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Depression – A Common Mental Disorder


Depression – A Common Mental Disorder

Depression is a common mental disorder. Approximately 3.8% of the general population and 5.0% of adults aged 60 and older suffer from depression. Overall, 280 million people are affected by depression. It differs from normal mood swings and is a serious illness when recurrent or persistent. It can cause significant suffering and is often the trigger for suicide. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in young adults. In addition to the effects on the individual, depression has numerous social, psychological, and physical health implications.

In order to diagnose depression, a doctor will ask about the nature of symptoms and examine the person’s physical and emotional health. Sometimes, blood tests are ordered to rule out other health conditions. Mental health professionals may also ask you to complete questionnaires to better understand the severity of your depression. One questionnaire is called the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, which asks 21 questions and gives a score based on its severity. Another questionnaire is the Beck Depression Inventory.

Stressful events can cause a person to lose touch with reality and experience hallucinations. Depression affects the whole body, impairing sleep, concentration, and focus. As a result, it undermines the person’s health and makes them more susceptible to diseases. In addition, people with depression tend to have higher rates of osteoporosis and diabetes. Symptoms of depression may include years-long periods of low energy, lack of social interaction, and a reduced ability to experience pleasure.

Although not everyone experiences the same symptoms, depression is a serious mental illness. People with depression tend to experience persistent sad feelings, lack of interest in activities, and apathy. They may also experience a lack of pleasure in their daily activities and may lose interest in hobbies. Some symptoms of depression may be a result of a medical condition, including thyroid disease, brain tumor, or vitamin deficiencies. The best way to treat depression is to treat the underlying cause and seek treatment early.

The medical community is not clear on the cause of depression, but many of the causes of the symptoms are the same. Treatments may include psychotherapy, or talking therapy, which involves one-to-one counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy. Sometimes, drug treatment is used. Prescription antidepressants can be effective for moderate-to-severe depression and affect different neurotransmitters. A doctor may prescribe antidepressants based on the symptoms of depression.

Other options include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). In this treatment, a mild electrical current is passed through the brain to cause brief seizures, which relieve the symptoms of depression. When treatment is begun early, a person can avoid the recurrence of the symptoms. A healthy diet, exercise, adequate rest, and a balanced sleep schedule are a great start. In addition to these, other ways to treat depression include alternative medicine and complementary therapies.

In the United States, about 17.3 million adults reported a major depressive episode during a 12-month period in 2017. This number is higher among women than men. More than half of those individuals suffering from depression are women. The WHO has published brief psychological intervention manuals that lay workers can deliver. Problem Management Plus outlines stress management, problem solving, and social support. Group Interpersonal Therapy for Depression describes the use of group therapy with individuals. Thinking Healthy covers cognitive-behavioural therapy in treating perinatal depression.

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