Do you feel persistently sad, stressed, and uninterested in daily activities? Well, you may be suffering from depression. However, you are not alone. According to the World Health Organization, depression is one of the leading causes of disability globally. Fortunately, there are multiple treatment approaches for depression. This article focuses on the symptoms, causes, and treatment for depression.
What is Depression?
It is a mood-related condition that makes experience persistent sadness and loss of interest. In comparison with mood fluctuations, depression is an ongoing problem. Thus, the symptoms may last from several weeks up to years. This condition affects people of all ages and genders. Typically, people experience depression differently, but generally, the disorder interferes with your daily work, relationships, and wellness. Without proper treatment, depression can become a severe medical condition and a threat to life.
The following are the significant symptoms of depression:
- Reduced interest in daily activities and pleasures
- A feeling of worthlessness and low self-esteem
- Change in appetite accompanied by unintentional weight gain or loss
- Restlessness and easy agitation
- Thinking and concentration challenges
- Suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide
- Fatigue and insomnia
There are two main types of depressions, depending on the severity of symptoms. The most severe form of depression is major depressive disorder (MDD). In this case, the patient feels consistent sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness for more than a couple of weeks. Then there is persistent depressive disorder (PDD). This type of depression is much milder than MDD. The symptoms include loss of interest, hopelessness, and lack of productivity spread over several years.
Causes of Depression
There is no specific cause of depression in the medical world. However, there are several trigger factors. For starters, there is a connection between depression and genetics. Thus, one has a higher risk of developing depression in case of family history. Then, depression can result from early childhood trauma that affects one's capacity to deal with stress factors. Again, changes in the brain's neurotransmitter levels and conditions like bipolar disorder, insomnia, and chronic illnesses may lead to depression. Lastly, social factors such as loss of loved ones, divorce, or unemployment may trigger the disorder.
Depression Treatment Methods
There are three main treatment approaches for depression. For starters, doctors can prescribe medication to treat moderate or severe depression. The commonly used drugs are anti-depressants, antianxiety, and antipsychotic medicines. One may also take herbal medicine and supplements, although the FDA does not regulate them. Essentially, these drugs help to regulate moods by acting on different neurotransmitters.
Depression treatment can take the form of psychotherapy. In this case, the patient speaks with a therapist in a counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy session. Such sessions occur in individual, family, or group contexts and enhance coping mechanisms or change habits. Besides, the patient can undertake alternative therapies such as acupuncture, meditation, electroconvulsive and light therapy.
The last method for depression treatment is lifestyle changes. Primarily, you can prevent and manage depression by taking good care of yourself through healthy relationships, leisure activities, and enough sleep. Besides, eating healthy diets helps to reduce physical health problems that may trigger mental health issues. Moreover, physical exercise and avoiding alcohol or drugs makes one feel better, which relieves mild depression.
Do not let depression affect your physical and mental functionality. Instead, consult a medical professional and explore the wide range of depression treatment approaches.