What is depression?
Depression is a common mental health disorder that results in a feeling of sadness and a loss of interest in surroundings. Most people have felt depressed at times but when it is persistent you may need treatment.
How can depression be prevented?
- Reducing stress
- Getting sufficient sleep
- Healthy diet
- Regular exercise
What are the symptoms of depression?
You may have depression if you have five or more of the following symptoms.
- Low mood, unhappy
- Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
- Feeling tired most of the day
- Decreased sexual desire
- Feeling guilty almost daily
- No interest in usual activities
- Feeling hopeless
- Inability to focus
- Loss of weight or weight gain
- Anyone who thinks or talks about harming themselves should get help. Sometimes antidepressants can trigger these feelings
What are possible causes of depression?
- Hormone swings as in pregnancy or postpartum (after delivery), thyroid issues
- Family history of depression
- Brain chemistry abnormalities
- Chronic medical conditions
- Drug or alcohol use
Are there various types of depression?
There are several types of depressive disorders.
How is depression diagnosed?
- Physical evaluation by a doctor
- Laboratory tests
- Mental health evaluation
How is depression treated?
- Seek evaluation by a mental health professional and get psychotherapy/counseling
- Medications may be suggested
- Drug and alcohol rehabilitation where indicated
- Alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, adopt an animal (pet therapy), acupuncture, supplements
- Rarely, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
What medications can be used to treat depression?
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
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Written by HEALTHdrum