2021-11-04 09:05 PM

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression.


Depression is a medical illness involving the mind and body. Also called major depressive disorder and clinical depression, it affects the way you feel, thinks, and behave. Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. It may be difficult to carry out normal daily activities. And depression can make it feel as if life is not worth living.

More than just about dancing, depression is not a weakness, nor is it something that can simply show off. Depression is a chronic illness that often requires long-term treatment, like diabetes or high blood pressure. But don't be discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, counseling, or other treatment.

Causes of Depression

The symptoms

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling sad or unhappy.
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small things.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities.
  • Reduce sex.
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much.
  • Changes in appetite, depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss. But in some people, it causes appetite and weight gain.
  • Agitation or restlessness.
  • Slow down thinking, speaking, or moving your body.
  • Hesitation, laziness.
  • Fatigue and loss of energy, even small tasks can seem to require a lot of effort.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, nostalgia for past failures, or blaming yourself when things don't go right.
  • Problems thinking, concentrating, deciding, and remembering.
  • Frequently thinking about death or suicide.
  • Crying for no apparent reason.
  • Unable to explain the problem, such as back pain or headache.

For some people, the symptoms of depression are severe, obvious. Others generally feel miserable or happy without really knowing why.

Depression affects each person differently, so the symptoms of depression vary from person to person. Inherited traits, age, gender, and culture, all play a role in how depression can affect.

Symptoms of depression in children and adolescents

Common symptoms of depression can be a little different in children and adolescents than they are in adults.

In young children, symptoms of depression can include sadness, irritability, frustration, and anxiety.

Symptoms in teens can include anxiety, anger, and social avoidance.

Changes in thinking and sleep are signs of depression in adolescents and adults but are not common in children.

In children and adolescents, depression often co-occurs with other behavioral problems and mental health conditions. Such as anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Symptoms of depression in the elderly

Depression is not a normal part of the growing illness, and most seniors feel satisfied with their lives. However, depression can and does not occur in older adults. Unfortunately, it often ignores diagnosis and treatment. Many adults with depression feel reluctant to seek help when they are feeling them.

In older adults, depression may be underdiagnosed because of symptoms - eg, fatigue, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping. Or loss of interest in gender - may appear to be caused by another illness.

Adults with depression may say they feel dissatisfied with life in general, bored, helpless, or worthless. They may always want to stay at home instead of going out socially or doing new things.

Sacrificial thoughts or feelings in older adults are signs of serious depression that should never be taken lightly, especially in men. Of all the depressed people, older men are at the highest risk of suicide.

If you're feeling depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. Symptoms of depression may not get better on their own - and depression will likely worsen if left untreated. If left untreated, depression can lead to other mental and physical health problems or problems in other areas of life. Emotions of depression can also lead to suicide.

If you do not want to seek treatment, talk to a friend. Or loved one, a healthcare professional, a faith ethicist, or someone else you trust.

If you have suicidal thoughts

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, get help right away. Here are some possible steps:

  • Contact a family member or relative.
  • Seek help from your doctor, another medical or mental health care provider.
  • Call several hotlines accessible online to speak with a trained counselor.
  • Contact someone, a spiritual leader, or someone in the faith community.

Urgent help

If you think you might hurt yourself or kill yourself, call the local emergency number right away.


It is not known exactly what causes depression. As with many mental illnesses, it appears many factors may be involved. These include:

Different biology. People with depression seem to have physical changes in their brains. The meaning of these changes remains uncertain but may ultimately help determine the cause.

Nerve conduction. These naturally occurring brain chemicals linked to mood are thought to play a direct role in depression.

Hormone. Changes in the body's balance of hormones can be involved in causing or triggering depression. Hormone changes can lead to thyroid problems, menopause, and several other conditions.

Inherited traits. Depression is more common in people with biological family members who also have the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing depression.

Life of events. Events such as the death or loss of a loved one, financial problems. And high stress can trigger depression in some people.

Childhood head trauma. Traumatic events in childhood, such as abuse or the loss of a parent, can cause frequent changes in the brain. That makes it more susceptible to depression.

Risk factor

Depression usually begins in the late 20s, but it can happen at any age. Twice as many women are diagnosed with depression as men. But this may partly be because women are more likely to be treated for depression.

Although the exact cause of depression is not known. Researchers have identified certain factors that seem to increase the risk of developing. Or causing depression, including:

  • Having biological relatives with depression.
  • Is a woman.
  • Having a traumatic experience as a child.
  • Have biological relatives with a history of alcoholism.
  • There are family members who have committed suicide.
  • Experiencing stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one.
  • There are several other people or personal relationships.
  • Postpartum depression.
  • Having a depressed mood like a child.
  • Have a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, or HIV/AIDS.
  • Having personality traits, such as having low self-esteem and being overly dependent, self-important, or pessimistic.
  • Abuse of alcohol, nicotine, or illegal drugs.
  • The poor.

Certain high blood pressure medications, sleeping pills. Or other medications (discuss with your doctor before stopping any medication you think may affect your mood).


Depression is a serious illness that can be devastating for individuals and families. Left untreated, depression can lead to emotional, behavioral, and health problems that affect every area of ‚Äč‚Äčlife. Complications associated with depression can include:

  • Alcohol abuse.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Concerned.
  • Heart disease and other medical conditions.
  • Work or school problems.
  • Family conflict.
  • Difficult relationship.
  • Social isolation.
  • Suicidal.

Tests and diagnostics

Depression is common, and some doctors and health care providers may question moods and thoughts during the visit. They may even ask to fill out a short questionnaire to help check for symptoms of depression.

When doctors suspect someone has depression, they usually ask a few questions and may do medical and psychological tests. These can help rule out other problems that could be causing the symptoms, confirm the diagnosis. And check for associated complications. Examination and tests usually include:

Clinical examination. This may include measuring height and weight, checking vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. And listening to the heart and lungs and examining the abdomen.

Laboratory. Your doctor may do a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC). Or check your thyroid to make sure it's working properly.

Psychological assessment. To check for signs of depression, a doctor or mental health provider will talk to the patient about thoughts, feelings. And behavior patterns. Your doctor will ask about your current symptoms and past similarities. Will also discuss any thoughts of possible suicide or self-harm.

Diagnostic criteria for depression

To be diagnosed with depression. The symptom criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) must be met. This statistic is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions.

To be diagnosed with depression, five or more of the following symptoms must be present in a two-week period. At least one of the symptoms must be a depressed mood, loss of interest, or pleasure. Symptoms may be based on one's own feelings or may be based on the observations of others. These include:

The weakest mood during the day, nearly every day, such as feeling sad, empty. Or tearful (in children and adolescents, depressed mood may appear as persistent irritability).

Decrease or lack of pleasure in all or nearly all activities of the day, nearly every day.

Significant weight loss without dieting, weight gain, or decreased. Or increased appetite nearly every day (in children, not gaining weight as expected can be a sign of depression).

Insomnia or increased desire to sleep almost every day.

Restlessness or slowed behavior may be observed by others.

Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day.

Feelings of worthlessness or too much guilt are inappropriate or almost every day.

Problems making decisions or having trouble concentrating almost every day.

Frequent thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts.

To be considered major depression:

Symptoms that are not due to a mixed episode of mania and depression may occur in bipolar disorder.

Symptoms must be severe enough to cause noticeable problems with daily activities. Such as work, school, social activities, or relationships with others.

The symptoms are not due to the direct effect of something else, such as drug abuse, taking medication. Or have a medical condition such as hypothyroidism.

Symptoms are not caused by grief, like temporary sadness after the loss of a loved one.

Other conditions that cause depressive symptoms

There are several other conditions with possible symptoms of depression. It's important to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can get the right treatment for that condition. A mental health evaluation will help determine if symptoms of depression are caused by one of the following conditions:

Adjustment disorder. Adjustment disorder is a severe emotional reaction to a difficult life event. It is a type of stress-related mental illness that can affect emotions, thoughts, and behavior.

Bipolar disorder. This type of depression is characterized by high to low mood swings. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between bipolar disorder and depression. But it is important to get an accurate diagnosis so that the right treatment can be obtained.

Cyclothymia. Cyclothymia or cyclothymic disorder is a milder form of bipolar disorder.

Dysthymia. Dysthymia is a less severe but chronic form of depression. While usually not disabling, dysthymia can make it impossible to function properly in your daily routine. And to get the most out of your life.

Postpartum depression. This is a common form of depression that occurs in new mothers. It usually begins 4 - 8 weeks after birth and can last for many months.

Mental depression. This is severe depression accompanied by psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations.

Schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective is a condition in which a person meets the criteria for both schizophrenia and a mood disorder.

Seasonal depression. This type of depression is associated with changes in the season and reduced sunlight exposure.

Be sure to understand what type of depression is so you can learn more about the specific situation and its treatment.

Treatments and drugs

Many treatments for depression are available. Medication and psychological counseling are very effective for most people.

In some cases, a primary care doctor may prescribe medication to relieve symptoms of depression. However, many people need to see a specialist diagnose and treat mental health conditions. Many people with depression also benefit from seeing a psychologist or other mental health counselor. Often the most effective treatment for depression is a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

If severe depression is present, a doctor, loved one, or guardian may need to guide care until well enough. You may need to stay in the hospital. Or you may need to participate in an outpatient program until your symptoms improve.

Here are treatment options for depression.


Several antidepressants are available to treat depression. There are several different types of antidepressants. Antidepressants are often classified according to how they affect natural chemicals in the brain that alter the mood.

Types of antidepressants include:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Many doctors begin treating depression by prescribing an SSRI. These drugs are safer and often cause fewer unpleasant side effects than antidepressants. SSRIs include fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram, and escitalopram. The most common side effects include decreased sex drive and delayed orgasm. Other side effects may go away with a medication adjustment. It can include digestive problems, restlessness, headaches, and insomnia.

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These drugs include duloxetine, venlafaxine, and desvenlafaxine. Side effects are like those caused by SSRIs. At high doses, these drugs can cause increased sweating and dizziness. People with liver disease should not take duloxetine.

Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). Bupropion belongs to this category. It's one of the few antidepressants that don't cause sexual side effects. At high doses, bupropion may increase the risk of seizures.

Atypical antidepressants. These drugs are called atypical because they don't fit into an antidepressant class. These include trazodone and mirtazapine. Both antidepressants are taken in the evening. In some cases, one of these drugs is added to another antidepressant to help with sleep.

Tricyclic antidepressants. Antidepressants have been used for many years and are generally as effective as newer medications. But because it tends to have more and more severe side effects, tricyclic antidepressants are generally not prescribed. Unless an SSRI has been tried first with no improvement in depression. Side effects may include low blood pressure, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, urinary retention, fast heartbeat, and confusion. Adults taking these drugs are very sensitive to memory problems, confusion, and hallucinations. Tricyclics are also known to cause weight gain.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). MAOIs - like tranylcypromine and phenelzine, are often prescribed as a last resort when other medications don't work. That's because MAOIs can have serious harmful side effects. Requires a strict diet because of dangerous (or even deadly) interactions with foods such as certain cheeses. And pickles and wine and some medications including decongestants. Selegiline is a newer MAOI that sticks to the skin as a patch rather than swallowed. It may cause fewer side effects than other MAOIs.

Drug strategies. Your doctor may recommend other medications to treat depression. These may include stimulants, medications, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications, or antipsychotics. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a combination of two or more antidepressants or other medications for better results. This strategy is called incremental.

Find the right medicine

Everyone is different, so finding the right medication or taking it may take some trial and error. This requires patience, as some medications take eight weeks or longer to take full effect. And for side effects to ease as the body adjusts. If unpleasant side effects occur, do not stop taking your antidepressant without first seeing your doctor. Some antidepressants can cause reverse symptoms unless the dose is slowly reduced. And quitting suddenly can cause a sudden worsening of depression. Don't give up until you find an antidepressant or medication that's right for you.

If antidepressant treatment doesn't seem to be working. Your doctor may recommend blood tests to check for specific genes that affect how the body uses antidepressants. The cytochrome P450 (CYP450) genotyping test is one example of its kind. Genetic testing of this type can help predict how the body may or may not process (metabolize) a drug. This may help identify an antidepressant that might be a good choice. Genetic tests are not widely available.

Antidepressants and pregnancy

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, some antidepressants may pose an increased health risk to your unborn baby or nursing child. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.

Antidepressants and increased risk of suicide

Although most antidepressants are generally safe, be careful when taking them. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires all antidepressants to carry a black box warning. These are strict warnings that prescription drugs can be given out.

The antidepressant warnings note that in some cases, children, adolescents, and young adults have increased suicidal thoughts. Or behaviors when taking antidepressants, especially during the last few weeks. First after starting an antidepressant or when the dose is changed. Because of these risks, people in all age groups must be closely monitored by loved ones. Caregivers and health care providers while taking antidepressants. If or someone you know has had suicidal thoughts while taking an antidepressant. Contact a doctor immediately or get emergency help.

Again, be sure to understand the risks of different antidepressants. Work together and your doctor can explore options for getting your depressive symptoms under control.


Psychotherapy for depression is a focus. Psychotherapy is a general term for a way of treating depression by talking about the condition. And related problems with a mental health provider. Psychotherapy is also known as therapy, talk therapy, counseling, or psychotherapy.

Through the talks, learn about the causes of depression so that you can understand it better. Also learn how to identify and make changes in unhealthy behaviors or thoughts, explore relationships and experiences. And find better ways to cope and solve problems and set realistic goals. economy for life. Psychotherapy can help regain a sense of happiness and control in life and help alleviate symptoms of depression. Such as despair and anger. It can also help adapt to a current crisis or difficulty.

There are several types of psychotherapy that are effective for depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most used therapies. This type of therapy helps identify negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones. It is based on the idea that one's own thoughts, not others. Even if an undesirable situation does not change, it is possible to change the way you think. And behave in a positive way. Interpersonal psychotherapy is the type of counseling commonly used to treat depression.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

In ECT, an electric current is passed through the brain. This procedure is thought to affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Although many people respond to ECT and its side effects. It often provides direct relief of major depression even when other treatments don't work. This treatment does not clearly reduce the signs and symptoms of depression. The most common side effect is confusion, which can last from a few minutes to several hours. Some people have also lost their memory.

ECT is often used for people who are not getting better with medication. And for people who are at high risk of suicide. ECT may be an option if you have major depression while you are pregnant and cannot take your medication regularly. It can also be an effective treatment for older adults. Who are already severely depressed and cannot take antidepressants for health reasons.

Hospitals and residential treatment programs

In some people, depression is so severe, a hospital stay is necessary. An inpatient hospital stay may be necessary if you are unable to care for yourself properly. Or are in immediate danger of harming yourself or others. Psychiatric treatment at the hospital can help keep you calm and safe until your mood improves. A partial hospital stay or daily treatment program is also helpful for some people. These programs provide the support and counseling needed while symptoms are under control.

Methods to treat depression

If standard treatment for depression has not been effective. A psychiatrist may consider whether it is possible to benefit from a less commonly used procedure, such as:

Stimulation of the vagus nerve. This treatment uses electrical pulses with a surgically implanted pulse generator to affect the brain's mood centers. This may be an option if you have chronic antidepressant treatment.

Magnetic stimulation of Transcranial. With this treatment, powerful magnetic fields are used to alter brain activity. A large electromagnetic coil is held with the scalp near the forehead to produce an electric current in the brain.

Lifestyle and Remedies

The crisis is often not a disease that can be treated alone. But it is possible to do some things for yourself. In addition to professional treatment, follow these self-care steps:

Stick to the treatment plan. Don't skip psychotherapy sessions or appointments. Even if you're feeling good, resist the temptation to skip any medications. If stopped, depressive symptoms may return.

Learn about depression. Education about the condition can empower initiative and motivation to participate in the treatment plan.

Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what may be triggering depressive symptoms. Plan to know what to do if symptoms get worse. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any change in symptoms. Ask family members or loved ones to help watch for warning signs.

Do exercise. Physical activity reduces symptoms of depression. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening, or enjoying another activity.

Avoid drinking alcohol and illegal drugs. It may seem like alcohol reduces symptoms of depression. But in the long run, they are often worse and make depressive symptoms difficult to treat.

Get lots of sleep. Sleep is also especially important when you're depressed. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about what you can do.

Alternative medicine

Care may be taken to reduce depressive symptoms with complementary or alternative medicine strategies. These include body and mind supplements - techniques. Making certain to understand the risks can also have benefits before pursuing alternative treatment. Do not give up medical or psychological treatment for alternative medicine. When it comes to depression, alternative treatments are not a substitute for medical care.

These are some of the commonly used alternative treatments for depression.

Herbs, supplements

Several herbal remedies and supplements have been used for depression. A few common words include:

St John's wort. Known as Hypericum perforatum, this is a medicinal plant that has been used for centuries. To treat a variety of ills, including depression. It is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of depression in the United States. Instead, it is classified as a dietary supplement. However, it is a popular treatment for depression in Europe. It may be helpful if you have mild or moderate depression.

Similar chemicals. This is a synthetic form of a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. The name stands for adenosylmethionine - S. It is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression in the United States. Instead, it is classified as a dietary supplement. However, it is used in Europe as a drug to treat depression.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a diet rich in omega-3s or taking omega-3 supplements may help reduce depression. And appears to have several other health benefits. These healthy fats are found in cold-water fish, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, and several other foods.

Keep in mind that nutritional and dietary products are not monitored in the same way as medication. Can't always be sure of what is getting and if it's safe. Also, be aware that some herbal and dietary supplements can interfere with prescription medications or cause dangerous interactions. To be on the safe side, talk to your doctor and another healthcare provider before taking any herbal. Or dietary supplements.

Body connection

The connection between mind and body has been studied for centuries. Alternative supplements believe that the mind and body must be in harmony to stay healthy.

Techniques used to improve symptoms of depression include:

  • Acupuncture.
  • Yoga.
  • Meditation.
  • Image guide.
  • Massage therapy.

As with dietary supplements, take care using these techniques. Although it may pose some risks, relying on treatments alone is not enough to treat depression. If trying to remember other techniques or alternative therapies to treat the depression first. But symptoms worsen or do not improve, talk to your doctor.

Coping and supporting

Coping with depression can be challenging. Talk to your doctor or therapist about improving your coping skills and try these tips:

Simplify life. Cut back on obligations where possible and set reasonable goals for yourself. Allow yourself to do less when you feel like it.

Review text in journals. Journals can improve mood by allowing one to express pain, anger, fear, or other emotions.

Learn self-help from books. Your therapist may recommend a book to read.

Join a support group. Connecting with others facing similar challenges can help cope. Local support groups for depression are available in many communities, and support groups for depression are also available online.

Don't become isolated. Try participating in social activities and getting together with family or loved ones often.

Eating, living. Eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.

Learn how to relax and manage stress. For example, meditation, yoga.

Time structure. Plan the day and activities. You may find it useful to make a daily to-do list, use sticky notes as reminders. Or use a planner to stay organized.

Not making important decisions. Avoid making decisions when you are feeling very depressed because you may not be thinking clearly.


There is no surefire way to prevent depression. However, steps to manage stress, increase resilience, and boost low self-esteem can help. Friendship and social support, especially in times of crisis, can help save magic. In addition, treating the earliest signs of a problem can help prevent depression from worsening. Long-term maintenance treatment can also help prevent symptoms of depression from recurring.

Related articles:

Depression: Factors, Measures, Management

Treatment of depression