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A Brief Overview of Depression

A Brief Overview of Depression

A Brief Overview of Depression

Depression Symptoms

  • Low mood
  • Anhedonia (lack of interest and pleasure in all or most activities)
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Changes in weight and appetite reduced libido
  • Loss of energy
  • Reduced concentration
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Depression is extremely common, accounting for up to 10% of all presentations to a primary care physician.

The cause of an individual’s depression is often multi factored. Important risk factors include: family history of depression, childhood abuse (physical, emotional or sexual), underlying personality traits (e.g. neurotic-ism, impulsiveness, obsessiveness), social circumstances (e.g. financial hardship, marital status), adverse life events (e.g. relationship breakdown, bereavement), chronic pain or physical illness, and substance abuse.

Depression Causes Distress

Depression can cause significant distress and impairment of social and occupational functioning. A known fact is that depression and the family are affected. The impact on the sufferer’s ability to work causes financial difficulties. This leaves a person in a downward spiral feeling hopelessness. Soon unable to reach out for help and counseling does not seem to be an option.

A Brief Overview of Depression
A Brief Overview of Depression

Depression can cause significant distress and impairment of social and occupational functioning. A known fact is that depression and the family are affected. The impact on the sufferer’s ability to work causes financial difficulties. This leaves a person in a downward spiral feeling hopelessness. Soon unable to reach out for help and counseling does not seem to be an option.

Depression and Treatment

There are many ways to treat this mental illness. The best outcome is achieved by a combination of approaches. Treatments include: psychotherapy, pharmacological therapy (antidepressant medication), lifestyle changes and natural remedies. Spiritual therapy, mindfulness and Present Awareness Therapy are all very beneficial.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that can be undertaken with a trained therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. It addresses dysfunctional emotions and maladaptive behaviors by examining their origins and implementing a systematic, goal-oriented method of dealing with them. CBT is extremely effective.

Depression and Medication

Many find the use of an antidepressant medication to be an effective tool. There are many classes of antidepressant drugs, such as selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective nor-epinephrine re uptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) among others. Medication needs to be treated under the care of a psychiatrist or medical doctor.

Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a healthy and balanced diet and adequate sleep are important. They can make a significant difference. There are also natural supplements like St John’s Wort, and fish oil. The studies show positive effects. You need to proceed with caution, and under the care of a physician.

Being depressed is real. It has physical and psychological symptoms which affect the individual greatly. With the willingness to seek help, the support of family and friends, and a multifaceted treatment regime, recovery is possible.