Depression is a mental illness characterized by intense feelings of sadness. You may also feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless. Not only does it affect you, but depression will also change your relationships with family and relatives.
Depression has a medical term that is “depressive disorder,” or “clinical depression.” This depression is a real illness and is not a sign of a person’s weakness or character defects. You must remember that depression can be treated and many people feel better after undergoing treatment.
In order to know if you suffer from depression, let’s have a look at the review about depression below.
What is depression?
Depression is a condition called severe depression or clinical depression. Depression can also be described as a mood disorder that causes feelings of sadness and loss of persistent interest.
What does depression do to you? It can affect your feelings, ways of thinking, and behaving, and can make you have various emotional and physical problems. If the sadness lasts for a few days or weeks, interferes with work or other activities with family or friends, or is suicidal, this is likely depression.
Discuss with your doctor if you feel you have symptoms of depression.
How common is depression?
Depression is a condition that often occurs in society. According to research, depression occurs in 80% of people at some time in their lives and can occur at any age. There are more than 264 million people suffer from depression in the world.
Depression is more common in women than men.
What causes depression?
There is no exact cause of depression. This is usually the result of a combination of various factors, they are:
- Genetic. People with a family history of depression are more likely to be depressed than those who have no family history of depression.
- Brain chemistry. People with depression have a different brain chemical than those who are not depressed.
- Stress. Losing a loved one, a troubled relationship, or a situation that can create stress, can lead to depression.
Who is at risk for depression?
Several factors in your life can increase your risk of depression. You may have a higher risk of depression if you experience:
- Difficult life phases, for example experiencing unemployment, divorce, poverty, although this event can last a long time, severe depression usually only occurs in people who do have a tendency for the disorder.
- Personality. You may find it difficult to cope with stress in life, or difficult to adapt to new situations.
- Genetic factors. People who have siblings with depression put themselves at a higher risk.
- Your history. Childhood trauma can change the way you respond to fear and stress. Other events in life such as suicide attempts, or any form of harassment – sexual, physical or substance.
- Some prescription drugs can cause depression, including corticosteroids, some beta-blockers, interferon, and reserpine.
- Overuse of alcohol and amphetamine can trigger depression.
- Past head injuries.
- People with a history of severe depression can experience a relapse.
Signs & Symptoms
What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
Depression is a condition that can cause a variety of symptoms in everyone. For example, when suffering from depression some people will sleep more, while other symptoms can cause symptoms of insomnia and no appetite.
Even so, some common symptoms of depression are:
- Feeling depressed mood all day, especially in the morning
- You feel tired and lack of energy, almost every day
- You feel worthless and guilty almost every day
- You have difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- You cannot sleep or sleep too long almost every day
- You have no interest in fun activities
- You often think about death or suicide
- You feel lack of rest
- You may experience underweight or overweight.
For people who experience depression, these symptoms last for up to 2 weeks or more. There may be signs and symptoms not mentioned above. If you have a concern about a particular symptom, consult your doctor.
Quoted from Web MD, some other symptoms of depression are:
- Feeling annoyed and restless
- Reducing pleasure in life
- Overeat or stop feeling hungry
- Have pain, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that don’t go away or get better with treatment
- Feeling sad, anxious, or empty.
Not all people who experience depression experience the same symptoms as other people. This depends on how severe, how often, and how long they experience depression.
In addition, physical symptoms exhibited by people who experience depression are muscle pain, back pain, digestive problems, sleep problems, and changes in appetite.
You may also experience slowing down of speech and movement. The reason is that chemicals in the brain associated with depression, specifically serotonin and norepinephrine, play a role in mood and pain.
When should I see a doctor?
If you feel some signs of depression, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can. If you are reluctant to do therapy, talk with your friends or spouse, health servants, religious leaders, or other people you can trust.
No need to be ashamed to ask for help from doctors or other parties. The earlier you go to the doctor, the better.
If you think you will injure yourself or attempt to commit suicide, call an emergency number immediately.
In addition, consider the following options when you think of suicide:
- Ask your doctor or other health care provider for help.
- Talk with your closest friends or spouse.
- Contact religious leaders or others in your faith community.
If your spouse or friend is in danger of attempted suicide:
- Make sure other people stay with him
- Call your local emergency number as soon as possible
- Or, if possible, take the person to an emergency department at the nearest hospital.
What are the types of depression?
Symptoms caused by major depression can vary from person to person. You can experience depression in certain forms. Quoted from the Mayo Clinic, here are the types of depression in a more specific form:
- Anxiety disorders, which are depression with anxiety or unusual worries about possible events.
- Mixed forms, namely simultaneous depression and mania, which include increased self-esteem, too much talking, and increased energy.
- The form of melancholy, which is severe depression with a lack of interest in things that are fun. In addition, you also experience bad moods in the morning, large changes in appetite, to feelings of guilt.
- The atypical form, when you can feel happy in responding to pleasant things, but only temporarily.
- Psychotic forms, namely depression accompanied by delusions or hallucinations, which may involve negative thoughts about oneself.
- Catatonia, which is depression which includes motor activity that involves involuntary uncontrolled movements.
- Peripartum onset, which is depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a few weeks to several months after delivery.
- Seasonal patterns, namely depression associated with seasonal changes and reduced sun exposure.
Some other mental disorders have symptoms such as depression, such as bipolar disorder, cyclotymic disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorders.
What increases my risk for depression?
Depression is more common in adolescents, around their 20s or 30s, but depression can still occur at any age. Women are diagnosed with depression more often than men, but this may also be because usually women sufferers seek help and treatment more often.
Factors that increase the risk of suffering from depression or triggering depression are:
- Have a family history of mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorders, eating disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Some personality traits, such as low self-esteem, dependence, self-critical or pessimistic
- Chronic or serious illness, such as cancer, stroke, chronic pain, or heart disease
- Take certain medications such as some high blood pressure medications or sleeping pills (discuss with your doctor before stopping the medication)
- Traumatic events or which can create stress, such as sexual violence, death, or the loss of a loved one or financial problems
- Having blood relations with people with depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, or attempted suicide
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.
What are my treatment options for depression?
Depression therapy usually uses drugs, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy. Your doctor will review your condition and will consider what therapy is right for you.
Don’t be ashamed to discuss your concerns about the therapies that the doctor offers. Treatment options for dealing with depression are:
The drugs used are antidepressants. Some drugs that are often used are escitalopram, paroxetine, sertraline, fluoxetine, and citaloppram. These drugs include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
In addition, there are also drugs venlafaxine, duloxetine, and bupropion. This drug can cause several side effects, such as:
- Weight gain
- Sexual problems
Antidepressants do not cause addiction. When you no longer need antidepressants and stop using antidepressants, your body will not experience dependence.
However, the use and stopping of antidepressants must be under the supervision of a doctor. A sudden termination can cause worsening symptoms of depression. Always consult a doctor about using antidepressants.
This therapy can also help treat depression. Psychotherapy is done by teaching new ways of thinking and behaving and changing habits that play a role in depression.
This therapy can help you understand and get through relationships that are full of problems or situations that cause depression or even worsen it.
3. Electroconvulsive therapy
For severe depression that is difficult to treat or does not respond to drugs or psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is sometimes performed under the influence of anesthetics.
Even though ECT used to have a bad reputation, now ECT has improved and can cure people when other therapies don’t work.
ECT can cause side effects such as confusion and memory loss. Although these side effects are only temporary, sometimes these effects can also continue to stick.
What are the usual tests for depression?
In general, your doctor will diagnose your symptoms and your medical history. In addition, there are tests conducted by doctors in order to determine the condition of your depression, they are:
- Physical examination. Your doctor may do a physical exam and ask questions about your health. In some cases, depression may be related to certain physical health.
- Laboratory test. For example, your doctor will do a complete blood test or test your thyroid to make sure it is functioning properly.
- Psychiatric evaluation. A mental health specialist will ask about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire to help answer these questions.
- DSM-5. Medical personnel can use the criteria to determine depression listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
- PPDGJ. Workers use these criteria, which are also called PPDGJ (Practical Guidelines for Diagnosis of Mental Disorders).
Treatment at home
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can be done to treat depression?
Here are lifestyle and home remedies that can help you deal with depression:
- Don’t be alone
- Make your life simpler
- Regular exercise
- Eat healthy foods
- Learn to relax and handle your stress.
- Don’t make decisions when you are down.
- Contact your doctor if your symptoms get worse
- Contact your doctor if you experience side effects of the drug
- Contact your doctor immediately if you think of committing suicide or killing or hurting others.
- Contact your doctor right away if you feel psychotic symptoms, such as hearing a sound, seeing something that isn’t really there, or feeling excessive fear.
Also read: How To Help Your Loved One With Depression?
Learn the many benefits of spirulina, which may also help to manage mild depression by checking the Frequently Asked Question page at whyspirulina.
There you go. That was the explanation about depression. Hope this article is useful to you in order to know if you suffer from depression.
If you have questions, consult your doctor for the best solution to your problem.
Stay safe, happy, and healthy!
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Thank you for reading today’s topic: Know if You Suffer from Depression