Human brain is considered as an amazing organ which controls and co-ordinates almost all the functions of the body. There would be either direct or indirect influence of brain in each and every activity. With the great role of brain in life people do a good number of jobs sometimes simultaneously. Some people would be multitasking. During such a busy schedule people may tend to feel lonely, insecure, low, sadness etc. Persistence of such thoughts for longer time or if they occur very frequently, it is referred to as depression. In some cases, depression may have specific reason and in some, it may be without reason also. It may affect the health of an individual mentally and even physically if the condition is neglected.
Types of Depression
Depending upon the situations in which depression is caused, the following types can be listed out.
- Postpartum Depression. This kind of depression is found in new mothers. This may occur immediately after delivery and would be cured within a short period of time. Some women even suffer from depression even during pregnancy. During this period, women find it difficult to care themselves and also the baby.
- Seasonal Depression. Some people feel depressed when there is scarcity of sunlight during winter. It is called seasonal as they suffer every year. In winter these people do not like to involve in social activities. They feel like sleeping always due to which they put on weight. This is a seasonal affective disorder which is not found in spring or summer.
- Dysthymia. This is somewhat long term disorder which is also known as persistent depressive disorder. The duration may vary but would persist at least two years. The people with this disorder suffer from episodes of depression more frequently.
- Psychotic Depression. People with some delusions have this kind of depression. They may have a guilt feeling because of any serious health issues or socio-economic status. Sometimes the condition would be so severe in this kind of depression that the people may have hallucinations. They feel like hearing some sound or voice which others cannot; see something which other people are unable to see.
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. Some sort of depression is also seen in small children and also in adolescents is termed as DSM-5 which includes disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. This may be because of helplessness condition in children and in adolescents it may be due to certain physical, biological and psychological changes during puberty.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Premenstrual syndrome is common in many women occurring every month before commencement of menstrual flow. Severe PMS affects the normal work of those women with PMDD. Many times this disorder may lead to suicidal tendency.
Causes of Depression
This is a complex topic and it is very difficult to find out the specific causes for depression. There may be many reasons and a person may suffer from depression because of any one reason or combination of them. Also, for a person the cause may be different in different circumstances. Some of the causes are discussed here.
- Physiological Changes in Brain. Brain has some chemical transmitters which on deficiency and excess secretion affects the mental health of humans. These neurotransmitters are norepinephrine and serotonin. Consumption of alcohol may also affect the secretion of these neurotransmitters. In case if the people take medicines for some other diseases the level of these chemicals may lead to depression.
- Emotional Reasons for Depression. Nature of some people may be one of the reasons for depression. They would be very sensitive and worry a lot for criticism. Most of the times they think negative and give negative strokes to themselves. They underestimate themselves. Some would be perfectionists and expect everything to be perfect. In case if anything happens against to their will, feel depressed.
- Family History. In the families where people have had depression in some stage of life, the future generation also has more risk of having depression.
- Other Causes. It is learnt from researches that if a person has some difficulties for long time, he/she is at more risk. The difficulties may be of different forms like poverty, stress in work place and harassment from the people around, sexual harassments, unemployment or else any unforgettable inncidents that lead to sadness.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
People with depression would be having different symptoms. Signs and symptoms vary from individual to individual. Many times the people around the sufferers should recognize and arrange for treatment. Some of the common symptoms are listed below.
- Sadness for long time
- Empty mood
- Inability to concentrate on any work
- Inability to take decisions
- Feeling worthless
- Guilty feeling
- Talking slowly
- Not able to do the regular activities
- Uninterested in hobbies
- Feeling like energy is lost
- Problems with digestion without physical disorder
- Changes in weight and appetite
- Body pain or headache for no reason.
In case if a person experience a few of the above symptoms frequently or almost everyday or maximum duration in a day and the suffering is at least for two weeks he/she is said to be depressed.
Treatment for Depression
There is no specific reason for depression. Hence the treatment also varies accordingly. It may be cured within a short period of time or it may take a long time. Sometimes a physician who is a family attendant is able to manage the patient since he/she knows about the patient’s family or else professionals of different fields have to co-ordinate to solve the problem. A few treatments are given here.
Different Sources of Support. Psychologists and doctors can discuss with each other and arrange for counseling. A few people find solution in one or two sittings and can return into normal lifestyle. Some people with depression need more sittings where gradual change can be brought in patients. Here the psychologists advices to maintain the healthy lifestyle and give suggestions to learn to analyze and manage the situations. Support may be given through different forums or online also. Involvement of friends and family members is essential in some cases. In some cases, the patient is given some suggestions on self-healing.
Psychological Treatment for Depression. In few more cases, therapies which involve just talking with the depression patient would relax them. Psychologists understand the problem of the patients and bring the change in the thought process and behavior. Some of the treatments for depression include BT (behavior therapy), IPT (interpersonal therapy), MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) and CBT (cognitive behavior therapy).
Medical Support. The condition of the patient with depression is analyzed by the doctor or a health professional who is attending him/her. After trying the above treatments of counseling and therapies if the doctor finds there is no improvement in patient’s condition, the doctor may then prescribe some medicines like antidepressants to cure the mild or severe depression. Sometimes, the medications are given along with the counseling. This is done by a psychiatrist who knows the usage of right antidepressant at the right time. The doctor is aware of the side effects of any medication if any. So the duration of usage of medicine also would be decided by the doctor.
Each individual is born differently. Hence the nature, behavior, personality, activities, tastes, likes everything would be different. It is important to understand this and move on in life. In case if this problem is due to any physical changes in brain, would be treated by the health professionals. Otherwise, acceptance of what the people have in life and feeling satisfied is the best thing. Timely advice from the experts would help to cure or to manage the condition and to stay healthy for the rest of the life.
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