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Depression

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It is natural to feel sad every so often, but depression is not the average sadness.

Depression can have a direct impact on a person's relationship with family, romantic partners, work, and overall happiness.

Those suffering from depression also risk their physical and mental health.

Depression in teens, depression in women, depression in men, depression in elderly and depression cure are the few of the most searched terms online, where people are looking for helpful resources to learn about depression facts and help on how to get over depression.

Depression therapy can help patients overcome symptoms of depression and learn how to cope with their illness. There are also medical options to reduce or completely remove depressive tendencies.

What is Depression?

Depression is categorized as a mood disorder that causes an individual to feel despondent alongside a deep, sometimes unexplainable sadness.

This mental state is also characterized by pessimism and feelings of inadequacy.

Let’s have a look at the gender-wise and age-wise effects of depression as well as the causes of depression.

Depression in children

Symptoms of childhood depression vary and can take on many forms ranging from poor attention to poor academic performance, which is often dismissed by parents as tantrums of the child. According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children.

Depression in teens

Many factors may contribute to teenage depression such as divorcing parents, changing bodies, or bullying.

Depression in teens can lead to poor self-image, loss of social skills, poor academic performance, self-harm, and suicide.

Depending on the severity of the depression, doctors may suggest treatment of medication, talk therapy, or both.

Depression in women

Premenstrual issues, postpartum depression, menopause, and other hormonal fluctuations can play a large role in female depression.

Thyroid problems and issues with body image are two other major sources of depression in women.

Women who are feeling withdrawn and sad are encouraged to seek support from friends, family, talk-therapy, and to consult with their doctor about medical treatment for depression.

Depression in men

Men exhibit different signs of depression than women do - often coping with escapist behavior such as spending excessive amounts of time at work or indulging in hobbies. Men are also more likely to resort to substance abuse or drug abuse.

Depressed women are more likely to attempt suicide then men, however, men are more likely to contemplate suicide. For this reason and many more, men who are struggling with stress or depression should seek treatment.

Depression in the elderly

Depression in the elderly is a common problem, but by no means should it be considered a normal part of aging.

Stress and depression in the elderly are associated with an increased risk of death from an illness as well as other health conditions.
Studies also indicate that depression in the elderly can make it more difficult to rehabilitate, making it all the more important to seek treatment from a medical professional immediately.

What are the symptoms and signs of Depression?

Those who experience depression symptoms often notice acute sadness.

Signs of depression are often difficult to explain when the sufferer cannot attribute any real reason for the sadness they are feeling.

Depression symptoms in men are much the same as depression symptoms in women. However, men are more likely to experience suicidal tendencies than women.

According to Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, the core symptoms of major depressive disorder include:

  1. Sadness
  2. Anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure)
  3. Antisocial
  4. Stress and anxiety
  5. Low energy
  6. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt 
  7. Changes in sleep patterns (insomnia/hypersomnia)
  8. Thoughts of suicide
  9. Feeling depressed nearly every day
  10. Significant and unintended changes in weight (either loss or gain)
  11. Decrease in appetite
  12. Inability to concentrate

According to the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, an individual must be experiencing five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more to be diagnosed with depression.

What are the different types of Depression?

There are several different depression definitions. These are often based on different depression symptoms. Here is the definition of depression as per American Psychiatric Association - Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.

 The most common depression types include but are not limited to:

  1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) It is categorized as clinical depression. Patients must have ongoing depressive symptoms for this diagnosis to apply. 
  2. Premenstrual Syndrome It can cause feelings of extreme stress, sadness, mood swings, and fatigue often associated with depression. These symptoms often last only for the duration of a woman's menstrual cycle.
  3. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Itis often triggered by the change in seasons and a disturbance in the circadian rhythm of the body.
  4. Bipolar Disorder It is categorized by periods of mania. Symptoms often include irritability, hopelessness, disorganization, insomnia, lethargy, as well as high-highs and low emotional lows.
  5. Postpartum Depression (PPD) It occurs in new mothers who have just given birth. PPD is often accompanied by violent and suicidal thoughts as well as other depressive symptoms.

Understanding the different faces of this condition will help patients learn how to fight depression and see which treatments will be most effective.

What causes depression?

Depression can occur for several reasons.

Many theorize that chemical imbalances in the brain are hereditary or that people are simply born predisposed to depression.

Personal outlooks and attitudes can affect how depression could affect an individual.

For example, psychological factors may include a strict upbringing or trauma such as rape or physical assault which can have a direct impact on whether or not a person will develop depression.

Depression can also be triggered by environmental factors such as:

  1. Stress at work
  2. Divorce
  3. Loss of a loved one
  4. Social isolation
  5. Health issues

What type of treatment is best for depression?

There are several medical, physical, and emotional techniques that have been found to help those living with depression.

These include:

  1. Medication
  2. Therapy and counseling
  3. Psychoeducation 
  4. Support groups
  5. Alternative medicine (such as improving diet and exercise)
  6. Experimental treatments

Patients should discuss treatment options with their primary care physician to see which depression treatment will be best suited to their circumstances.

Choosing the best way for how to treat depression will depend much on the patient’s personal preferences, age, and health.

How does therapy help in the treatment of Depression?

Those suffering from depression disorders often feel alone and misunderstood. It is estimated that 60% of sufferers will not seek help for their depression.

On how to overcome depression, therapy is an effective way for patients. It helps them to:

  1. Express their feelings
  2. Pinpoint life events that may have led to depressive symptoms
  3. Develop coping skills
  4. Set realistic goals for the future

What type of therapy/treatment is best for Depression?

The most common types of depression counseling include:

Psychotherapy

It is often considered one of the most effective treatments for depression.

For talk therapy to be effective, patients must feel comfortable with their therapist. They should feel comfortable talking about their feelings.

For this reason, patients must take the time to choose a therapist they can build a good relationship with.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

It is another option for learning how to deal with depression.

The goal of CBT is to assess and redirect negative thinking patterns.

Patients will learn how to recognize negative thoughts and cope with their depressive symptoms. This form of therapy is not meant to be long-term.

Psychodynamic therapy

It looks at depression as an extension of negative behavior and patterns.

This form of therapy is most effective for those who feel their depression symptoms are rooted in past experiences, such as going through a trauma.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

It is an active treatment focused on improving a patient's relationships and resolving any problems they may be contributing to their depression.

This form of therapy is not meant to be long-term.

Group therapy

It can also be highly effective in treating depression.

One study of 115 patients found that those who attended dynamic group psychotherapy showed statistically significant improvements after nine months of attending a group.

Therapists and counselors can help patients learn how to cope with depression and overcome the struggles they are facing.

Also, there are depression helplines that provide unconditional and unbiased emotional support to callers. They also offer expert advice on how to get the right help for anxiety or depression.

Medical treatment for Depression

Research shows that major symptoms of depression can be effectively treated by taking antidepressants.

Specialists believe that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects the body's ability to make certain nerve connections.

The goal of taking an antidepressant is to increase the chemical's availability and restore connections.

There are many medical treatments for depression. The most common are as follows:

  1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  2. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  3. Selective serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs)

Antidepressants are usually taken daily. It is recommended that patients continue to take their prescriptions for at least four to nine months after depressive symptoms have vanished.

Continued use of medication can help prevent symptoms of depression from coming back. Some may go off their medication after this grace period while others may continue taking antidepressants for years.

While helpful, many antidepressants have serious side effects such as:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Sleep interruptions
  3. Nausea
  4. Headaches
  5. Constipation
  6. Dizziness
  7. Dry mouth
  8. Problems urinating
  9. Shaking
  10. Heart problems
  11. Liver failure
  12. Epileptic fits

Patients should never adjust their medication - including the increasing of one's dosage or going off the medication entirely.

Frequent doctor's appointments are essential when taking antidepressants.

Patients should inform their health care provider of any symptoms or side-effects they are experiencing to ensure they are taking the correct dose and that the medication is not doing any physical or mental harm.

What is the cost of treatment for Depression?

The treatment costs for depression can vary and depend on where a person lives, their health insurance coverage, and what treatment plan they are choosing.

Some antidepressants are covered by insurance plans that include drug coverage. If paying out of pocket for the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, consumers can expect to pay an average of USD $1080 to $2400 per year plus the cost of doctor and therapy appointments.

If choosing a holistic route of focusing on meditation, diet, and exercise, depression treatments are largely free.

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Top Featured Depression Therapists in United States

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