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Depression Overview

Depression Overview

Overview and Facts

The feeling of hopelessness or worthlessness that lasts for several days and prevents the normal functioning of an individual may be due to a medical illness known as depression. While depression is fairly common, approximately 5 to 10 percent of the population suffers from it at any given time. Not everyone with a depressive illness gets the same symptoms. The length of the illness, frequency, and severity, all depend on the individual themselves and their particular disease.

Signs and Symptoms

Some depression symptoms are feelings of energy loss, sadness, daily feelings of guilt, indecisiveness, insomnia or too much sleep every day, lack of interest in almost all activities, repeated thoughts of suicide, restlessness, and lastly, excessive weight loss or gain. If these depression signs last for more than two weeks, are present on a daily basis for most of the day, are not the result of a medication, and occur within a couple of months of losing a loved one, then they point to a person who is depressed.
The hopelessness that comes with depression is a foremost risk factor for suicide, and a person experiencing this will feel that the only option of escaping the pain is suicide. If these thoughts persist, it is important to seek help.

Causes and Diagnosis

Risk factors common to people with the disease are genetic factors like parents or grandparents who suffered from it. This is true, in particular, with bipolar disorder. Studies show that genetic makeup is different for people who have BPD when compared to those who do not have BPD. It is also possible to develop depression symptoms if there is no family history of the disease. In any case, depressive disorder is linked with a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Physical body changes, like changes in hormonal levels for women during menopause, can also lead to depression signs. Research shows that the onset of other diseases like stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and more, can also lead to depression. Acute stress like financial issues, a serious loss, or a particularly difficult relationship, can also trigger the disease. It has also been found that women are twice as likely to suffer from the disease as men.

Tests and Treatments

Having a casual chat with a patient might be the most important diagnostic tool to diagnose depression. A physical examination will tell the doctor about the overall health of the patient, and will help in ruling out other conditions. Making a depression diagnosis requires taking into account other factors like the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Once a confirmed diagnosis has been made, there are several different treatments for depression possible, depending on the kind of depression. A patient may be given antidepressant drugs, psychotherapy, or electroconvulsive therapy. Whichever treatment for depression works, overnight results will not be possible. It will take time.

Helpful Tips and Home Remedies

Treatment for depression is normally carried out with sleeping pills or anti depressant drugs. Along with the medicines, it is important to try some home remedies which can go a long way in supplementing what the drugs try to achieve. Exercise is a good way of dealing with the depressive disorder. Half an hour of exercise daily helps to improve mental health, raise self esteem, and release stress. It is a known fact that loneliness leads to depression. It is important to force one’s self to avoid being alone. Volunteering one’s time is a great way to not only healing one’s self but giving a little something to the community as well. This activity will significantly improve the self-worth. It is important that good eating habits are practiced as they will improve general health. Finally, one should not forget to participate in activities that provide entertainment.
Some fruits and vegetables have been found to contain vitamins and minerals that help in treatment for depression. For example, apples which are rich in vitamins, phosphorous, and potassium, are believed to have a calming effect. Cardamom, with its pleasant aroma, also reduces stress when taken as a tea. Turmeric has many curative properties and is used to cure depression caused by change in seasons. Even if the use of these fruits does not show significant change in depression, at least there will be no side effects, thus their use certainly can’t hurt.

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