What is Depression?
Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable by a psychiatrist. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Common symptoms of depression include:
· Feeling sad or “empty”
· Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
· Decreased energy levels
· Difficulty concentrating, remembering details or making decisions
· Insomnia, early-morning awakening or oversleeping
· Appetite and/or weight changes – decreased appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain
· Agitation or restlessness – for example, pacing back and forth, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
· Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements Fatigue or exhaustion
· Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
· Difficulty thinking clearly, making decisions or solving problems
· Thoughts of death or suicide, or attempting suicide
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your Psychiatrist or Specialized mental health professional. These symptoms can be caused by other conditions, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis.
What causes depression?
Depression is caused by a combination of factors. These can include:
Biological factors, such as changes in brain chemistry or structure
Psychological factors, such as low self-esteem, negative thinking patterns and childhood trauma
Social factors, such as isolation, relationship problems or financial stress
Environmental factors, such as chronic stress, major life transitions or a history of trauma
How is depression treated?
Depression is treated with a combination of medication and therapy. The type of treatment that’s right for you will depend on the severity of your symptoms and your personal preferences.
Medication: Antidepressants are the most common type of medication used to treat depression. They work by correcting the chemical imbalance in the brain that’s thought to be the cause of depression. It usually takes 2 weeks for antidepressants to start working.
Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common type of therapy used to treat depression. It helps you identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to your depression.
What are the long-term effects of depression?
If left untreated, depression can have serious and even life-threatening consequences. These can include:
School or work difficulties
Medical conditions, such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes
If you’re experiencing any of these consequences, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
How is depression diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, the first step is to see your psychiatrist or a mental health professional. They will ask you about your symptoms and how long you’ve been experiencing them. They may also ask about your medical history and whether you have a family history of depression or other mental health disorders.
A diagnosis of depression is made based on the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). To be diagnosed with depression, you must have experienced 5 or more of the following symptoms over the course of 2 weeks:
· Feeling sad, empty or hopeless
· Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
· Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
· Fatigue or decreased energy
· Difficulty concentrating
· Restlessness or irritability
· Overeating or appetite loss
· Feeling worthless or guilty
· Thoughts of death or suicide
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor or a mental health professional as soon as possible. They can help you get the treatment you need to feel better.
Is there a cure for depression?
Depression is a treatable illness, but it’s important to get a proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. With treatment, most people with depression will start to feel better within 2 weeks.
What can I do to help someone with depression?
If you know someone who is struggling with depression, there are a few things you can do to help:
· Be there for them. Let them know that you’re here for them and that they’re not alone.
· Listen to them. Encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling and listen without judgment.
· Help them get professional help. If they’re reluctant to seek treatment, offer to go with them to their doctor’s appointment or help them find a therapist.
· Check in on them regularly. Once they’re receiving treatment, check in on them regularly to see how they’re doing.
If you’re worried that someone you know is in danger of harming themselves, don’t leave them alone. Contact a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.
Are there any home remedies for depression?
There are a number of things you can do at home to help manage your depression:
· Get regular exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.
· Eat a healthy diet. Eating nutritious foods helps to boost energy and mood.
· Get enough sleep. Sleeping helps the body to restore and heal itself.
· Avoid alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and drugs can make depression worse.
· Connect with others. Spending time with loved ones or joining a support group can help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
If you’re struggling with depression, it’s important to seek professional help. While home remedies can be helpful, they should not be used as a replacement for treatment.
Depression is a serious medical illness that affects millions of people around the world. If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important to see your doctor or a mental health professional for treatment. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people with depression will start to feel better within 2 weeks. If you know someone who is struggling with depression, there are a few things you can do to help. You can offer support and understanding, encourage them to seek professional help, and check in on them regularly. Home remedies can also be helpful in managing symptoms of depression, but they should not be used as a replacement for treatment.