Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide.
Many other symptoms can occur, such as hopelessness, a dismal view of the future, distorted judgment, decreased sexual interest, constipation, and bodily aches and pains. Depressive symptoms can occur in subtle and mild forms. It is best to recognize and begin to treat depression before it is full-blown.
Depressed mood is a feature of some psychiatric syndromes such as major depressive disorder, but it may also be a normal reaction to life events such as bereavement, a symptom of some bodily ailments or a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments.
People who are depressed generally know that something is wrong, even frighteningly wrong. But sometimes they and those around them do not identify their problem as depression. Out of lack of awareness of what depression consists of or an aversion to admitting a mental or emotional illness, they see themselves as suffering from stress, fatigue, or overwork or even a physical disease.
Depression is a constellation of symptoms that varies from person to person. If you have at least five of the symptoms listed below for at least two weeks — and they are not clearly caused by a medical disorder, drug use, or bereavement — then you very likely have an episode of major depression:
What does Depression Mean?
Depression ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Clinical depression is the more severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder. It isn’t the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder.
Depression Treatment Options
You should seek treatment for depression if it persists for more than two weeks– particularly if your depression is severe enough to interfere with normal life activities. If you suspect that you are depressed, talk to your physician, who can rule out physical causes and refer you to a mental health professional.
Experts now understand that depression has to do with shifts in brain chemistry, so a piece of the treatment puzzle involves re-balancing chemicals, Wood says. The best treatment for your symptoms depends on your individual story, she says; whether you’ve been depressed before, and whether your symptoms keep you in bed all day or simply sap your energy.
Treatment for depression usually involves psychotherapy, antidepressants, or both, according to Susan G. Kornstein, MD, a professor in Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine. Experts now believe that a combination of both is most effective. In a study from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, researchers concluded that psychotherapy and medication together were effective for 70 % of women, says Valerie E. Whiffen, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, and author of A Secret Sadness.
There is evidence that in many cases, psychotherapy works as well as antidepressants do, and there are no side effects, according to Whiffen. Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for example, focuses on improving the patient’s relationships to help reduce depressive symptoms. Half of the women in the Vanderbilt study who received IPT were no longer depressed at the end of treatment– the same result seen with antidepressants alone.
Help My Husband/Wife Is Depressed
Even the sunniest, most capable partner can be pulled into depression’s strong undertow: You may be overwhelmed by extra household chores that your partner is too lethargic to finish, resentful because your spouse won’t just snap out of it, or feel that you’re somehow to blame for the illness itself. You may feel alone yet unwilling to tell anyone there’s depression in your household, or you may simply wonder when the sparkle and joy, the humor and fun seeped out of your relationship.
If there’s depression in your marriage, it’s time to act– for your partner and yourself. The longer a nondepressed spouse lives with a depressed partner, the higher his or her own risks for depression. The deeper a depressed spouse sinks, the tougher it may be to finally treat the depression– and the greater the risk for alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, and even suicide.
My Dog is Depressed
The signs among depression in canines are really similar to those experienced in us folks. Dogs have down days and also bad moods similar to folks. When your pet seems to be especially tired or seems moping around your home or even yard, it is actually achievable that she experiences despondent.
Hopefully You got something out of these quick lessons on depression.