Depression

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Depression is a serious condition that causes damage to the brain. About 20 million people in the United States suffer from depression nowadays. This mental disorder can have numerous causes, including genetic and environmental factors. Treating depression is a must, as otherwise it may lead to the development of a series of other conditions.

Symptoms of depression

Depression can cause numerous symptoms. Below are listed some of them:

  • Sadness;
  • Pessimism;
  • Feeling of guilt and hopelessness;
  • Change in weight;
  • Loss of interest in all type of activities;
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping;
  • Severe energy loss;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Poor memory;
  • Fatigue;
  • Anxiety, agitation, irritability;
  • Suicide thoughts;
  • Feeling that life is not worth it.

Naturally, symptoms can vary from one patient to another. Some patients can experience more symptoms, while some can only feel some of them.

Causes

What causes depression is not known completely today. However, there are some risk factors which can lead to the development of this condition.

  • Patients who have been diagnosed with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains.
  • Changes in the body’s balance of hormones may also lead to the development of this disease.
  • Certain traumatic events, including the death of someone dear, can also lead to depression.
  • High stress can cause depression, too.
  • Traumatic events during childhood, including abuse, can determine permanent damage to the brain.

Risk factors

People of all ages can be diagnosed with depression. However, the disease is commonly found in people aged between 20 and 30. Risk factors of depression include:

  • Having relatives suffering from depression;
  • Having traumatic experiences as a child;
  • Not socializing;
  • Being lonely;
  • Having few friends;
  • Leading a stressful life;
  • Experiencing stressful events;
  • Having a serious illness;
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs.

Diagnosis

Depression is usually diagnosed by health care providers after a physical exam. Doctors may ask questions about mood, thoughts and daily routine. Through various physiological tests, doctors can find out if you are suffering from depression.

They may also recommend the following tests for diagnosis:

  1. Physical exam during which your general state of health is checked.
  2. Laboratory tests are recommended to test your thyroid.
  3. Psychological evaluation checks for signs of depression. Patients will be asked about symptoms and various other aspects linked their general state of health.

Treatment

Depression need to be treated as soon as possible. To overcome this condition, patients can undergo a series of therapies. Both medication and support are needed. Actually, the most effective treatment for depression is considered to be the combination between medication and psychotherapy. Treatment will vary from one case to another, depending on the needs of each patient. Support can be offered to both patient and his family.

Overcoming depression is a complex process that will most likely take months. It requires time and commitment. Even though the patient starts feeling better, the treatment has to continue until the specialist tells you that you have managed to cure your health problem.

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