Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistence feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest which interferes with persons daily activities. It also affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
You may experience the following symptoms, however, in order to make a diagnosis of depression these must be present for more than two weeks.
· Feeling of sadness for most of the day
· Loss of interest in most regular activities such as hobbies or sports
· Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
· Sudden change in weight (loss or gain)
· Trouble concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
· Sleeping too much or not being able to sleep
· Fatigue or lack of energy most days
· Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
· Suicide attempts or thoughts.
You can have depression at any age. Factors that increase the risk of developing depression include.
· Stressful or traumatic event such as the death or loss of a loved one, physical or sexual abuse, a difficult relationship, or financial problems
· Family history of depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism or suicide
· Chronic illness, including cancer, stroke, chronic pain or heart disease
· History of other mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorder, eating disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder
· Certain medications, such as some high blood pressure medications or sleeping pills can also trigger depression.
· Changes in hormones level in the body can cause or trigger depression such as hormonal changes during and after pregnancy, thyroid problems, menopause or a number of other conditions.
· Abuse of alcohol or recreational drugs.
Some lifestyle changes may help such as
· Get enough sleep, eat healthily, and exercise regularly.
· Talk to your family and friends when times get hard.
· Get regular medical checkups.
· Engage yourself in healthy and social activities.
Diagnosis of depression is mainly clinical and is made by your physician/ psychologist based on your symptoms and clinical history some underlying medical conditions such as hormone problems can also cause depression and must be ruled out. Therefore you may need some blood test such as CBC, TSH.
Treatment usually includes a combination of conventional and lifestyle therapies such as
Medications: Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, antianxiety, or antipsychotic medications based on your symptoms and severity.
Psychotherapy: Talking with a can help you learn skills to cope with negative feelings. You may also benefit from family or group therapy sessions.
If you are having any suicidal thoughts you must see a psychiatrist on the emergent basis.
You can also consult with top American consultant physicians on our American Teleclinic.
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