Depression is a mental disease characterized by intense sadness and loss of interest for a long time. This condition affects the feelings, ways of thinking, the behaving, a feeling of hopelessness, and thinking about self-harm or even suicide.
This mental disease is actually a widespread global problem and not a simple condition. If not addressed immediately, it can wreak your physical health like low immunity, worsened pain, and substance abuse.
Depending on the severity, depression divides into:
- Major depression or Clinical depression. This type is characterized by constant depression and usually lasts for about six months.
- Dysthymia. Dysthymia has mild symptoms that tend to persist for at least two years.
- Persistent depressive disorder. This type lasts for two years and the symptoms are similar to major depression.
- Psychotic depression. This type is a combination of depression and psychosis. The patient will lose self-awareness of reality by believing things that others cannot hear or see.
- Postpartum depression. This type occurs in new mothers after childbirth.
- Bipolar disorder or Maniac depression. Someone who experiences this type will have impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and rapid speech.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This type often occurs in autumn or winter when the day becomes shorter.
There is no definite cause of depression. The cause is usually from a combination of some factors. Many factors can trigger this mental disease including genetics, biology and brain chemistry, alcohol or drug abuse, personality, and life events such as trauma, loss of loved ones, failed relationships, early childhood experiences, stressful situations, or the difficulty of life phase.
However, in some cases, the health conditions can also cause depression especially chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
The symptoms in each person can be various such as:
- You may feel desperate for the present and the future as if nothing you can do to change it
- You lose the interest in doing activities even lose feeling love to the nearest person
- You may tend to eat a lot so the weight gain or lose your appetite so the weight drops drastically
- Your sleep behavior change significantly
- You may feel restless, anxious, or even turn angry
- Low energy, tired, lethargic, and drained physical energy
- You start doing risky activities like gambling, reckless driving, or drug abuse
- You may have severe pain such as a headache, backache, muscle aches, and abdominal pain
- You may experience concentration problems
- You may have strong feelings to hate yourself
The treatments usually use drugs, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy. First, the doctor will review your condition and then consider what therapy is right for you.
The drugs used in therapy are antidepressants. Antidepressants are consumed according to the doctor’s prescription or psychiatrist. The drugs that commonly used are escitalopram, paroxetine, sertraline, fluoxetine, and citalopram. In addition, the other medicines are venlafaxine, duloxetine, and bupropion which have side effects such as weight gain, sexual problems, and nausea.
Psychotherapy can also help to treat depression. Psychotherapy is done by teaching new ways of thinking, behaving, and changing habits. Psychotherapy is also known as speech therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Get Quick Medical Answer from a Doctor. Just Ask!
Have a medical problem? Connect one-on-one with verified Doctors online or by phone. Pediatricians and other specialists available 24/7.ASK A DOCTOR NOW!
Electroconvulsive therapy is for the severe depression that is difficult to treat by drugs or psychotherapy. Sometimes, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is even performed under the influence of anesthesia. ECT can cause side effects such as confusion and memory loss temporary.
The lifestyle and home remedies that can help you prevent depression such as never be alone, make life simpler, regular exercise, consumption of healthy foods, learn to relax and handle your stress, follow the treatment plan, and never make important decisions when you are in the down conditions.