Depression (depression) is not a weakness or something that is easy to get rid of and is defined as severe depressive disorder (severe depression disorder), or clinical depression (clinical – clinical depression).
It is a disease that affects the soul and the body. You can be depressed in the way you think and act, and it can lead to many emotional and physical problems.
Usually, people with depression cannot continue to practice their daily lives as normal, so depression causes them to feel a lack of desire in life.
The sign indicates that depression is one of the most common diseases in the world.
Dealing with depression
Today, health professionals mainly treat depression as a chronic disease that requires long-term treatment, just as diabetes (diabetes) or hypertension (high blood pressure) is treated.
Some people with depression experience only one period of depression, but in sick patients, symptoms of depression recur and last for life.
Through proper diagnosis and treatment, symptoms of depression can be reduced, even if the symptoms of depression are severe.
Proper treatment can improve the feeling of depressed patients within a few weeks, usually, and enables them to return to their normal lives as they used to enjoy before the depression.
Symptoms of depression:
- Loss of desire to perform regular daily activities
- Feeling nervous and depressed
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Bouts of crying for no apparent reason
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty focusing
- Difficulties in making decisions
- Accidentally gain or lose weight
- Worried and restless
- Exessive sensitivity
- Feeling tired or weak
- Feeling undervalued
- Loss of desire for sex
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back or head pain. The symptoms of depression are different and varied because depression appears in different forms for different people.
For example, symptoms of depression may appear in a 25-year-old person with depression that is different from that in a 70-year-old.
Some people with depression may have very severe symptoms that indicate that something is not right.
Others may feel that they are “poor” in general, or that they “are not happy”, without knowing a reason for this.
Causes and risk factors for depression
It is not known, yet, the exact cause of depression.
The prevailing belief, as is the case with other psychological diseases, is that many genetic, environmental, and biochemical factors can be the cause of depression, including:
Biochemical factors: Research that uses imaging using modern and advanced techniques confirms the occurrence of physical (physical) changes in the brains of people with depression. It is not known exactly yet what these changes are and their degree of importance, but a clarification of this matter would ultimately help to define and identify the causes of depression. It is possible that chemicals found in the human brain naturally, called “neurotransmitters” and related to mood, play a role in causing depression. An imbalance of the hormonal balance in the body would also cause depression.
Genetic factors: Some research indicates that the onset of depression is more prevalent in people with biological relatives with depression. Researchers are still trying to find the genes involved in causing depression.
Environmental factors: The environment is considered, to a certain degree, as a cause of depression. Environmental factors are situations and conditions in life that are difficult to face and coexist with, such as the loss of a loved one, economic problems, and acute stress.
It is true that there are no accurate statistical data, but depression is a very widespread disease.
Depression transcends all boundaries and differences, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic. No one is immune to depression.
Generally, depression begins in the late 20 years of life, but depression may appear at any age and may affect anyone, from young children to elderly adults.
The number of women diagnosed with depression is twice that of men. This may be partly due to the fact that women are more likely to seek treatment for depression.
The most important causes that lead to depression
The exact cause of depression is not known, but research indicates several factors that seem to increase the risk of developing depression, or cause it to worsen, including:
Presence of biological relatives with depression
Suicide cases in the family
Stressful events in life, such as the death of a loved one
Depressed mood in the morning
Diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s or AIDS
Long-term continuous consumption of certain medications, such as certain types of blood pressure medication, sleeping pills, and birth control pills in some cases.
Complications of depression:
Depression is a severe and difficult disease that can put a heavy burden on individuals and families.
Untreated depression may worsen and deteriorate to the point of impotence, indigence, dependence, and even suicide. Depression can lead to severe emotional, behavioral, health, and even judicial and economic problems that affect all different areas of life.
- Addiction to drugs
- Heart and other diseases
- Problems with work or education
- Confrontations within the family
- Difficulties in the marital relationship
- Social isolation
- Diagnosis of depression
- During regular treatment meetings, doctors and therapists ask questions about mood and ideas. Sometimes, the
- the patient is asked to fill out a question form that helps them detect symptoms of depression.
When doctors suspect that the patient has depression, they perform a series of medical and psychological tests.
These tests help to refute the possibility of other diseases that could be a cause of the symptoms, help in the diagnosis and detection of other complications related to the case.
Diagnostic tests for depression:
- Physical examination
- Lab tests
- Psychological evaluation
- Criteria for diagnosing depression
- Evaluating a doctor or psychotherapist helps determine whether the condition is an acute depression or another illness that reminds of severe depression, sometimes, including:
- Adjustment Disorder: A severe emotional reaction to a painful event in life. It is a psychological disease associated with psychological stress and it can affect emotions, thoughts, and behavior.
Bipolar disorder, which was previously called Manic Depressive Psychosis, is characterized by mood swings from contrast to contrast.
Cycloid mood (cyclothymia): a type of confusion disorder.
Partial depression (or: dysthymia): It is a less severe and difficult disease, but more chronic than depression.
- Postpartum depression: It is a depression in some women after they give birth to new children. It usually appears a month after birth.
Psychotic depression is severe and difficult depression accompanied by symptoms and psychotic phenomena, such as hallucinations.
- Schizoaffective disorder: It is a disease that includes the characteristics and symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders.
- Winter Depression: This type of depression is associated with seasonal shifts and insufficient exposure to sunlight.
Severe depression differs from the diseases mentioned above, in terms of symptoms or degree of difficulty.
- Drug treatment
- Electroconvulsive treatment (Electroshock treatment – ECT)
- There are also methods for treating depression that did not meet research and experimentation, such as the accepted
methods mentioned above, among them:
- Cerebral stimulation
- Complementary and alternative therapies.
- There are certain situations in which a family doctor can treat depression on its own.
But in other cases, a qualified psychotherapist for depression is required, a psychologist, a psychologist, or a social worker.
It is very important for the patient to have an effective role in treating depression. In cooperation and joint action, the doctor (or therapist) can decide, together with the patient, which type of depression treatment is best and most appropriate for the patient’s condition, taking into account what the symptoms are and their degree of severity, the patient’s personal choice, the ability to pay for depression, the side effects of depression and factors Other.
However, there are cases in which depression is so difficult that it is imperative for the doctor, a close person or others, to follow the treatment of depression and closely monitor it until the patient recovers and reaches a position where he can participate effectively in the decision-making process.
Depression treatment methods
Below is a detailed description of depression treatment methods:
There are dozens of medications available for depression. Most people can relieve symptoms of depression by combining medications with psychotherapy.
Most antidepressants are equally effective and effective. But some of them may cause very severe side effects.
Stages of depression treatment
Typical first choice: many doctors begin treating depression with anti-depressants known as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – SSRIs
Second typical selection: a group of antidepressants known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCA – Tricyclic antidepressants)
Recent model selection: A group of antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitor – MAOI.
Side effects of depression medications
All anti-depressants can cause unwanted side effects.
Side effects appear at varying levels of severity in different patients. Sometimes these side effects are mild to the point that you do not need to stop taking the medicine.
In addition, these symptoms disappear or subside within a few weeks of starting treatment with anti-depressants.
Sometimes psychotherapy is used in parallel with drug therapy and in conjunction with it. Psychotherapy is a comprehensive name for depression through conversations with the therapist about the situation and about matters related to it.
Psychotherapy is also called conversion therapy, counseling, or psychosocial therapy.
An electric current is passed through the brain to cause feelings to flood.
Depression can sometimes be so severe that it requires hospitalization (hospitalization) for treatment in the psychiatric department.
But even in cases of severe depression, it is not always easy to make a decision about how to treat depression and whether it is the right treatment. If it is possible to treat the patient outside the hospital with the same efficacy or more, the doctor will most likely not recommend admission to the hospital.
Hospitalization in the psychiatric department is usually preferable in cases where the patient cannot properly care for himself, or when he is seriously concerned about harming himself or anyone else.
There is no way to prevent depression. But doing some things can prevent or prevent the recurrence of symptoms, such as:
Take measures to control stress, to raise the level of cheerfulness and the level of self-esteem that will help.
Support from friends and family, especially during times of crisis, can help overcome depression.
Early treatment of the problem, if the first signs or symptoms appear, can help prevent depression from worsening.
Long-term preventive treatment also prevents the recurrence of symptoms of depression.
Some people resort to complementary or alternative medicine methods to relieve symptoms of depression. These methods include the use of food additives and body-breath techniques.
Below is a breakdown of some of the common food additives used to treat depression:
Chrysanthemum or cardiac herb (Hypericum perforatum) also known as “Sidi Yahya plant” or “St. John’s wort” (St. Johns wort).
- S-Adenosyl methionine / SAM, SAMe, SAM-e
- Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Body-circulating techniques to relieve depression symptoms
- Chinese acupuncture
- Guided imagery
- Massage therapy
Another type of depression is very popular. The process of procreation (birth) can be a pleasant and unforgettable experience. The physical and psychological effort that accompanies childbirth, or cesarean section, appears especially in the first days after birth, and in addition to the feelings that accompany childbirth itself, the mother may feel that her body is changing, that her thoughts are changing and that her mood, too, is changing, changing. It is reflected in crying, anxiety, excessive excitement, and others.
These phenomena are known as Postpartum depression or “Maternity blues.”
The intensity of these feelings is variable, and they disappear, and 50% – 70% of women who give birth feel them between the fourth and tenth days after birth.
This is a normal phenomenon, and relatively easy to deal with. Other symptoms include restlessness, discomfort, headache, confusion, forgetfulness, excessive excitement, sleep disturbance, and negative thoughts about the new baby. Since the condition is temporary and transient, there is no need for treatment, but for the comfort and support of family and friends.
8% – 12% of women who give the birth experience a more difficult condition than mere fatigue and blackness, which is the condition called postpartum depression, which is characterized by low moods, apathy, and indifference, lack of pleasure, disturbances in appetite and sleep, hyperactivity or slowness, Fatigue or lack of activity, lack of self-esteem or feelings of guilt, difficulties in focusing or making decisions. In more severe cases, other symptoms of depression may appear after birth.
Postpartum psychosis is the most dangerous form of this disorder, as depression appears in the form of schizophrenia or manic depressive psychosis, which is recently known as “two-way disorder”. Bipolar disorder.
When there are signs of suicidal thoughts or attempts to harm the newborn, it is absolutely necessary to seek immediate advice from a psychiatrist. This emergency counseling is also needed, as well, for women who suffer from severe depression, which has difficulty communicating with people, maintaining personal hygiene, and caring for the child. It is common for postpartum depression to reappear after the next pregnancy (50% – 100% of cases), and women who suffer from it may develop depression unrelated to childbirth (20% – 30%).
Symptoms of postpartum depression
Postpartum depression symptoms usually appear during the first three months after birth. In its symptoms and features, this depression is similar to other depression unrelated to pregnancy and childbirth. Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Bad mood
- Indifference and non-enjoyment
- Disturbances in appetite and sleep
- Tendency to overburden
- Slowness, fatigue, and lethargy
- Lack of self-esteem, feeling guilty
- Difficulty focusing or making decisions
- If postpartum depression is deep, signs of suicidal thoughts may appear.
The most severe and difficult symptoms of postpartum depression include confusion, disorientation, and loss of connection to reality, to the point that in this case, a woman may harm herself or her child.
Causes and risk factors for postpartum depression
The appearance of symptoms of this depression is associated with a marked decrease in hormone levels, especially in women who have experienced depression in the past.
There is no relationship between postpartum depression and the educational or cultural level, the gender of the newborn, breastfeeding, the method of birth, or whether the pregnancy is planned/intended or not.
Postpartum depression diagnosis
The diagnosis of this condition is based on having a conversation with the woman and clarifying her feelings about herself and the baby.
The medical team uses a questionnaire to collect information about:
- Ideas about self-harm
- Inability to enjoy daily activities
- Daily performance disorder at home
- Difficulty communicating with the people and the surrounding environment
- Postpartum depression treatment
Drug treatment for postpartum depression can be done with various psychiatric medications.
The drug is chosen according to how safe it is and of course, the mother needs to breastfeed. Generally, it is advised to start with the usual half of the dose and then gradually increase it. You should continue to take the medicine for 6 months to prevent depression from happening again. If the body does not respond to treatment within 6 months, it is advised to refer to the psychiatrist for advice.
All antidepressant medications are transmitted with breast milk, and this issue is one of the important factors that are taken into consideration when choosing a medicine.
Lustral is the drug recommended during lactation. Postpartum depression can also be treated with other drugs from the family of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). In any case, a Neonatal medicine / Neonatology doctor should be consulted.
As for the treatment of depression after childbirth, it is done through psychiatric medicine in the hospital and may include electrosurgical treatment (Electroconvulsive treatment), knowing that the chances of recovery are high and usually the patient’s condition improves within 2-3 months, but depression may It reappears in the next pregnancy.
Prevention of postpartum depression
Out of every four women who develop depression after childbirth, depression may reappear in at least one of them.
For prevention in the postpartum period, it is recommended to take a previously proven drug or one from the family of “Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors” (SSRI).