Depression is more common in women than in men and is one of the most common illnesses worldwide. All over the world, around 350 million people are affected by depression, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say 7.6 percent of people above the age of 12 are depressed at least once in a two-week interval.
Those who have never experienced depression do need to be educated as to what depression really is, what are the causes and symptoms and how it can be treated. Going by the World Health Organization meaning, depression is “a common mental disorder, characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to daily activities, for at least two weeks.”
One of the signs that point to the start of depression is the loss of ability to carry out normal daily activities for longer than two weeks. The other symptoms of depression are a loss of energy, thoughts of self-harm, hopelessness, insomnia (lack of sleep), sleeping more, loss of appetite, indecisiveness, restlessness, anxiety, and lack of concentration, slow movement, and speech. Where any of the above symptoms persist, there is a need to see a doctor.
Doctors around the world have studied depression and conducted research on the cause of it. The causes are not fully understood but results have shown that family history, environment, biological changes in neurotransmitter levels, psychological and social factors all lead to depression.
A person has a tendency to been depressed when a first-degree relative suffered depression. A first-degree relative includes a mother and a father. Because of the close affinity proximity, there is a likelihood of any first-degree relative to suffer from depression.
Biological change in neurotransmitter levels is an imbalance of brain chemicals. A neurotransmitter is a chemical sent from the brain to communicate with the other parts of itself and the nervous system. The imbalance in neurotransmitters also amounts to depression.
There are some risk factors that trigger the occurrence of any of the aforementioned causes. Relationship issues, financial instability, divorce, bereavement, medical conditions that are chronic diseases, childhood trauma, family issues, work-related problems, amphetamines, abuse of drugs – such as corticosteroids, interferon – abuse of alcohol, past injury on the head, relapse of depression having had a previous history of it.
There are various types of Depression and they are unipolar depression and bipolar depression. Unipolar depression is been in a continuous state of unhappiness, loss of strength, hopelessness, and sadness. People are more acquainted with this form of depression as the signs are easier to identify, unlike bipolar depression.
Bipolar depression also known as bipolar disorder is intermittent periods of high energy and depression. The two moods swings by a person can be deceiving and difficult to quickly identify whether such a person is suffering from depression or not.
With these two types of disorders, there is the possibility of having suicidal thoughts or other thoughts of self-harm. This is why it is important to remain in constant communication with loved ones and if depression is noticed, look to seek help and treatment.
Psychotherapy and antidepressant medications are used in treating depression. Psychotherapy involves having a heart-to-heart conversation by a depressed patient and a psychotherapist. The conversation can be carried out face-to-face, on the phone, or even through video. These methods are often used in mild cases of depression and as the first treatment option. It can also be used with other treatment options such as antidepressant medications.
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that antidepressant medications may increase suicidal thoughts in children and young adults in the first few months of use, antidepressant medications still stand as a viable means of treating depression. However, self-medication is strongly prohibited. If any signs of irrational behavior are noticed during the use of antidepressant drugs, a doctor should be contacted.
Depression can be spotted and treated when people have the right information regarding it and is also treatable by visiting an expert doctor and it is vital to always keep in touch with family and friends and share one’s problems to reduce the risks of depression.