1 What is depression?
Everyone experiences sadness from time to time, but depression is not just having the “blues”.
It is a complex mental illness which affects mood, thoughts, feelings & overall health of an individual & interferes with his ability to sleep, eat & enjoy pleasureable activities.
2 What are symptoms of Depression?
When You're Depressed...
You feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn't go away
You feel guilty for no real reason; you feel like you're no good; you've lost your confidence.
Life seems meaningless or like nothing good is ever going to happen again.
You have a negative attitude a lot of the time, or it seems like you have no feelings.
You don't feel like doing a lot of the things you used to like -- like music, sports, being with friends, going out -- and you want to be left alone most of the time.
It's hard to make up your mind. You forget lots of things, and it's hard to concentrate
You get irritated often. Little things make you lose your temper; you overreact.
Your sleep pattern changes; you start sleeping a lot more or you have trouble falling asleep at night. Or you wake up really early most mornings and can't get back to sleep.
Your eating habits change; you've lost your appetite or you eat a lot more
You think about death, or feel like you're dying, or have thoughts about committing suicide
3 What are the reasons for becoming depressed?
We are still not sure what causes depression. Experts say depression is caused by a combination of factors, such as the person's genes, his biochemical imbalance in the brain his personal stressful experiences and psychological factors.
Low levels or imbalance of certain neurotransmitters cause depression. Neurotransmitters are little messenger chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to the next in the brain. There are several different kinds that are involved such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine.
Stressful life events, such as a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem can also trigger a depressive episode by overwhelming a person's ability to cope
Some depression runs in families. Researchers believe that it is possible to inherit a tendency to get depression..
Depression can be the result of various diseases. People suffering from an under active thyroid, anemia, heart attack, stroke, cancer, or diabetes may be at a higher risk for depression. This can be caused from the stress of the illness or the illness itself. Some prescription medication can increase the risk of getting depressed. Eating habits, sleep patterns, and lack of exercise may contribute to depression tendencies as well.
4 Is depression treatable?
Yes , Treatment of depression involves medicines and Counseling / Psychotherapy. Whereas medicines treat the chemical imbalance in your brain, counselling helps in resolving the conflicts in your mind & helps in correcting the way you think , thereby helping to cope up with stress .
5 Can depression be cured?
Yes, Depression like any other illness is completely curable, if treated properly with appropriate medicines & for adequate duration.
6 How do medicines help to treat depression?
Medicines for treating depression are called antidepressants . They correct the chemical imbalance in the brain that Causes depression. Modern antidepressants are safe & very effective in alleviating depression.
7 What is the duration of treatment?
Usually treatment for depression is to be continued for about 4-6 months, after feeling completely well, to avoid relapse.
Some patients have to take the medicine for longer time, depending on a no of factors like its severity , duration , type or its association with other illness
8 Can Depression recur?
Yes. Recurrences are common.
Even though the initial episode of depression may resolve, a long lasting change in the biology of the brain puts a patient at greater risk for subsequent episodes.
The incidence of relapse is lower in patients who continue medicines for adequate period & who have had only one or two episodes of depression
9 Will life be normal again after depression?
Yes , depression is one of the illnesses in which full cure is possible and gets back to normal life gradually
Next Article : DEPRESSION: SELF DIAGNOSIS IS THE KEY