Depression is a serious medical illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness, anger, and loss of interest in daily routine activities. Clinical depression affects how a patient thinks and feels that causes physical and emotional dysfunction (Mandolesi et al. 8). Depression causes low self-esteem that makes people lose self-worth. Patients waste valuable time while working because of delayed responses and loss of interest in certain things that lower productivity.
Symptoms and diagnosis of Depression
Depression manifests differently, however, changing moods, sustained anger, anxiety, and restlessness are some of the symptoms. People will feel emptiness, sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, suicidal thoughts, and recklessness (Bauman et al., 18). Men and women lack the desire for sex and the power to perform. Delayed responses, lack of concentration, sleeplessness, or sleeping extraordinarily long hours are other symptoms. They may experience digestion problems, headaches, and general fatigue. Finally, irritability, swing moods, crying, and even refusal to attend school may be realized in children.
Depression is a health problem that needs physical examination including blood analysis to determine deficiencies of vital elements in the body. Mental evaluation is also necessary to determine negative thinking that causes stress. Extreme changes in body weight, severe body pains, attacks caused by panic are symptoms. Stressed persons avoid others and cannot handle relationships well, and suicidal thoughts fill their minds. Caution should, however, be taken to determine the level of depression for the proper cause of action.
Causes of depression
Depression affects all people irrespective of circumstances and situations befalling. Research reveals that biochemical imbalances in the brain are known to contribute to symptoms of depression. Genetical makeup may be a reason for persistent depression in certain families (Mayerl et al., 20). People with low self-esteem and overwhelmed by stress will likely experience depression. Finally, continued exposure to abuse, neglect, and violence increases the chances too.
Types of Depression
Depression is classified by how its symptoms manifest and last. Mild and severe cases have short and long episodes respectively. Major Depression Disorder (MDD) is a severe disorder that shows persistent sadness, unworthiness, and hopelessness. Its diagnosis is done if at least five symptoms manifest for two or more weeks consecutively. On the other hand, Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) is a mild depression that turns chronic at times. It is diagnosed if symptoms persist for at least two years. People with PDD have low self-esteem, loss of interest in routine activities, reduced productivity, and hopelessness.
Treatment of Depression
Depression is a complicated medical condition, before treatment, healthcare givers carry a thorough evaluation and diagnosis to make sure the symptoms manifesting are not as a result of other medical illnesses like opportunistic diseases. The evaluation is meant to single out medical, family histories, cultural, and environmental factors for a proper plan of action. It will provide the necessary information to administer the required medication effectively to the patients.
Medication: Depression causes brain biochemical imbalances that may manifest as symptoms. Antidepressants are administered to patients as a treatment to suppress the symptoms (Avalos et al., 15). Within two weeks of use, patience starts showing improvement. However, real results show after two or three months of use. The psychiatrist adds or changes the antidepressants if the patient does not show improvement. Medication is recommended for six or more months after symptoms disappear to reduce the chances reoccurring.
Psychotherapy (talk therapy): The psychiatrist evaluates the patient’s thinking and administers therapy accordingly. From mild to severe depression, talk therapy is used as treatment. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) solves present problems in a patient. It aids a person to recognize negative thinking to change thoughts and behavior to respond to changes positively. For effective treatment, CBT in combination with antidepressants offers better results. Psychotherapy may involve many individuals in treatment that allows patients to share their experiences. Depending on depression level, patients receive treatment for a few weeks.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a brief electrical inducement to stimulate the brain while the patient is under anesthesia. The treatment is administered 2 to 3 times weekly for six to 12 times. However, this treatment is recommended only if other medications fail. (Braithwaite et al., 20). A team of experts including a Psychiatrist, an anesthesiologist, and a nurse administer the required treatment to the patient altogether.
Depression is a complicated clinical condition that is hard to establish immediately causes. Lifestyle change and audit with treatment may prevent future episodes. Research reveals that alcohol and drug misuse increases the chances of unnecessary anxiety and stress, avoiding them is the solution. Enough sleep, proper medication, living, and eating healthily will help suppress stress. One should learn to avoid what is not possible and do what they can to reduce stress. Above all, it is recommended to maintain nontoxic relationships to live a depression-free life.
Stress is part of life that we face during difficult times. Training the community will supplement healthcare givers to help the infected and affected. Community policing can be used to locate prevalent cases to receive proper medication. Individuals should avoid things that fuel depression as mentioned in the causes of depression. Finally, governments should make medication free to all patients and find ways to stop drug misuse.
Avalos, Lyndsay Ammon, Hong Y. Chen, and De-Kun Li. “Antidepressant Medication use, Depression and the Risk of Preeclampsia.” CNS Spectrums, vol. 20, no 1, 2015, pp. 39-47.
Bauman, Brenda L., et al. “Vital Signs: Postpartum Depressive Symptoms and Provider Discussions about Perinatal Depression—United States, 2018.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 69, no. 19, 2020, p. 575.
Braithwaite, Richard, et al. “Successful Electroconvulsive Therapy in a Patient with Confirmed, Symptomatic Covid-19.” The Journal of ECT, vol. 36, no 3, pp. 222-223.
Mandolesi, Laura, et al. “Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits.” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 9, 2018, p. 509.
Mayerl, Hannes, Erwin Stolz, and Wolfgang Freidl. “Frailty and Depression: Reciprocal Influences or Common Causes?” Social Science & Medicine, vol. 263, 2020: 113273.