Depression - General Information
Depression is a well known psychiatric disorder that is defined by a constant decrease of mood and interest in regular activities and diminished capability to feel pleasure is clinical Depression (called also major-depressive disorder). Although the term is usually used to depict a passing decreased mood when someone is “feeling blue”, it is a very serious disease. A lot of people are feeling that they do not dispose of so much energy. Moreover, they find it impossible to concentrate. Other people are feeling irritable most of the time without any known reason. People have said that Depression is like black curtains of despair that come down on their lives.
The Depression symptoms are experienced differently by each person. However, if you are feeling "down" more than two-three weeks, and if these feelings start to interfere with your daily life, it is possible that you are suffering from clinical Depression. The majority of people with this disease never ask for help. The worst part is that a big percentage of them would respond to treatment if they would be given an appropriate therapy.
Seeking treatment for Depression is essential because it interferes with your life, your work and especially your family. It is a treatable disease despite some people’s conception that these feelings will never change. Vincent van Gogh painted a lot of pictures which symbolize the hopelessness and despair felt in such a state. Van Gogh has suffered from this disease and committed suicide because of this.
Clinical Depression is a critical illness that affects the mood, thoughts and body. It cannot simply be changed by will or wish. It is a disabling disease that has negative effects on a person's work, school life or family, eating and/or sleeping habits, also general health and capacity to enjoy life. It can present a diverseness of symptoms, but almost all patients have a big change in mood, an acute feeling of sadness and an observable loss of pleasure or interest in favorite activities.
Other Depression symptoms involve: an unceasing anxious or sad mood, an unusual loss or gain of weight or appetite, sleeping disorders such as oversleeping or insomnia or early-morning awakening, pessimism and feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, combined with inappropriate guilt, irritability or restlessness, a difficulty in concentrating, thinking, remembering or taking decisions, attempts of suicide or only thoughts of it and/or death, ceaseless physical symptoms that do not react to treatment (like acute pain, digestive disorders or headache, decreased energy, exhaustion and apathetic state and a big loss of interest in enjoyable activities, including sex).
Not each patient will present each Depression symptom that has been listed here. The severity of them will alternate among individuals. However, symptoms must persevere for more than two weeks before someone can be considered a potential patient (except the ones with suicidal thoughts and/or attempts). Diagnosing children with clinical Depression is much more difficult than diagnosing adults because these symptoms in children are constantly written off as common childhood moodiness. The diagnosis is made with difficulty because children are likely to show other symptoms according with the situation.
Clinical Depression is mostly treated with antidepressants, psychotherapy, or the two joined together. The treatment varies from one clinical case to another, based on the patient’s unique combination of psychological, biological, social health factors and also the acuteness of their condition. Amongst psychotherapy, medication and electroconvulsive therapy (that are conventional treatments), there are new, improved prophylaxis available (such as life style changes, self help and nerve stimulation). Drug therapy is induced to sufferers of severe and moderate Depression and it involves the intake of antidepressant medications.
The basic medicinal drugs considered for Depression patients (that trigger less side effects than older monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)) are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, like citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), and sertraline (Zoloft).
However, MAOIs still remain the best choice of medication for some Depression patients but those people would have to ward off a diversity of foods and also decongestant medications because they have to reduce the odds of a hypertensive crisis. An atypical antidepressant named bupropion that has the same effect as a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, is known to be efficacious in treating Depression, without triggering any sexual dysfunction or other sexual side effects, and especially without causing weight gain.
Another option, psychotherapy has a large number of treatments that are great for treating Depression. These treatments can be provided in a group format or individually. Psychotherapy may be made by many mental health professionals, also including psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses or clinical social workers. Cognitive therapy (also known as / called Cognitive behavioral therapy) is the most studied genre of psychotherapy that is a viable option for these situations. Many clinical trials are showing that CBT is at least as effective as any antidepressant medication, as it can help even the most severely depressed patients. Whilst the exact mechanisms of alteration in CBT are left an active domain of research, CBT is believed to work by indoctrinating patients to learn some behavioral and cognitive skills, which they must apply on their own to treat their Depression.
A large number of other psychotherapies for this illness do exist. Evidence of behavioral therapy (behavioral activation in treatment of Depression) and interpersonal therapy are also very popular.
A third option is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), known also as electroshock or electroshock treatment. It uses brief bursts of controlled current of electrical energy (0.9 ampere) into the brain to determine short and artificial seizures whilst the patient is under general anesthesia. Despite direct electroshock that was given years ago, the majority of countries only allow ECT being administered under anesthesia. In a normal regimen of treatment, someone receives, over three or four weeks, three treatments per week. Sometimes there is the need of repeating the sessions. Common side effects include disorientation, short-term memory loss and headache.
Other methods of Depression treatment that are not so widely used are: light therapy (involving exposing one to bright light that comes in most cases from a fluorescent bulb, especially in the morning), acupuncture (although the placebo effect is not ruled out, this method has shown great results), exercise (patients that do at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week have lower incidence of fall back), hypnotherapy, meditation, deep brain stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, transcranial magnetic and cranial electrotherapy stimulation, herbal supplements and archaic methods such as insulin shock therapy.
Types of Depression and tests
Going through all the different types of Depression in any detail is really not within the scope of this site. Please use Google or any other good search engine to dig down into more specific Depression information and also consider joining dedicated communities where these issues are being discussed.
We also recommend picking up a book or two on Depression to further your knowledge:
| The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs|
Sale Price: $7.97
You save: $6.98 (47%)
In the past decade, depression rates have skyrocketed, and one in four Americans will suffer from major depression at some point in their lives. Where have we gone wrong? Dr. Stephen Ilardi sheds light on our current predicament and reminds us that our bodies were never designed for the sleep-deprived, poorly nourished, frenzied pace of twenty-first century life...
| Dark Angel: Notes on Anxiety and Depression|
"Although I've read about depression over the years, I've never seen it described so clearly (and so painfully) by someone whose depression colors his world." I am 14 years old. H.A. Gray Junior. High is staging a production of Jesus Christ Superstar...
| The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Book & CD)|
Sale Price: $12.99
You save: $8.96 (41%)
If you’ve ever struggled with depression, take heart. Mindfulness, a simple yet powerful way of paying attention to your most difficult emotions and life experiences, can help you break the cycle of chronic unhappiness once and for all...
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