Major depressive disorder or depression as it is commonly known is a form of mental illness that leaves the patient in a gloomy state and also severely affects the appetite, work, relationships and all major aspects of life.
Some of the major symptoms are as follows:
Loss of interest in activities of pleasure or lack of libido
Feeling fatigued even though you may not have done anything
Having appetite problems which may lead to increased or decreased diet
Changed sleeping habits, which could translate into too much sleep or too little of it
Always feeling restless or feeling slowed down
Lack of concentration and difficulty in making decisions
Feeling worthless, hopeless and experiencing emotions of guilt
Thinking of death and suicide
What are the common causes of Depression?
Depression is not caused by a single factor and is normally a result of one or more causes. These are not only changes in the state of mind but also physical changes in the brain. It is caused due to the imbalance of a certain kind of chemical in the brain that carries signals to the brain and nerves which are called neurotransmitters.
Some of the common causes of depression are given below:
Family History: Sometimes depression runs in the family and if the parents have depression the likelihood of the children also getting the same increases.
Trauma and Stress: Stressful things like death of a close one, losing a job or a break up can trigger depression. At the same time a change in lifestyle may also cause depression such as getting married or graduating from school or college.
Pessimism: People with low self esteem and who have a negative outlook on life have a much greater chance at getting depressed than cheerful and optimistic people.
Physical Illness: Sometimes the stress that comes when one undergoes physical illness like Cancer or AIDS puts the person under depression. They feel unable to cope with this change in their life and go into depression.
Other psychological Disorders: When people are suffering from other psychological diseases like schizophrenia, anxiety disorder and specially substance abuse the chances of getting a depression increase.
Who is more likely to suffer from depression?
It is estimated that around 16% of Americans suffer from some form or the other of depression some time during their life. Although anyone can get depression the chances of women getting it is twice as much as men. This is partly because of the hormonal changes that women undergo in life such as menstruation, menopause and pregnancy.
While men are less likely to get depression than women the chances of them getting suicidal is four times as much as women. This is because many a time depression goes undiagnosed in men and they try to mask it through alcoholism and drug abuse worsening the situation further.
The maximum risk of not getting depression treated is with old people. This is because the people around them treat their change in behavior as normal ageing. However there are several factors in old age which can trigger depression like losing loved ones, living alone and being not as active as they once were.
How is depression treated?
Depression is suffered by 14 million Americans in any given year and it can be treated using medication and talk therapy. The key is to get diagnosed and seek help. Once this is done getting treated is the easier part.
You should get in touch with a doctor to seek the therapy that will best respond to you and also suitable to your lifestyle. Two of the common treatments for depression that have helped a lot of people are WELLBUTRIN XL and PAXIL CR however it is imperative that you seek professional help.
It is important to remember that therapy or medication will not work immediately and it will take time before you can feel the difference.
Author: Kitty Barker – Kitty often writes for and with Depression-Assistance. You can also see more information on this subject at Symptoms Of Depression – should this link be inactive, you can paste this link to your browser – depression-assistance.com
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