Mental Health

10 Important Facts to Know on Depression and How to Deal With It

1. What is depression?

When doctors talk about depression, they mean heavy depression. It is characterized by a combination of symptoms, including a bad mood, which is constantly and substantially reduces the ability to work, sleep, eat and enjoy the daily activities. Such periods of depression may occur once, two or more times in life. If not treated, episodes usually last between 6 months and a year.

Women suffer twice as much as men and the condition is observed in all age groups. All racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups suffer from depression. About three-quarters of people who have had one episode of depression experience at least one more for the rest of their lives.

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Severe depression is just one type of depressive disorder. Other such are dysthymia (chronic, lighter depression) and bipolar depression (alternation of depressive and manic episodes).

2. What are the symptoms of depression?

  • loss of interest or pleasure in dealing with hobbies
  • a sense of sadness or emotional emptiness
  • easy or gratuitous crying
  • a sense of restlessness or restlessness
  • a sense of futility or guilt
  • loss or weight gain
  • thoughts of death or suicide
  • delayed thinking, difficulty in remembering or poor concentration
  • difficulties in making day-to-day decisions
  • sleep problems, especially early in the morning or constant drowsiness
  • a sense of constant fatigue
  • a sense of emotional anxiety, probably to the extent of being unable to cry.

When several of these symptoms of depressive disorder occur at the same time and last for more than 2 weeks, professional treatment is required to disrupt normal functioning.

3. What causes depression?

There is no single cause of depression. Different psychological, biological and external factors may have an impact.

Depression is linked to an imbalance of three types of chemical compounds in the brain (norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine) that transmit electrical signals between cells and this makes communication between neurons difficult. In addition, a genetic link is established (passed on to the family). Not everyone with a genetic predisposition develops depression, but these people are more vulnerable to the factors that lead to the disease.

Depression may be associated with various life events such as the death of a relative, divorce or loss of work. Taking certain medications or alcohol can also trigger depression. It should be noted, however, that this condition is not caused by a weakness of character, laziness or lack of will, and very often occurs spontaneously without being unlocked by an event or illness.

4. How to deal with depression?

Take your time – do not expect to do everything like before. Make yourself a realistic program. Do not believe your negative thoughts that make you self-blame or feel insecure in your endeavors. This helps relieve depression. These thoughts will disappear when the depression is removed. Engage in activities that make you feel good or in which you have achieved success.

Avoid making important life decisions while in depression. If necessary, consult with someone you trust.
avoid alcohol and medication – both can worsen depression and cause side effects when combined with antidepressants.

Physical activity and some foods help to improve mood. A good goal is exercise lasting 30 minutes 4-6 times per week, but even more diluted activity is helpful. Do not get discouraged – depressed treatment takes time.

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5. How long does depression continue?

It depends on the timeliness of the treatment. If you do not treat depression, it may take weeks, medics and even years. The main risk in the absence of treatment is the possibility of suicide. Depression therapy has an effect within 6 to 8 weeks, sometimes less.

Depression can usually be treated outpatients. Hospitalization is required if there is another medical condition that affects treatment or where there is a risk of suicide.

6. What are the side effects of antidepressants?

All medications have side effects. Different drugs have different side effects and their severity varies from person to person.

About 50 percent of people taking antidepressants experience such effects during the first week of treatment, but they are usually mild and transient.

The side effects, which are more significant, can be affected by dose change or medication change, or by side-effect therapy.

7. How is depression treated?

Although severe depression is a very serious illness, it is very well treated. Between 80 and 90 percent of patients with severe depression can be effectively treated and returned to their normal activities and activities. There are many types of therapy, and the choice depends on the individual’s course of the disease and its severity.

There are three main methods of treating depression:

  • medicines
  • psychotherapy
  • electroconvulsive therapy

4. What is electroconvulsive therapy?

Electroconvulsive therapy is a highly effective treatment for severe periods of depression. In cases where psychotherapy, medication or a combination of both are ineffective or act too slowly, electroconvulsive therapy should be considered.

Electroconvulsive therapy should be considered when, for various reasons, the use of antidepressants is not possible.

5. What are the psychotherapeutic methods for treating depression?

There are several types of psychotherapy that have proven their effectiveness in depression such as cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. Studies have shown that they can successfully treat mild to moderate depression.

For severe depression, the combination of a drug and psychotherapy is most effective.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Helps to change the negative beliefs and unsatisfactory behavior associated with depression and to teach people to erase the behavioral patterns that contribute to the disease

interpersonal therapy – focuses on the improvement of interpersonal relationships

6. What is the medical treatment of depression?

The first antidepressant was introduced in 1960. Research has shown that neurotransmitter imbalances can be corrected with these drugs. There are four main groups of antidepressants that are used in practice:

Tricyclic antidepressants – are widely used for severe depression. They lead to increased appetite, restoration of normal sleep, appetite, and vigor, but it takes three to four weeks to get a response.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) – are often effective in patients who do not respond to other medications or have “atypical” depression with increased anxiety, marked drowsiness, irritability, hypochondria or phobic elements.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – are suitable for the first treatment of patients who are first taking antidepressants or people who have not been affected by other medications. In general, SSRIs cause fewer side effects than the first two categories.

Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are suitable for first-time treatment of patients who are first taking antidepressants or people who have not been affected by other medications. And they like SSRIs cause fewer side effects in compared to the first two groups.

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