Depression or major depressive disorder is a commonly occurring yet very serious mood disorder that affects the way you feel, think, or act towards one or others. The good news is that it can be treated. Depression results into sadness or losing interest in activities that one used to find joy in. It can also cause several physical and emotional problems that will greatly reduce the person’s ability to perform efficiently at home and work.
The symptoms of depression may vary from one person to the other in the matter of degree:
To be able to diagnose, the symptoms have to remain for a period of two weeks at least. Medical conditions that may have similar symptoms as of depression like brain tumour, vitamin deficiency, or thyroid problems must be checked in the initial screening process.
Depression has been known to affect about 6.7% of the population annually. It is can occur any time at life. Women are more likely to develop this mood disorder as compared to men. Studies show that 1/3rd women are likely to experience an episode of depression in their entire lifetime.
Depression is treatable eventually. People were seen to respond well to the treatment in about 80 to 90 percent of the cases. Even if not completely treated, patients might gain relief from some of the major symptoms. A thorough evaluation must be conducted which will include a physical examination along with an interview. Blood tests are also conducted to screen out the possibility of medical causes. The evaluation helps in identifying factors that contribute to depression such as environment, culture, or family history to help plan the course of treatment.
Sometimes the brain chemistry may be responsible for causing depression in people and may interfere with the treatment. Hence, antidepressants are prescribed to patients to alter the brain chemistry. These drugs are not tranquilizers or sedatives.
Antidepressants can cause improvement in the condition of the person in the first two weeks of usage. One may not observe any specific changes until 2-3 months of use. If there is no improvement experienced, another substitute should be prescribed. Psychotropic drugs are also useful in certain conditions.
It is also referred as talk therapy which can be used alone at times for treating mild depression. In case of moderate or severe depression, psychotherapy is provided along with antidepressants. The most effective form of treating depression is using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This therapy aims to look at the present and solving the problem using therapeutic techniques. CBT helps in letting clients understand how their thinking is distorted and change them accordingly along with the behaviour.