This paper will examine the issue of depression and the various aspects, which relate to this topic. The paper will define depression and examine the meaning that people accord to this term. In addition, the paper will explore the causes of depression, and symptoms of this disorder. This paper will also explore the various forms of depression, the diagnosis, and treatment of this disorder.
Definition of Depression
Depression refers to a medical disorder that leads to feelings of loss of interest, as well as feelings of sadness. Depression has an impact on how a person behaves, thinks, and feels. There are many physical and emotional problems, which may emanate from depression. Most people suffering from depression may have negative feelings towards themselves. Depression has an impact on the day to day activities of an individual, especially during the days when one suffers from depression. Depression is a common illness, and it can have serious implications on a person’s life (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
Causes of Depression
The causes of depression include a combination of environmental, biological, psychological, as well as genetic factors. When a person is undergoing depression, neurotransmitters tend to be out of balance. Depression is caused by an imbalance in the various parts of the brain, which control sleep, thinking, behavior, mood, as well as appetite. Depression can also be a genetic disorder that runs in families. Some genes may predispose people to depression, especially when genetic factors combine with environmental factors that cause depression. Other causes of depression include trauma, which may result from losing loved ones, stressful situations, or experiencing difficulty in relationships. There tends to be higher rates of depression in women than in men. This emanates from factors such as psychological factors, hormonal, lifecycle, as well as biological factors, which women tend to experience more than men. For instance, there is a possibility that women will develop postpartum depression upon giving birth, especially because there are some hormonal changes that have taken place and there is the responsibility of taking care of the newborn child (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
Depression may also emanate from financial troubles; for example, when a person faces difficulties in raising the money that he or she needs to settle some of his bills. The daily hassles at work can also cause depression. This results from work overload and lack of adequate rest. Conflict with friends and family members can also cause depression. Persistent disputes have been identified as significant causes of depression since they disrupt a person’s hormonal balance, as well as how the person thinks. Depression can also be caused by certain medications and drugs that a person could be taking. For instance, drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure increase the risk of having depression (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
Major life events have also been identified as main causes of depression. These events may include been involved in an accident, losing a job, retiring, or going through the rigorous process of divorce. Substance abuse can also cause depression; persons having substance abuse problems have are vulnerable to either clinical or major depression. Depression can also be caused by personal problems like social isolation, which results from mental illnesses or being left out of social groups or out of the family. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can cause depression since a person may feel not part of the entire society (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
Symptoms of Depression
Persons suffering from depression do not experience similar symptoms; the symptoms of depression tend to differ from one person to another. The duration, frequency, as well as the severity of depressive symptoms, tend to vary with regard to how a person responds to depressive episodes. However, there are some symptoms of depression that can be termed as applicable to almost all persons. Some of the most common symptoms of depression include pessimism, as well as hopelessness. Depression may also be characterized by anxiety, empty feelings, as well as feelings of persistent sadness. Persons suffering from depression may also experience feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, as well as guilt feelings. Restlessness and irritability can also be termed as common signs and symptoms of depression (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
Depression also leads to the onset of some symptoms such as decrease in energy, which may emanate from feelings of fatigue. Persons suffering from depression may also develop feelings of loss of interest in some activities that were once pleasurable. For instance, they may stop attending social events or sport events. Depression can also leads to difficulties in making decisions, remembering some details, as well as difficulty in concentrating. Other symptoms of depression include excessive sleeping, as well as insomnia. Depression causes loss of appetite or overeating, attempts to commit suicide, headaches, as well as pains, and cramps (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
Forms of depression
Depression is accompanied by various forms of the disorder, which persons suffering from this illness tend to experience. One of the forms of depression includes postpartum depression, which mainly affects women after they give birth. This form of depression emanates from the hormonal changes that take place after giving birth. Another form of depression includes psychotic depression; this takes place when a person suffers from severe depression. Psychotic depression can also emanate from psychosis such as delusions, as well as disturbing beliefs such as hallucinations. Depression can also be in the form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This form of depression occurs during some periods such as winter when the natural sunlight is not adequate (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
Illnesses that co-exist with depression
Depression may co-exist with some illnesses; some of the illnesses that depression may co-exist with include anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia. Other illnesses that may co-exist with depression include panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Posttraumatic stress disorder can be regarded as the main disorder, which accompanies depression (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
Diagnosis and treatment of depression
Depression, whether severe or mild, can be diagnosed and treated in a number of ways. For effective treatment of this disorder, the treatment should start when the illnesses is identified. In order to diagnose depression effectively, a patient should visit a mental health doctor or specialist. In most cases, the diagnosis of depression takes the form of psychological evaluation. Psychological evaluation plays a critical role in diagnosing depression since it helps in identifying the symptoms in order to avoid misdiagnosis of the illness. Some of the issues to discuss while diagnosing this illness include evaluating when the illness started, as well as the duration of the symptoms (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
There are several strategies that can be used in the treatment of depression; one of the methods that can be effective in treating depression includes the use of medications such as antidepressants. Antidepressants can be regarded as crucial since they work on neurotransmitters (brain chemicals). Antidepressants help in changing the mood in persons suffering from depression since they work on neurotransmitters, which affect a person’s mood (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).
Psychotherapy also plays a crucial role in the treatment of depression and symptoms that accompany depression. During psychotherapy, the goal of treatment includes identifying the root causes of depression and developing treatment plans based on the symptoms that the depressed patient exhibits. The most effective form of psychotherapy in the treatment of depression includes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). CBT helps to change the negative feelings and thought patterns, which may have caused depression (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011).