Everything You Need to Know About Depression
Depression, generally classified as a common mood disorder, can be described as feelings (such as sadness, anger, loss, etc.) that interfere with your everyday activities.
According to CDC, 8.1% of adults (aged 20 and above) in the USA had depression in any given 2-week period between 2013 and 2016. Source
There are various types of depression, and different people experience it in different ways. It majorly affects your day-to-day life, interfering with your daily work schedule, resulting in loss of time and productivity.
It may also influence your relationships and lead to some chronic health conditions, including:
- Cardiovascular Disease
To fight depression, first, you need to find if you are actually depressed or is it just a common mood disorder. To help you determine this, here are some of the most common symptoms of depression.
Loss of Interest
Not being interested anymore in pastimes, hobbies, social interactions, or romance. Losing the ability to enjoy and feel pleasure.
Feeling hopeless by thinking nothing can get better or feeling helpless by believing you can do nothing to improve a situation.
Loss of Appetite
Not having a desire to eat, unintentional weight loss, and not feeling hungry.
Significant weight change - either weight loss or gain.
Changes in Sleep Patterns
Sleeping for long hours (oversleeping) or waking up amind sleep, especially in the early morning hours.
Irritability - Anger
Feeling restless, agitated, or getting irritated, angry, and violent easily, frequently.
Loss of Energy
Feeling inactive, tired, and out of energy, especially with a little physical activity.
Loss of Focus
Having trouble focusing, remembering things, and making decisions.
Harshly criticizing yourself for mistakes and faults, you are not wholly accountable for.
Increase in headaches, stomach pain, backache, muscle pain, etc.
If you are experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above, you must find out the reasons behind your depression. There can be numerous reasons ranging from biological to circumstantial; read further to know about some of the common causes of depression.
If your parents have a history of depression or other mood disorders, you are likely at high risk for developing depression.
Events that occurred in your childhood's early stages may affect how your body and mind respond to fear and stressful situations.
In case your brain’s frontal lobe is less active, there’s a high risk for depression.
Many times stressful events in your life lead to depression. Such events can include divorce, losing a loved one, dealing with long-term financial problems, etc.
Excessive drug abuse and alcohol consumption can increase the risk. According to one survey report, almost 21% of people with a substance use problem also experience depression. Source
You may also develop risks for depression due to having certain medical conditions, including chronic pain, chronic illness, insomnia, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
While these are some common causes of depression that can reflect temporary or permanent symptoms, there are specific tests you will need to undergo to find if you have depression or not.
Your healthcare provider can recommend you to go through multiple diagnoses as per your symptoms and mental health assessment, which is commonly called as a psychological evaluation.
In most cases, it starts with answering a series of questions about your:
- Sleep patterns
- Physical activity level
Depression can be linked to several other health problems. A deficiency of vitamin D or thyroid problems can sometimes develop symptoms of depression. Your doctor may also advise you of a physical examination and complete blood count (CBC).
You should not ignore symptoms of depression and if your mood gets worse, seek medical help as soon as you can. Depression is a serious mental health disorder; if not treated, it may also lead to:
- Physical pain
- Weight gain or loss
- Panic attacks
- Relationship problems
- Social isolation
- Substance use problems
- Thoughts of suicide
Now that you have an idea of what could be the possible cause of your depression let’s discuss some of its best treatments.
Types of Treatment for Depression
Take Care of Yourself
Treatment for your depression starts with you only. You need to take good care of yourself:
- Get plenty of sleep
- Follow a healthy diet plan
- Avoid surrounding yourself with negative people
- Participate in fun-filled activities
Learn to Say No
Feeling overwhelmed due to people’s intrusion in your life can worsen depression symptoms. Setting clear boundaries in your personal and professional life can help you feel a little better.
Exposure to white light can help regulate your mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Light therapy is generally used in seasonal affective disorder that is now called major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns.
Consulting with a psychologist can help; you will get to learn essential skills you need to cope with negative feelings. You may also get relief from family/group therapy sessions.
A small physical activity session such as walking, jogging, jumping, push-ups, etc., increases the production of endorphins - hormones that help improve your mood. Aim to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three to five days a week.
Avoid Alcohol & Drugs
Misusing drugs may give you euphoric feelings for a short time, but these can make you feel depressed and anxious in the long run. Anxiety and depression are typical withdrawal symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption and drug abuse.
Once you consult your doctor for depression, they may prescribe:
- Antipsychotic medications
Each type of medication used for the treatment of depression has several benefits and some potential risks.
There are some herbal supplements you can use to treat depression. However, talk to your doctor before taking any kind of medicine or supplement, and combining both as some prescription medications can react with some supplements. Moreover, some supplements may reduce the effectiveness of medications and worsen depression.
If your symptoms don’t improve, your doctor may recommend other treatment options.
Do you or any of your family members/friends have symptoms of depression or other related disorders? If yes, you may need to consult your problem with a primary care provider first. Get the best physicians through CVMedPro, visit our website cvmedpro.com or you may talk to our customer service executives at (877) 216-4215/local: 559.450.6334. To fix a consultation with a primary care provider, call us now!
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