Depression

Depression

 Clinically described as mood disorder, depression entails extreme feelings of sadness, exhaustion, emptiness and disinterest in life, causing headache, cramps and nausea. The feelings range from a general lack of interest in daily activities to intense traumatic episodes of breakdown, and in the process can also implore extreme thoughts of suicide. However, the fact that the circumstances under which a person ends up in depression whereas another circumvents the same while going through a distressing transient phase still remains elusive.

Causes

Depression can influence anyone at any point of life; women are more likely to be affected than men. Common causes of depression are:

  • Psychological factors such as long term illness or stigmatized socially
  • Life events like bereavement, separation, finances or work related issues
  • Family history of extreme mood swings and suicide
  • Childhood trauma or abuse, permanently altering an individual’s ability to cope
  • Substance abuse
  • Post-partum emotional distress and hormonal changes
  • Variation in structural and chemical composition of brain

Symptoms

Depression is mostly a recurring problem and the symptoms of depression can exist for long durations, depending on the extent of influence. The commons signs are

  • Sadness, anxiety and emptiness
  • Hopelessness and pessimism
  • Irritation and restlessness
  • Guilty and worthless feelings
  • Not gain happiness from things that would otherwise have before
  • Lack of focus or remember and poor decision making
  • Loss of appetite, weight fluctuation and change in routine
  • Sluggishness, sleeplessness or oversleeping
  • Suicidal tendency
  • Pain, persistent headaches or digestion related disorders without any clarity of cause

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Treatment

Medications, psychotherapy or both used in conjugation have positive results. Anti-depressants are commonly prescribed to alter the biochemical processes that manage mood and stress. Cognitive-behavioural therapy or talk therapy are some alternative methods to help overcome depression, and invoke a person to speak and share and heal. Brain stimulation therapy such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is another way to treat depression. For rapid response, lack of stimulus from medication or as 1st line intervention ECT involves few sessions spread over few weeks wherein patient is given electrical impulses are not painful. Besides ECT, magnetic stimulation and nerve therapies are also used for treatment.

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