Everything You Need to Know About the Depression

Everything you need to know about depression


Depression is a mental health disorder in which a person experiences a constant depressing mood or loss of interest in activities. This causes significant problems in daily life.

Depression also means having feelings that interfere with a person’s everyday activities, like sadness, loss or anger. 

Possible causes of depression include a mixture of biological, psychological and social sources of distress. Research also suggests that these factors may cause changes in brain function, including the altered activity of specific neural circuits in the brain.

This mental health disorder is very prevalent today. Around 8.1% of American adults generally suffer from depression, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The chemical imbalance theory states that this condition occurs due to a disparity of neurotransmitters between nerve cells within the brain. For example, depression is occurs as a result of having insufficient serotonin and dopamine within the brain.


Types of depression

There are many different types of depression, depending on how severe your symptoms are.

Some people experience less depressive episodes, and others have a continuous and significant episodes of depression. Diagnosis is essential to know the correct treatment for your depression. 

Here two main types of depression:

Major depressive disorder

A major depressive disorder is the most severe type of depression. It includes frequent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.

You should get a diagnosis if you are experiencing five or more symptom like this:

  1. Loss of interest in everything
  2. Feeling depressed most of the day
  3. Significant weight loss or gain
  4. A lot of sleeping or not being able to sleep at all
  5. Slowed thinking or movement
  6. Fatigue or low energy most days
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  8. Loss of concentration or indecisiveness
  9. Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  10. Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  11. Feeling restless and agitated, or sluggish. Feeling weak, mentally and physically. 

For the treatment of this kind of depression, talk therapy can be beneficial. In this, a psychologist will help you. You can share with them about things that worry you, your traumas and struggles. Medications like antidepressants are also helpful.

When nothing is working your doctor may suggest you this:

  1. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  2. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)

There are also few subtypes of the depressive disorder, including:

  1. Atypical features
  2. Anxious distress
  3. Mixed features
  4. During pregnancy or right after giving birth
  5. Seasonal patterns
  6. Melancholic features
  7. Psychotic features
  8. Catatonia

Persistent depressive disorder

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a milder but chronic type of depression. Clinical term of this is dysthymia. It stays for a more extended period and can also affect your life in major ways. 

People who experience PDD, experience the following:

  1. Lose interest in normal daily activities
  2. Feel hopeless
  3. Lack of productivity
  4. Have low self-esteem
  5. Low self-esteem

You can treat this successfully, with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. 

There are more different types of depression. To learn more about these types of depression click here.


Symptoms of depression

Symptoms of depression can be ongoing or can come and go by time. Depression is more than constant sadness. Major depression causes a lot of moods; some affect your body, and some affect your mind. 

Men, women, children and even animals experience symptoms of depression like:

Mood, such as:

 Men and women experience moods like anger aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness. 

And children have moods like irritability, anger, mood swings, crying. 

Emotional well-being, such as: 

Men have feelings like emptiness, sad, hopeless. 

Women have feelings like, sadness or emptiness, anxious or hopeless. 

Children have feelings like incompetence (e.g. “I can’t do anything, I am worthless”) and despair, crying, intense sadness. 

Behaviour, such as: 

Men and women experience a loss of interest. They do not find pleasure in doing their favorite activities. Some behavioral symptoms are:

  • Feeling tired very easily
  • thoughts of quitting and suicide,
  • drinking excessively,
  • using drugs,
  • engaging in high-risk activities
  • withdrawing from social engagements,
  • thoughts of suicide are some of the symptoms of depression. 

And children get into trouble at school or refusing to go to school, avoiding friends or siblings, thoughts of death or suicide. 

Cognitive abilities, such as: 

Men and women cannot concentrate, difficulty completing tasks and delayed responses during conversations. 

And children have difficulty concentrating, the decline in school performance and changes in grades. 

Sexual interest, such as:

 Men and women have reduced sexual desire and lack of sexual performance.

Sleep patterns, such as:

 Men and women experience insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness, not sleeping through the night. 

And children have difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much. 

Physical well-being, such as: 

People with depression experience fatigue, pains, headache, digestive problems, decreased energy, changes in appetite, weight changes, aches and increased cramps. 

And children have a loss of energy, digestive problems, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain. 

These symptoms can go beyond your thoughts. Recognizing that you have depression can be the first step to curing it. 


Causes of depression

Causes of depression can be biological to circumstantial.

Few common causes of depression are:

  • Heredity

You have a risk of having depression if you have a family history of people having mood disorders or depression. 

  • Childhood trauma

Some events that happen in your childhood can affect your mental health more than you think. 

  • Brain structure

There’s a higher risk for depression if there is a malfunction in brain structure.

  • Medical condition

Some medical conditions can put you at higher risks like chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  • Drug Use

History of drug use or alcohol can cause depression. 

More causes of depression:

  • Low self-esteem or being self-critical
  • Personal history of mental illness
  • Certain medications
  • Stressful events, like losing a loved one, economic problems, or a divorce
  • Not living your truth
  • Need healing on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level
  • Depression also relates closely to gut health.


Depression Tests

There are no specific tests for depression, but for diagnosing your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your:

  • Moods
  • Appetite
  • Sleep pattern
  • Activity level
  • Thoughts


Treatment of depression

Depression is the most typical disturbance. Fortunately, depression is treatable. A mix of therapy and antidepressant medication can help ensure recovery.

Here are few therapies and medical treatment for depression:

  • Medications

Doctors suggest to take a few medicines like:

  1. antidepressants
  2. antianxiety
  3. antipsychotic medications

  • Psychotherapy

Talking to someone who understands your thoughts and feelings can be an excellent treatment. Family and group therapy are also effective in this. 

  • Light therapy

Doctors suggest this for major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern. It regulates the mood of the person and leads to improvement in depression symptoms. 

Alternative Therapies

  • Feeling your emotions

The word ‘de-pression’ means that there is something pressed within us. Most of the times, we supress our feelings and emotions which causes depression.

One of the best ways to heal depression is to feel your feelings and emotions. As Lyla June says, “In feeling there is healing.”

  • Clean your gut, detox

Depression is closely linked to bad gut health. The ancient people say that the gut is the second brain. When you eat processed food, it harms the flora of the guts, created bad bacteria which leads to a person feeling depressed. Detoxing from time-to-time can help immensely in healing depression.

  • Excercise

Exercise at least 30-40 mins a day. It increases the endomorphic level in your body which can improve your mood. 

  • Avoid alcohol and drugs

Drinking, smoking and doing drugs can make you feel better for a little while, but in the long run, they can make your depression and anxiety worse. 

  • Take care of yourself

You can improve your depression by taking care of yourself. Have plenty of sleep, eat healthily, ignore negative people and take part in activities that are fun and lively. 

Depression is a psychological disorder that’s pervasive in the world and affects us all. There is a lot of stigma and shame when some one is diagnosed with this condition.

We need to the end the shame around depression. We can be there for each other by giving support or a listening ear to help people who suffer from depression.


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