Depression

Depression and treatment options

Depression is a feeling of extreme despondency along with feelings of inadequacy and a general hopelessness. There is often a lack of energy and difficulty in concentrating or interest in life.

Suffering from the following symptoms for a period of at least 2 weeks is considered depression. Tiredness and loss of energy, persistent sadness, loss of self-confidence or self esteem, difficulty concentrating, not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting, feelings of guilt or hopelessness, sleeping issues, avoiding social gatherings, unable to function, loss of appetite, physical aches or pains, suicidal thoughts, self harm.

Types of depression

There are several types of depression each which have their own varying signs and symptoms as well as causes.

Major depression is when your symptoms affect your ability to work, sleep, study, eat and enjoy once pleasurable activities.

Chronic depression is when the depressed mood has been present for 2 or more years. This is less severe than major depression and will usually not disable a person from day to day living.

Atypical depression is when the following conditions are experienced overeating, oversleeping, fatigue, extreme sensitivity to rejection or moods that worsen or improve in direct response to events.

Bipolar or manic depression is when the mood alternates between clinical depression and extreme elation or mania.

Seasonal affective depression (SAD) occurs in fall or winter, ending in spring or early summer – in very rare cases this may be reversed, starting in summer and finishing in winter.

Psychotic depression is when delusional thoughts or other symptoms of psychosis occur alongside the regular symptoms of depression.

Finally postpartum depression happens to about 10% of all mothers, usually within 1 month of delivery.

Causes of depression

Depression can be genetically linked, caused by certain medications, a thyroid imbalance, hormone complications, or it may be caused by chronic illness or pain, or grief.

Medications such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and beta-blockers have been shown to cause depression in older people.

Examples of chronic illnesses that may trigger depression are diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, HIV/AIDS, and MS. Hyperthyroidism may also cause feelings of depression to arise.

Depression and anxeity disorders

Anxiety is a body’s way of preparing for times of stress or danger, which can become a problem when it interferes with daily lifestyle. Most people who are depressed will have some additional feelings of anxiety.

Symptoms of severe anxiety are inner tension, agitation, fear of losing control, dread of something catastrophic, irritability, and feelings of detachment. These can often be accompanied by physical symptoms such as racing heart, fast breathing, shortness of breath, dry mouth, tremor, sweating, and feelings of sickness or butterflies in the stomach.

Conclusion

There are many types of depression, which require different levels of treatment, and which have their own specific set of signs and symptoms, although many overlap.

Depression can occur for many different reasons, and can often occur without any prior warning. Getting the correct treatment as quickly as possible is vital to recover from it; treatment varies from a wait and see option for the less severe cases, to talking through any problems.

However medications for those which occur due to issues with hormone imbalances or hyperthyroidism will be needed.

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