What is Depression?

It's natural to feel Down sometimes,but if that low mood linger day after day,it could signal depression.Major Depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that lasts atleast 2 consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities.Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality.It's a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition.

Emotional Symptoms;

The primary symptoms of depression are a sad mood and/or lose of interest in life.Activities that were once pleasurable loose their appeal.Patient may also be haunted by a sense of guilt or worthlessness,lack of hope and recurring thoughts of death or suicide.

Physical Symptoms;


While Depression is known to wreak havoc on the emotions,it is also linked to the body.About 65% patients report their depression is accompained by pain.This may include Headaches,back pain,tender muscles and sore joints.Fatigue,dizziness and sleeping too much or too little are also common.


Changes in appetite and weight loss are another hallmark of depression.Some patients may develope increased appetite,while others loose their appetite altogather.Depressed people may experience serious weight loss or weight gain.

Impact on daily life;

Without treatment,the physical and emotional turmoil brought on by depression can derail careers,hobbies and relationships.Depressed people often find it difficult to concentrate and make decisions.They turn away from previously enjoyable activities.In severe cases depression may become life threatning.

Suicide Warning signs;

People who are depressed are more likely to attempt suicide.Warning signs include talking about death or suicide,threatning to hurt people,or engaging in aggressive and risky behiour.Any one who appears suicidal should be taken seriously.

Depression,Who is at risk?

Anyone can become depressed,But many experts believe that genetics play a role.Having a parent or a sibling with depression increases your risk of developing this disorder.Women are twicely as men likely to become depressed.

Causes of Depression;

Docters aren't sure what xactly causes depression,but a prominent theory is altered brain structure and chemical fuction.Chemicals called neurotranmitters become unbalanced.

Seasonal Depression;

If your mood matches the season-sunny in the Summer,and gloomy in the Winter-you may have a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder(SAD).The onset of SAD usually occurs in late fall or in early winter,as the day light hours grow shorter.

Postpartum Depression;

The "baby blues" strike 3 out of 4 new mothers.But nearly 12% develope a more intense dark mood that lingers even as their baby thrives.This is known as the Postpartum depression,and the symptoms are similar to those of major depression.

Diagnosing Depression;

As of yet, there is no blood test for Depression.To make an accurate diagnosis,docters rely on the patient's description of symptoms.You'll be asked about your medical history and medications used since they may contribute to your symptoms of depression.Discussing moods,behaviours and daily activities may help reveal the severity and type of depression.This is the critical step in determining the most effective treatment.

Talk Therapy for depression;

Studies suggest different type of talk therapies can fight mild to moderate depression.
Cognitive behavioural therapy:aims to change thoughts and behavious that contribute to depression.
Interpersonal Therapy: identifies how your relationships impact your mood.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy:helps people understand how their mood is affected by unresolved issues and unconsious feelings.....Some patients find a few month therapy all they need and few continue it long term.

Medication for Depression;

Anti depressants affect the level of  brain chemicals,such as serotinin and norepinephrine.There are dozzens of options.The combination of talk therapy and medication therapy appears particularly effective.

Exercise for Depression;

Research suggests that exercise is a very potent weapon against mild to moderate depression.Physical activity releases endorphins that can help boost mood.Regular exercise is also linked with higher self esteem,better sleep,less stress and more energy.

Role of social support;

Because loneliness goes hand in hand with depression,developing a social support network can be an important part of treatment.This may include joining a support group,finding an online support community or making a genuine effort to see friends and family more often.

Vagus nerve stimulation(VNS);

 Vagus nerve stimulation(VNS) can help patients with treatment-resistant depression that do not imrove with medication.VNS is like a pacemaker for brain.The surgically implanted device sends electrical pulses to the brain through the Vagus nerve in the neck.These pulses are believed to ease depression by affecting mod areas of the brain.

Electroconvulsive Therapy;

Another option for patients with treatment resistant or sever meloncholic depression is electroconvulsive therapy(ECT).This treatment uses electric charges to create a controlled seizure.(patients are not conscious for the procedure ).ECT helps 80 to 90% patients who recieve it,giving new hope to those who don't improve with medication.

Good Outlook;

In the midst of major depression you may feel hopeless and helpless.But the fact is, this condition is highly treatable.More than 80% of the patients get better with medication,talk therapy or combination of two.Even when these therapies fail to help,there are cutting edge treatments that pick up the slack.



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