Learn all about depression and its Symptoms, Causes, Tests and Treatment!
Depression is basically a mood disorder in which patient may have persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Sometimes it is also termed as major depression or clinical depression.Depression basically affects your emotions,feelings, your thinking ability and your behavior.Depression produces number of emotional and physical problems Which are due to imbalance in the level certain neurotransmitters.So, depression may disturb your routine life and physical activities.
Depression is not always a psychiatric problem.Sometimes depression may be normal reaction to certain emotional events.It may be symptom Some medical disorders or it may be unwanted effect of treatment therapy. Depression is also associated with some physical factors like Socioeconomic status, family background and personal life matters.If depression persists for a long term then you should take it serious because it may be a some kind of medical disorder.
Symptoms of depression
Symptoms of depression vary from person to person and also depends upon the exact cause of depression.However some commonly reported symptoms of depression are mentioned below
- Feeling of loneliness
- Feeling of sadness
- Lack of interest in physical activities
- Sleep disturbances
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Suicidal thoughts
- Lack of concentration
Causes of Depression
Exact cause of depression is still not clearly understood but it is presumed that various factors play important role in the development of depression.
Neurotransmitters are chemical substances that are released from different parts of brain and have influence over many functions of brain.These neurotransmitters are present in equilibrium state.Sometimes balance between these neurotransmitters is interrupted by certain stimuli.If this imbalance persists for longer duration of time then it will leads to the development of major depressive disorder.
Genetic factors are also involved in the development of major depressive disorder.people having depression problem in their family history or having any kind of psychiatric illness in their family history are more prone to get involved in such kind of disorders.Research is going on to identify the specific genes which are involved in the development of depression and other kind of Psychiatric illness.
Certain emotional events such as the death, financial stress or any shocking news can act as stimulus in the development of depression.In women menopause is common cause of depression or other psychiatric illness.Depression associated with life events is temporary and many people recover from depression after couple of days.If it persists for longer period of time then it may turn into major depressive disorder.
Tests and diagnosis of depression
There is no specific test for the diagnosis of depression but with the help of certain tests it easy to diagnose whether patient is suffering from depression or not.
Physical examination is very important is diagnosis of depression because patient suffering from depression exhibits some specific symptoms during physical examination like abnormal behavior, lack of concentration, mood swings and feeling of loneliness.If doctor finds these specific symptoms during physical examination then it gives an indication that patient is suffering from depression or any other kind of psychiatric illness.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp.Electroencephalography(EEG) measures fluctuations in electrical signals transferring from one neuron to other.EEG is commonly used in the diagnosis of certain psychiatric disorders such as epilepsy.It is also used to diagnose depression, sleep disorders, coma and encephalopathies.
Diagnostic criteria for depression
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) which is published by the American Psychiatric Association provides standard Diagnostic criteria for depression if patients meets the standard Diagnostic criteria for depression mentioned in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) it means he is suffering from major depression disorder.
Treatment of depression
Treatment of depression requires long term therapy of medications.These medications belongs to anti-depressant category and should be used cautiously due their adverse drug reactions and side effects.Psychotherapy is also required along-with these medications in order to get rid of from depression.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are now widely prescribed by doctors for the treatment of depression,anxiety,post traumatic stress and major depression disorder.Main mechanism of these Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is that they increase the amount of serotonin neurotransmitter at binding site.
Serotonin is excitatory neurotransmitter and it will ease the symptoms of depression and other psychiatric illness.Examples of Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro).
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are also effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress and major depression disorder.Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) increase level of both neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.They are less prescribed by doctors because of their side effects and adverse drug reactions.Examples of Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor XR).
Tricyclic anti-depressants are used in neuropathies, nerve pain and other psychiatric disorders.Tricyclic antidepressants(TCA) should be used in severe cases because of their side effects and adverse drug reactions.One of the major side effect of tricyclic anti-depressants(TCA) is sexual dsysfunction and loss of libido.Examples of tricyclic antidepressants(TCA) are imipramine (Tofranil) and nortriptyline (Pamelor).
Psychotherapy is basically a treatment of depression by talking about your condition and health related issues.Psychotherapy is also termed as counseling or psychosocial therapy.Psychotherapy is necessary alongwith ant-depressant medicines in order to get rid of from depression.