Depression is a serious mood disorder. It causes a plethora of emotions such as being sad, loss of interest in daily activities, feeling lonely, but as the feelings persist, it will affect quality of life, thought process.
According to World Health Organization, depression is the most common form of illness and also a leading reason behind mental disabilities.
Depression is more common among women than men. Many suffer from lack of interest in activities that used to bring them joy, in the initial stages of depression. Doctors believe depression is triggered by various factors including genetic, biological, environmental, social and psychological factors.
Other causes may include traumatic life events, childhood trauma, drugs, head injury, alcohol abuse, chronic conditions associated with diabetes, cardiovascular and pulmonary issues.
Fluctuation in mood, temporary emotional outbursts, feeling low after losing a loved one is not classified under depression.
Signs and Symptoms:
The typical signs and symptoms of depression include depressed mood, loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss, insomnia or sleeping excessively, feeling restless, fatigue, impaired ability to think, process thoughts, focus, inability to make decisions, slurred speech and suicidal thoughts.
If you are suffering from recurring thoughts of death or suicide, it’s time to seek urgent medical intervention.
Types of Depression:
Depression is broadly divided in to four types:
1. Unipolar or Bipolar Depression:
Patients suffering from unipolar depression always feel very low and anxious while those with bipolar depression show sudden signs of both manic and depression, swinging between normal mood patterns.
2. Major Disorder With Psychotic Features:
Psychosis is predominant feature in this type of depression in which the patient suffers from delusions, hallucinations, detachment to his favourite things and people
3. Postpartum Depression:
Postpartum depression is common with new mothers and it usually goes away with time. Medical intervention is required only when mother starts keeps herself away from the new born or suffers from loss of appetite and lack of interest in daily activities.
4. Depression With Seasonal Patterns:
This condition is associated with reduced light during winter, but the person usually gets back to normal in summer.
Diagnosis And Treatment:
Doctors may run few physical tests to corelate with other physical and mental conditions, if any. A detailed talk to doctor may help in assessing the situation and to understand the severity of the condition.
Treatment options include medications mostly antidepressants, cognitive behavioural therapy, support system from the family, friends.
Psychologists also recommend aerobic exercise to stimulate the release of endorphins levels, often related to good mood. Neurologist can suggest brain stimulation therapies that send magnetic pulses to the brain to treat major depression.