Depression- Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

depression

The fact is that depression is a topic that most people avoid. I’m not going to show you how to make depression go away or make you feel better about it. I’m going to give you a step-by-step guide on how you can recognize your depression. It’s a common issue and today we will look at what depression is, how it affects people and what we can do to manage the symptoms and conditions.

Depression is a complex disorder that can have devastating effects on people causing mental illness. It is the leading cause of disability for ages between 15 to 44, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Yet, even today, many people still do not understand this disorder. This blog will help you understand what depression is and how you can get help for this condition.

What is depression?

Depression is a common mental health problem that is characterized by persistent sadness and loss of interest in usual activities and some cases, it can become extreme and uncontrollable. It is a mental state that is experienced at various levels of severity. These levels of severity can be mild, moderate, severe, and if left untreated, the depression may lead to suicide.

 People who suffer from depression must get professional and emotional help. They need to talk to a psychiatrist or physician about their condition. It’s not something that should be ignored, rather it’s becoming more common in the current generation. People need to talk about the different causes of depression, the different types of depression, and the different treatment options available to people suffering from depression.

Types of depression-

Depression is becoming common all over the world. Healthcare studies estimated that nearly 7% of American adults deal with depression every year. It is not just about persistent sadness or hopelessness. The type of depression differs according to symptoms and causes. It can linger much longer in one’s life for no absolute reason.

There are seven types of depression based on their symptoms and causes- 

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)- This is the major type of depression that people usually face and is also known as clinical depression. It has severe and overwhelming symptoms that last for a longer period. People having major depressive disorder symptoms can interfere a lot with everyday life.
  • Bipolar depression- people suffering from bipolar disorder depression can suffer from mood swings. They experience quick alternating periods of low mood and extremely high mood periods. During the high mood period, a person can be extremely aggressive while during the low period they may feel sad or hopeless or lacking in energy that shows depression.
  • Persistent depressive disorder (PDD)- This type of depression is less severe than the major depressive disorder. It is also known as dysthymia. The symptoms are less severe but for a longer period. It can last for two years or longer as compared to the major depressive disorder that lasts for approximately two weeks. 
  • Perinatal or postpartum depression- This type of depression is experienced by pregnant women. ‘Perinatal’ means around birth that can happen before or after having a baby. It can also occur during pregnancy and even after 1 year of pregnancy which can cause minor sadness, anxiety, or stress.
  • Psychotic depression- People having this type of depression can face severe depressive symptoms. People can also face delusions that are beliefs in things that do not exist in reality and hallucination that refers to seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not real. 
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)- This type of depression gets triggered by a change in seasons usually in the winter before ending in the spring. People getting a mild version of SAD is known as ‘winter blues’ in which people feel a little down and dark during the colder months.
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)- This type of depression is experienced by women. It is the most serious form of premenstrual syndrome that is facing bloating, headaches, and breast tenderness a week before menstruation. Symptoms can be extremely severe including irritability, anxiety, or depression.

Symptoms of depression-

According to different types of depression, symptoms may vary from person to person and from age to age but there are few common symptoms through which we can figure out that a person is suffering from any kind of depression. Some common symptoms are-

  • Lost of interest in doing liked activities
  • Feeling tired or loss of energy
  • Sleeping either too much or too less
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling low or worthless
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Feeling of persistent sadness without any reason
  • Harming oneself that may be suicide
  • Not able to concentrate or make decisions.
  • Anxiety and stressed
  • Pains and tiredness without any physical work.

However, a person may experience several other symptoms that can be more severe than these and can absolutely interfere with the person’s daily life.

What causes depression? 

Depression is a very complex issue and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out exactly what causes it but it can happen for a number of reasons. The majority of people face clinical depression. Some common causes of depression can be a medical illness, life changes, genetic disorder, physical or emotional abuse, death or loss of loved ones, and other personal problems.

Some of the main common causes of depression are-

  • Age- Studies have shown that people in or above the twenties are at higher risk of getting depression. It can be due to several reasons such as living alone, lack of support from families and friends, love or breakups, and many more.
  • Abuse- Abuse can be the most prominent reason why people face depression. It can be of any type including emotional, social, physical, or mental abuse. This can make you more vulnerable to getting depression. 
  • Loss of loved ones- It is difficult for humans to endure the sadness of losing their loved ones. It can happen due to different reasons, maybe death or loss of a person or end of the relationship due to personal problems that increase the risk of depression. 
  • Genetic disorder- Your chances of depression increases when you have a family history of depression. Depression is a complex trait that has many different genes controlling the genetics of depression. Many people have this trait in their genes that makes them more vulnerable to depression later in life. 
  • Alcohol, drugs, and other substance misuses- Depression is not caused just by common factors like physical, mental, or emotional abuses, personal problems, death, and loss, etc. Stats have been given that nearly 30% of the people with the use of alcohol, drugs, and other such addictive substances suffer from major or clinical depression. Substance misuse increases the rate of depression.
  • Gender- It has been seen that women are more likely to become depressed as compared to men. It can be due to the hormonal changes that women go through during several life stages. 

Treatment of depression-

Depression can be serious and it can get worse if not treated at the correct time. If you are the one or you know someone experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms, then it’s high time to realize that this shouldn’t be ignored and must be given proper attention and treated as soon as possible. With proper attention and treatment, depression can be cured and the person can get back to living his normal life. These can be done to treat depression- 

  1. Self-care – Giving attention to yourself by performing regular exercise, doing yoga, and meditation can improve your mental health and thus can reduce your depression symptoms. Selfcare is the easiest and best way to cure depression.
  2. Medication- Prescribed medicines like antidepressants work well in curing symptoms of depression. These medicines take a few weeks to show results. Also, some of these medicines have side effects and medication for depression should be done under proper guidance.
  3. Complementary therapy- People suffering from mild depression can take several other therapies as an alternative to medicines that can improve their well-being and condition. This includes acupuncture massage hypnosis and biofeedback. 
  4. Psychotherapy- In this process consolation is taken from psychiatrists or psychological health professionals to understand one’s mental health condition and depression symptoms. By taking brief psychotherapy, it can help a lot in understanding and reducing depression symptoms. If the condition is serious either people may prefer this for a longer period.
  5. Brain stimulation therapy- People can manage mild depression with the following mentioned techniques but if the condition is severe, the person may need brain stimulation therapy including electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. 

Depression is not something that should be ignored or taken lightly. It’s becoming a serious issue in today’s generation that people are dealing with. It’s our responsibility to increase awareness about depression, its causes, types, symptoms, and treatments.

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