• Thu. May 30th, 2024

Major depressive disorder, or depression

Summary

Depression is a type of mood illness that results in a chronically depressing and uninteresting state. Variously referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, it has an impact on one’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior and can result in a range of psychological and medical issues. You could find it difficult to go about your daily business and occasionally you might think life isn’t worth living.

Read More: Major Depressive Disorder

Depression is more than just a bad case of the blues, and it’s not something you can “snap out” of. Treatment for depression may need to be ongoing. Don’t give up though. The majority of depressed individuals respond better to medication, psychotherapy, or both.

Signs and symptoms

People usually experience more than one episode of depression, even if it may only happen once in their lifetime. Symptoms during these episodes can happen almost every day for the most of the day and can include:

Sadness, tears, emptiness, or a dismal feeling

Outbursts of rage, irritation, or frustration—even over trivial issues

loss of enjoyment or interest in the majority of everyday activities, including sex, hobbies, and sports

sleep disorders, such as excessive or insufficient sleep

fatigue and low energy, making even simple chores more difficult

decreased hunger and weight loss or increased food cravings and weight gain

Restlessness, agitation, or anxiety

sluggish speech, thought, or movement

feelings of shame or unworthiness, an obsession with mistakes made in the past, or self-blame

Difficulty focusing, thinking, remembering, and making judgments

thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, attempts at suicide, or thoughts of dying often or again

unexplained health issues, such headaches or back discomfort

Many individuals with depression often have symptoms that are severe enough to cause difficulty in their day-to-day activities, such as relationships with others, job, school, or social activities. Some people may experience widespread misery or unhappiness for no apparent reason.

signs of depression in kids and teenagers

While there may be some variations, the common indications and symptoms of depression in kids and teens are often the same as those in adults.

Sadness, irritability, clinginess, concern, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight are some of the signs of depression in younger children.

Teens who experience these symptoms may also exhibit sadness, irritability, feelings of worthlessness and negativity, anger, poor academic performance or low attendance, feelings of being misunderstood and highly sensitive, excessive eating or sleeping, self-harm, loss of interest in typical activities, and avoidance of social situations.

signs of depression in senior citizens

Depression is never something to be taken lightly and is not a typical aspect of aging. Sadly, older persons with depression frequently go undetected and untreated, and they may be unwilling to ask for assistance. Older persons may experience various or less noticeable symptoms of depression, such as:

Problems with memory or shifts in personality

Aches or pains in the body

Fatigue, appetite loss, difficulty sleeping, or lack of desire in sex that isn’t brought on by a disease or medicine

Frequently preferring to remain in instead of going out to mingle or trying new things

Suicidal thoughts or emotions, particularly among elderly men

When to visit a physician

As soon as you can, schedule a visit with your physician or mental health specialist if you’re experiencing depression. Speak with a friend or loved one, a medical professional, a clergyman, or anyone else you trust if you’re hesitant to get therapy.

Reasons

The specific etiology of depression is unknown. Similar to many mental illnesses, there might be a number of contributing causes, including:

biological variations. There seem to be physical alterations in the brains of those who suffer from depression. Although the importance of these modifications is yet unknown, they may eventually aid in determining the root reasons.

Chemistry of the brain. Depression is probably influenced by neurotransmitters, which are naturally occurring molecules in the brain. Changes in these neurotransmitters’ effects and functions, as well as how they interact with neurocircuits that support mood stability, may be important in treating depression, according to recent study.

hormones. Depression may be brought on by or triggered by changes in the hormone balance in the body. Hormone shifts can occur during pregnancy, during the postpartum period (the weeks or months following childbirth), as a result of thyroid issues, menopause, or a variety of other diseases.

inherited characteristics. People with biological relations who also suffer from depression are more likely to have this illness. Scientists are searching for genes that might contribute to depression.

Factors at risk

Depression can strike at any age, although it usually starts in the teens, 20s, or 30s. It’s possible that women are more inclined than males to seek treatment for depression, which contributes to the higher diagnosis rate among women.

A few things that appear to raise the chance of getting depression or to induce it are:

Some psychological characteristics, such poor self-worth and excessive dependence, self-criticism, or pessimism

experiences that are traumatic or unpleasant, such being abused physically or sexually, losing a loved one, going through a tough relationship, or having money troubles

blood relations that have experienced alcoholism, bipolar illness, sadness, or suicide in the past

Being in an unsupportive environment as a homosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, or having differences in the development of genital organs that aren’t unmistakably male or female (intersex)

Past medical history for further mental health conditions including eating disorders, anxiety disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder

misuse of recreational drugs or alcohol

severe or persistent sickness, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, or persistent discomfort

Certain drugs, include certain prescriptions for high blood pressure or sleeping medicines (see your doctor before quitting any medication)

Avoidance

Depression cannot be guaranteed to not happen. Still, these tactics could be useful.

Take action to manage your stress, build resilience, and improve your sense of self-worth.

In order to get through difficult situations, don’t hesitate to reach out to your loved ones.

Seek help as soon as a problem arises to help keep depression from getting worse.

To assist stop a symptom recurrence, think about obtaining long-term maintenance therapy.