Depression is a type of mood disorder characterized by low mood and state of aversion. Individuals living with this condition often exhibit signs of sadness, helplessness, irritability, anxiousness and restlessness.
Individuals affected with depression usually experience several bouts of depressive episodes. The symptoms almost occur every day and gradually begin interfering with the daily activities of the individual. The following are the signs and symptoms exhibited :
A combination of tests would help in diagnosis of depression. The following methods would be employed for diagnosing the condition:
A combination of treatment regime has been proved to be effective for individuals with depression. The following methods are employed in treating depression:
A high incidence of morbidity and mortality is associated with depression owing to increase in suicidal attempts amongst the depressed population. The prognosis of the condition is good with treatment as about 70 to 80% of individuals report significant reduction in symptoms of depression when given appropriate treatment. However, it has also been observed that about 50% of individuals do not respond to the initial phases of depression .
The exact cause of depression is not clearly understood. However interplay of various factors has been known to play a role. The following factors can cause depression:
Depression is a common mood disorder affecting more than 20 million individuals in the US. The lifetime incidence of depression amongst men and women in the US has been estimated to be 12% and 20% respectively. Depression is a more common phenomenon amongst the women population .
It has also been reported that the incidence of depression is higher amongst the elderly population owing to advancing age and increase in prevalence of medical illness and institutionalization in this age group.
The pathophysiology of depression is not clearly understood. Certain clinical trials have pointed towards disturbance in the various neurotransmitters to be a major factor. In addition, development of vascular lesions that damages the functioning of the neural networks involved with emotional regulation play a significant role in development of depression. When the brain activity of affected individuals were studied through neuroimaging tests, it was revealed that depressed mind is associated with decreased metabolic activity in neocortical structures with an increase in metabolic activity of limbic structures .
Depression can seldom be prevented. However, certain steps can help avoid its onset. These include:
Such a type of mood disorder if not treated on time can make life worse for the individual living with it. Depression requires long term treatment and individuals generally do better with medications and psychological counseling. Affected individuals exhibit symptoms of constant feeling of sadness and lack of interest in activities . Depression is also termed as major depressive disorder or clinical depression.
Depression is a type of mood disorder characterized by constant feeling of sadness accompanied by lack of interest in life. Such a type of condition can strike individuals at any age and is more prevalent amongst the female population.
Depression is thought to occur due to interplay of various factors such as genetics, unpleasant life events, hormonal imbalance and drug abuse. Individuals with certain underlying disease condition can also fall prey to depression.
Individuals with depression exhibit signs of sadness, lack of interest in various activities, loss of appetite or sudden increase in food cravings, lack of sleep, poor concentration, lack of energy and fatigue.
Individuals who seek medical advice are asked to fill up a questionnaire containing list of questions to better understand their condition and thought process. In addition, blood tests and imaging studies will also be required to diagnose underlying disease conditions.
Depression is best treated through combination of medication and psychotherapy. Those who fail to respond to these modes of treatment are given electroconvulsive therapy.