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Depression

About 5% of the world’s population has a form of depression. At least 1 in 6 Americans will experience depression once in their lives.

To manage depression properly, understanding its effects is a gamechanger.

What is Depression?

Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness or demotivation. Persistent and long-lasting are important phases in defining this condition. While sadness is short-lived, depression is anything but short.

Depression disrupts the normal functioning of an individual. If depression is left untreated, symptoms will get worse over time. 

In worst-case scenarios, it can lead to suicide or self-harm.

How Does a Depressed Person Behave?

A depressed person will feel sad and unmotivated. They might also have feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. 

The depressed person might struggle to get better or happier. However, all efforts fail. They might feel suicidal after a prolonged period of depression.

Is Depression a Disability?

Depression is referred to as a psychiatric disability according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Because of this classification, you might be eligible for financial assistance if depression prevents you from working.

This includes Medicaid and supplemental security income.

What are the Causes of Depression?

  • Major Events- Events such as traumatic accidents, loss of a job, or serious heartbreak can lead to depression. Stress can also cause depression.
  • Brain Chemistry– Any abnormalities in the chemical levels in the brain can cause depression.
  • Traumatic Childhood- A childhood marked by abuse and a lot of traumatic events can lead to depression in adulthood
  • Other Medical Conditions- The presence of other physical and mental medical conditions can cause depression.
  • Medication– Side effects from medications might cause depression.
  • Family History of depression
  • Illicit Drugs and Substances

What are the Types of Depression?

Psychotic Depression

Severe depressive symptoms are some signs of psychotic depression. The patient might also see delusions and hallucinations.

They often believe these delusions are true.

Bipolar Depression

People who suffer from bipolar depression have extreme mood swings. These mood swings are usually divided into manic and low-energy periods. 

During the manic period, they feel happy, talkative, and energetic. However, the low energy period makes them extremely sad, withdrawn, and hopeless.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

People who suffer from this form of depression experience intense depressive symptoms that lasts for at least 2-3 weeks. 

These symptoms are so intense that they disrupt daily activities.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

This is a less intense version of MDD. However, symptoms can last for years. Dysthymia is another name for PDD.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

This type of depression usually starts around the fall and stays throughout winter. By spring, depressive symptoms go away.

Light therapy will prove useful if you suffer from this type of depression.

Post-Partum Depression

This depression occurs mainly after birth and can last for a year. There’s also perinatal depression which occurs before the baby is born.

Symptoms of postpartum depression include sadness, excessive worry, and anxiousness. It is more serious than mood fluctuations associated with childbirth.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Depression (PMDD)

People who suffer from this form of depression experience an intense form of premenstrual syndrome. 

Women who suffer from this depression might experience irritability, paranoia, and fatigue among others.

Symptoms of PMDD can last until menopause.

What is the Difference Between Situational and Clinical Depression?

Situational depression is a form of depression that happens after a traumatic event. It is usually short-lived. 

Causes of situational depression include divorce, a serious accident, or the death of a close friend or family member.

On the other hand, clinical depression is more severe and serious. It is a medical condition that causes persistent depression.

Traumatic events are just one cause of clinical depression. It can also be caused by an imbalance of chemical levels in the brain.

The presence of other forms of medical conditions can also play a role.

While situational depression will resolve over time, clinical depression can become worse and lead to suicide.

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
  • Irritable and intense frustration
  • Insomnia
  • Little or no appetite
  • Low libido
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Physical issues such as head or stomach aches.
  • Restlessness
  • Suicidal thought or self-harm
  • Prolonged sadness

Depression in Children

At least 3% of children in America are depressed. It can be harder to diagnose depression in children because they are usually less expressive. 

Depressed kids might find it difficult to perform well in school or form friendships. Common symptoms include

  • Rebellious behavior
  • Prolonged sadness
  • Consistently crying
  • Clinginess
  • Isolation

Depression in Females

Females are more likely to have depression than males. Some symptoms more common in women include

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Having persistent worries or negative feelings

Postpartum and perinatal depression is also linked directly to women as it happens before and after birth.

Females also exclusively experience premenstrual dysphoric depression.

How is Depression Diagnosed?

To make a diagnosis of depression, your healthcare provider might ask you questions about your symptoms. 

They might conduct a series of physical examinations to rule out any other conditions. A blood test might also be required. 

You can also expect to fill out the following questionnaires. 

  • The Beck Depression Questionnaire– This helps your doctor understand your symptoms better

The Hamilton Depression Rating Questionnaire- This measures the severity of depression.

Treatment Options for Depression

Medications

Antidepressants are one of the common ways of treating depression. Depending on the specific case, your mental health expert might recommend one of the following.

  • Atypical antidepressants
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

The prescription of your doctor should be strictly followed. Not completing the dosage can lead to a relapse. 

Some of these medications can have mild to moderate side effects. This includes weight loss, constipation, rash, low blood sugar, and diarrhea.

Psychotherapy

Talking therapies and counseling can be used to help people suffering from depression. Golden Gate Recovery is a perfect place to start. They have experts who truly understand what it means to be depressed. 

Some of the therapies they offer include

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Family therapy
  • Individual therapy

So, contact Golden Gate Recovery today and begin your journey to recovery.

Natural Remedies

Herbs and other alternative medicines can be used to treat depression. However, keep in mind that these medicines are not recommended or approved by FDA. 

It is your responsibility to make sure they are safe and effective. Some popular herbs used include lavender, ginseng, and chamomile. 

Other Treatment Options

Supplements such as 5-hydroxytryptophan help to improve serotonin in the body. People also benefit from improving their diet. Adding fruits and olive oil can reduce some symptoms. 

A good workout can also help. Exercising releases endorphins. This can lift your mood.

Is Depression Curable?

There is no cure for depression. However, people normally get better with adequate treatment. 

Starting your treatment quickly is key to managing the condition better. If you are ready to get started, Golden Gate Recovery can help you kickstart your recovery.

Contacting your Doctor

If you are experiencing any symptoms of depression, contact your doctor immediately.

Get Started Now

Take charge of your journey to recovery.

At New Hope Health in Tennessee, we offer free insurance verification for our clients who feel they need some help. When you contact us, we will carry out the thorough analysis of your addiction problem, and then recommend a workable drug treatment program. Next, we will contact your insurance provider on your behalf and verify your benefits. We will also let you know if you will be responsible for any out-of-pocket expense not covered under your plan.