Depression (which is a major depressive disorder) is known to be a common and serious medical illness that shall negatively affect how one might feel, the way one thinks, and how one might act. Fortunately, the condition is well treatable. Depression can all lead to feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities one has once enjoyed. It can further lead to a variety of emotional and physical issues and can lower the ability to function at work and home.
Symptoms Of Depression
Depression symptoms can vary which shall range all from mild to severe conditions and it can include the below:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that are all once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite including weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble in sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or enhanced fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (which is an inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions might be well severe enough to be observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making well decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms might be at least two weeks and we must represent a change in the previous level of functioning for a diagnosis of the depression-like condition. Also, medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, which as a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression so it is all-important for ruling out some general medical causes.
Depression-like conditions might all affect an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will further experience depression-like conditions at some time in their life. Depression might also occur at any time, but on average, first might appear while the late teens to mid-20s. Women might be more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies have also shown that one-third of women might experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. There is a high degree of heritability (which might be approx. 40%) when first-degree relatives (parents/children/siblings) might be depressed.
Risk Factors for Depression
Depression is known for affecting anyone—even a person who might appear to live in relatively ideal circumstances. Several factors can further play a role in depression which includes:
- Biochemistry: Differences in various chemicals in the brain might all contribute to symptoms of depression
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, one identical twin might have depression, and the other has a 70% chance of having the illness sometime in their life
- Personality: People with low self-esteem that are easily overwhelmed by stress or similar conditions, or who might usually pessimistically appear to be more likely for experiencing depression
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty might make some people vulnerable to depression
There are various possible causes of depression like condition. They can all range from biological to circumstantial. Some of the common causes include:
- Brain chemistry: There might be a chemical imbalance in parts of the brain which might be managed through mood, sleep, thoughts, appetite, and behavior in people that are depressed
- Hormone levels: alterations in female hormones estrogen and progesterone while different periods including the menstrual cycle, postpartum period, perimenopause, or menopause might all raise a person’s risk for depression
- Family history: you are at a higher risk for evolving depression in case you might have a family history of depression or another mood disorder
- Early childhood trauma: Some events might all affect the way someone’s body reacts to fear under some stressful situations
- Brain structure: there is a greater risk for depression in case the frontal lobe of the brain is less active. However, scientists might not know in case this happens before or after the onset of depressive symptoms
- Medical conditions: Some conditions might put you at higher risk, like chronic illness, chronic pain, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, heart attack, stroke, and cancer
- Substance use: This is a history of substance or alcohol misuse which can affect the risk
- Pain: People who might feel emotional or chronic physical pain for long periods might be well significantly more likely to be depressed
Contributing Factors And Prevention
Depression-like conditions shall be an outcome of a complex interaction of social, biological, and psychological factors. People that might have all gone through adverse life events (including unemployment, bereavement, and traumatic events) are known to be super likely to evolve depression. Depression can, in turn, lead to some stress and dysfunction which shall worsen the affected person’s life situation and the depression-like state in itself. Various interrelationships lie between depression and physical health. For example, the cardiovascular disease might lead to depression and vice versa.
Prevention programs might lower depression. Effective community approaches might further prevent depression-like school-based programs to enhance a pattern of positive coping in children and well in adolescents too. Interventions for parents of children with behavioral issues might be about reducing parental depressive symptoms and enhancing outcomes for the children. Exercise programs for older persons might also be super effective in depression prevention conditions.
How Is Depression Treated?
Depression-like condition is among the most treatable mental disorders like condition. Between 80% and 90% of the people who are depressed shall eventually respond well to the treatment. Almost all patients might gain some relief from their symptoms.
Before being in a diagnosis or treatment, which is a health professional might further conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, which shall include an interview and a physical examination. In some cases, which includes a blood test might be done for being sure about depression is not due to a medical condition including a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency (which shall be reversing the medical cause that might alleviate the depression-like symptoms). The evaluation might identify specific symptoms and further help in exploring medical and family histories as well as cultural and environmental factors to arrive at a diagnosis and plan a course of action.