The consequences of depression – Why depression has to be cured?
by Dr. Khizara Amin
Living with depression is like carrying a backpack full of boulders around with you all day. It weighs you down, saps your energy, and leaves you with little motivation to get out of bed in the morning (much less take a shower, get dressed, and go to work).
We know it’s not always easy to carry that burden. We know that some days, it’s hard to keep up hope — the whole world seems overwhelming. Against us. We know that some days, living with depression might as well be living with leprosy, as friends and family avoid us.
Between 10 and 25 percent of women and 5 to 12 percent of men will have a major depressive disorder in their lifetime. And, though it might seem impossible at first, depression is effectively treated and ones mood and life will improve.
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common ( but can be serious) mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect ones functioning like how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
Signs and Symptoms
If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue (psychomotor agitation or retardation)
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many. Symptoms may vary depending on the stage of the illness.
Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
- Depression can happen at any age, but often begins in adulthood. Depression can occur inn children and adolescents, although it sometimes presents with more prominent irritability than low mood. Many chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults begin as high levels of anxiety in children.
- Depression, especially in midlife or older adults, can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. These conditions are often worse when depression is present.
Antidepressants and psychotherapy are the treatment for depression; antidepressants take time – usually 2 to 4 weeks – to work, and often, symptoms such as sleep, appetite, and concentration problems improve before mood lifts, so it is important to give medication a chance before reaching a conclusion about its effectiveness strategy.
Brain stimulation therapies are used when medication and psychotherapy are partially effective or ineffective in the treatment for depression.