What is Depression?
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.
An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way a person eats, sleep, feels about himself or herself and thinks about things.
A person who is depressed usually experiences several of the following symptoms: feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or pessimism; lowered self-esteem and heightened self-depreciation; a decrease or loss of ability to take pleasure in ordinary activities; reduced energy and vitality; slowness of thought or action; loss of appetite; and disturbed sleep or insomnia.
Examples of different types of depression include bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder (clinical depression), persistent depressive disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.
- Seasonal depression: It is also known as seasonal affective disorder and clinically known as a major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern.
It is depression that’s related to certain seasons. For most people, it tends to happen during the winter months.
Seasonal depression may get worse as the season progresses and can lead to suicidal thoughts.
Once spring rolls around, symptoms tend to improve. This might be related to changes in your bodily rhythms in response to the increase in natural light.
The symptoms include daily feelings of sadness, hopelessness or unworthiness, increased need for sleep, weight gain, social withdrawal, and many others.
- Bipolar disorder: This was used to be known as ‘manic depression’ because of the person experiences periods of depression and periods of mania, with periods of normal mood in between.
However, Bipolar Disorder is a widely used term. Bipolar disorder seems to be most closely linked to family history.
During this disorder misdiagnosed as depression, alcohol or drug abuse, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (∫) or schizophrenia occur.
Major depression: A depression type where a dark mood is all-consuming and one loses interest in activities, even ones that are usually pleasurable.
Symptoms of this type of depression include trouble sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, loss of energy, and feeling worthless.
Thoughts of death or suicide may occur.
For some people with severe depression that isn’t alleviated with psychotherapy or antidepressant medications, electroconvulsive therapy may be effective.
- Psychotic depression: It is a term used when the major depressive disorder is associated with delusions, hallucinations, and feelings of paranoia.
It is less common than other types of depression. Psychotic depression is severe and has a better response rate when treated with a combination of an anti-depressant and antipsychotics, rather than just one of these treatments alone.
Doctors need to be careful to examine side-effects, and sometimes electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has a better result.
Causes Of Depression :
- Death or loss: Losing a close family member and sadness and grief resulting due To it, through natural or intentional, may increase the risk of depression.
- Disease: Sometimes it is a mind game. People who suffer from a particular disease develop a feeling of loneliness which eventually leads to depression.
One’s perception to be useless in life develops. So depression co-exists with a major illness or may be triggered by another medical condition.
- Brain structure: There’s a greater risk for depression if the frontal lobe of your brain is less active. However, scientists don’t know if this happens before or after the onset of depressive symptoms.
- Genes: Sometimes people are genetically vulnerable to depression.
Likewise, several genes influence the stress response, leaving us more or less likely to become depressed in response to trouble.
- Drugs: Sometimes, symptoms of depression or mania are a side effect of certain drugs, such as steroids or blood pressure medication.
Most people who take the medications listed will not experience mood changes, although having a family or personal history of depression may make you more vulnerable to such a change.
Similarly, most people who take the medications listed will not experience mood changes, although having a family or personal history of depression may make you more vulnerable to such a change.
Tests For Depression ;
Diagnosing Depression and Lab Tests
- Your doctor can usually tell if you have depression by asking you specific questions and doing a physical exam.
Your doctor may, however, ask for lab tests to rule out other diagnoses.
Your doctor will likely do blood tests to check for medical conditions that may cause depressive symptoms.
He or she will use the blood tests to check for such things as anemia as well as thyroid or possibly other hormones, and sometimes calcium and vitamin D levels.
After discussing your mood and the way it affects your life, your doctor may also ask you questions that are used specifically to screen for depression.
It’s important to keep in mind that the inventories and questionnaires the doctor may use are just one part of the medical process of diagnosing depression.
These tests, however, can sometimes give your doctor better insight into your mood. He or she can use them to make a diagnosis with more certainty.
Your answers to these questions will lead to progress and doctors’ viewpoint on your health; Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale, Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
- Identifying Vulnerability
In this test, RNA markers correlate with a higher likelihood of developing depression. This was first introduced in 2014.
Pharmacologic testing may also be done to obtain an accurate amount of depression developing and future vulnerabilities
- Exercise: 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.
- Eating Healthy: It is said that omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and tuna) and folic acid (such as spinach and avocado) could help ease depression.
- Hospitalization: For people who are so severely depressed as to be unable to function, or who are suicidal and cannot be safely cared for in the community, psychiatric hospitalization may be necessary.
- Stress Reduction: Make changes in your life to manage and reduce stress. Too much stress exacerbates depression and puts you at risk for future depression.
Take the aspects of your life that stress you out, such as work overload or unsupportive relationships, and find ways to minimize their impact.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture, the technique of using fine needles on specific points on the body for therapeutic purposes, is increasingly being investigated as a treatment for depression, with some research studies showing promising results.
If you decide to try acupuncture, make sure that you find a licensed qualified professional.
Now, let’s make the topic interesting by mentioning some well-known quotes about depression :
- “We hide to try our feelings, but we forget that our eyes speak.”
- “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also harder to bear.
The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden. It is easier to say, “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken”.
- “Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time.
It’s the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It’s wanting friends, but hate socializing.
It’s wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It’s feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”
- “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something
That’s the only thing that never fails.
You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it.
That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you.
Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
- “Noble deeds are the best cures for depression.”
- ” ‘Depression’ is the most threatening ten letter word. ”
- ” Depression is so much misunderstood and still so powerful.
If you asked me what I was feeling, I would tell you I actually feel absolutely nothing, I try so hard to feel something but nothing works.
- ” My thoughts were destroying me, I tried not to think but the silence was a killer too. ”
Question And Answers On Depression (FAQ’s):
Q: Do children get depression?
ANS: Yes. It is estimated that 2.5% of children in the U.S. suffer from depression.
Children who are depressed experience changes in their behavior that are persistent and disruptive to their normal lifestyle, usually interfering with relationships with friends, schoolwork, special interests, and family life.
Q: Does Depression means always being sad?
ANS: Though depression is often mistaken for a person just simply being sad, they are not always identical.
Depression, however, differs from sadness in its duration and intensity.
Depression is experienced daily and extends into weeks and months causing a decrease in how we function at work, with family and friends, and physically feeling drained and hopeless.
That’s not normal and it often gets better when we get help.
Q: What are some common signs of depression that are overlooked?
ANS: Ambivalence, an inability or marked difficulty in making decisions, can be an indicator of depression.
Depression can cause a person to lose confidence in themselves and therefore not trust their own judgment.
Indifference, simply put, just not caring about things one way or another anymore, is also a characteristic of depression.
Increased irritability, which you may only feel internally and not express to those around you, can result from depression.
This could be experienced as a lack of patience and generally feeling annoyed at people and situations in your life that would typically roll off of you.
Q: Can depression be prevented?
ANS: Of-course, yes! Steps such as healthy lifestyle habits can help prevent depression or lessen the chances of it happening again.
Q: Are sleeping disorders, anxiety and overthinking signs of depression?
ANS: Yes, they can be. Depression-related ruminations often result in insomnia and anxiety.
But it also important to realize that there are many other causes for anxiety (e.g. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, phobias) and sleep problems (e.g. sleep apnea) besides depression.
Treating depression can sometimes relieve all these associated symptoms.
Conclusion / My Final comments :
Depression is a major problem in our society which almost every second person faces.
Whether it is a school, college or university student or an unemployed person, etc, all in a way or other suffer depression. This report has already discussed the causes, tests, and treatments of depression.
Further people suffering depression should remain calm and tackle the situation. I know that remaining cool in these circumstances is not that easy but we have to make collaborative efforts to take steps on this issue.
To conclude with the only way I can help you is to offer you my help. If you are suffering from depression, feel free to ask questions in the comment section below.
I hope you learned something and have a good time reading!
Thank You For Reading!