This might as well help against mild depression (minor/early stage).
2. Electroconvulsive therapy involves sending small electric currents to the brain to reverse certain mental health conditions. Electroconvulsive therapy is administered only in severe cases of depression in which the patient refuses to respond to drug treatment.
Therefore, life is all about up and downs, do not allow a temporary phase of life to get the best out of you.
Life goes on no matter what! Keep moving…be optimistic and associate with the right people. AVOID DEPRESSION!!!
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