Depression is an emotional health condition that affects the way you think and function. Depression symptoms generally consist of feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness. The condition may also cause difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and increased appetite. Someone who has depression will usually feel tired or inactive. There are many different causes of depression, but what causes depression in you may be a trigger for other symptoms.
For those who do not suffer from mild forms of depression, treatment can include psychotherapy, anti-depressant medications, and/or anti-anxiety medications. For people who experience severe forms of depression, there are more intensive types of treatment available. Some of the more severe depression treatments include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS), chronic mood stabilizers (CMS), an antidepressant or mood stabilizer medications. While these treatments have proven successful in treating some people, they do not work for everyone.
Certain medical conditions, medications, and diseases also play a role in causing depression. Medical conditions that can cause depression include physical illness, hormone imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and chemical imbalances in the brain. Hormone imbalances can include pregnancy-related symptoms, menopause-related symptoms, and minor hormonal variations that occur as we age. Nutritional deficiencies include deficiencies of iron, B vitamins, and magnesium.
Other common medical conditions that can lead to depression include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heart problems, and kidney and liver disease. When a person experiences frequent and prolonged pain or discomfort in the abdomen, they may start to feel depressed. If you have GERD or a heart condition, it is important to get help right away. A healthcare provider can check for heartburn, esophagus issues, and stomach acid reflux. They can also test for abnormalities with your levels of thyroid hormones.
A major factor that leads to the development of depression is not getting enough sleep and exercising on a regular basis. When someone does not get enough sleep or exercise, it takes a toll on their mood. It can have an effect on their energy level and mental state of mind. The use of antidepressants and mood stabilizers such as CMS or antidepressants can be effective in combating depression. Some healthcare providers will also recommend cognitive behavior therapy or psychotherapy in order to help the patient change their thought patterns and behaviors that are triggering feelings of depression.
For those suffering from mild to moderate depression, electroconvulsive therapy or ECT can be very effective. An ECT session involves the use of electrical stimulation. Using this treatment for severe depression may require several sessions. During the first session, doctors will teach the patient to recognize triggers that can cause an episode and what to do if one occurs. Following the initial session, doctors will work to reduce the symptoms of depression by using various types of therapies including cognitive behavior therapy and self-help programs.
People who experience depression need to make it a habit to visit their healthcare provider for regular checkups. By having regular checkups, doctors can catch any potential problems early and treat them before they become serious conditions. They can identify changes in brain chemistry and neurotransmitters that signal the body to experience depression. If left untreated, ECT can lead to severe depression, drug abuse, and self-harm.
Someone with seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, usually experiences severe depression during the winter months. This condition affects about two percent of the population and can be treated with light therapy. Light therapy uses special blue lights that are placed on the scalp, face, and hands to reduce the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
According to the Center for Mental Health and Neuropsychological Services Research, most patients with psychiatric disorders experience depression at least once in their lifetime. When treating this condition, healthcare providers use various treatments including medication, therapy, and support groups. Depression is treatable and most people with this condition recover within a few months. If left untreated, it can cause psychiatric illness, substance abuse, and suicide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression is the most common mental disorder in America. Getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding stressful situations can help prevent depression. People with depression should avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can increase symptoms. Those who experience depression should also get up and move around periodically to keep their body’s circulation flowing.
If you believe you have Major Depression, talk to your healthcare provider right away. Your doctor will monitor your symptoms and discuss treatment options with you. With treatment options available, you can get relief from Major Depression in two weeks or less. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your healthcare provider, there are many other resources available such as the Internet, books, and groups of other sufferers.