Depression is a type of mood disorder that affects many people. Depression has many different symptoms including a general loss of interest, persistent sadness and negative thinking patterns.
If depression is left untreated it can affect many aspects of a person’s life including relationships, career and more. Depression can be effectively managed using the right treatment program. Keep reading to find out more about depression and how to treat it.
Depression has many different symptoms which may become more intense during an episode of depression. Some of the most common symptoms of depression include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping too much
- Feelings of hopeless ness
- Feelings of guilt
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
- Suicidal feelings
- Lack of energy
- Trouble concentrating
- Physical aches and pains
If you feel like you may be suffering from depression you should make an appointment with your family doctor. Try to make a list of your symptoms and how long you have been suffering from them so that you are prepared for your appointment. Your doctor will perform a physical exam to rule out any underlying health problems. Your doctor may also want to do blood work to make sure that your blood levels are right and that your thyroid is functioning properly. The doctor will also ask you how you are doing and about what your daily life looks like. He or she may have you fill out a psychological evaluation. The doctor will also use the criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to diagnose you with depression as many of the symptoms may overlap with other mental disorders including bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a type of disorder that can cause periods of extreme highs (also known as mania or hypomania) and extreme lows (also known as manic depression). Bipolar disorder is similar to depression because it can cause symptoms of extreme sadness, hopelessness and even suicidal feelings. Unlike depression, bipolar disorder depressive periods are accompanied by periods of mania in which you feel full of energy and extremely happy. The symptoms of depressive and manic periods may occur as often as every day or as little as a few times a year. Bipolar disorder is diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The doctor will also go over the patient’s overall health and how their symptoms are impacting their life. There is currently no cure for bipolar disorder but with the right treatment the disorder can be effectively managed. Some of the most common treatments for bipolar disorder include counseling, therapy and medications.
Your doctor will help you to find the resources you need which may include counseling or support groups. They may also want to discuss various medical treatments including medication. If you are having feelings of worthlessness or suicidal thoughts you should not wait to seek treatment, call 911. They will help to guide you towards the resources that you need to feel better.
The exact cause of depression is unknown but many suspect that the following play a role:
- Brain injury
- Personal trauma
There are many risk factors that may increase a person’s likelihood of developing depression. These factors include:
- Low self-esteem
- Childhood trauma
- Stressful events
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Diagnosis of other mental health disorders
Depression is often treated using a variety of different methods including therapy, counseling, exercise and medications. The right treatment program is unique to each person and may have to be updated and changed over time. That is why if you are experiencing depression you should have open and honest dialogue with your doctor. Some of the most common treatments for depression include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Atypical antidepressants
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- Healthy eating
- Residential psychiatric treatment
- A hospital stay can deliver the right medication, counseling, observation, support and environment
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
- Electroconvulsive therapy
Depression can be effectively managed with the right treatment. It may take some time to find the right medications or therapy that works for you, but keep trying. Your doctor will work with you to find the right treatment so that you can enjoy even the little things in life again. Start doing some beneficial treatments at home including journaling, meditation and exercising to complement your medical treatments.