Depression: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Depression - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & More

What is Depression?

What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Depression’?  You think that the person is going through a lot and hence is feeling low. We tend to use the word depression very loosely these days. In actuality, the word depression holds a deep meaning.

Depression can be defined as a mood disorder that makes you lose interest in day-to-day activities. All of this come with constant sadness. We all feel low and sad throughout our life but when the feeling of worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness persists for a very long time and is paired with sadness and lack of interest in everyday activities, you can define that as Depression.

Depression - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & More

Causes of Depression

 There are various causes for depression. Few of them are as follows:

·         Disturbance in the synaptic pathways

·         Genes

·         Difficult life events

·         Other conditions

Depression is a medical illness that affects everyone from males to female to children to college goers. It seems different for every gender and every age group.

Depression in Men:

Men and women not only experience different symptoms but their willingness to express is also different. According to APA (American Psychiatric Association), more than 30% of men experience long periods of depression and more than 40% of then don’t express their symptoms. Here are some symptoms and signs that are common for men with depression:

  • Escapist behavior
  • Controlling, abusive, or violent behavior
  • Problems with sexual desire
  • Loss of interest in work
  • Lots of interest in things that were once interesting 
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling tired but not being able to sleep
  • Partaking in high-risk behavior

Depression in Females:

 Depression is more common in women than in men. Researchers all over the world state that this is the result of the hormonal, social and biological factors that are specific to women. Some signs and symptoms of depression that are common in women are as follows:

  • Loss of interest in activities that once were pleasurable
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Struggling with anxiety
  • Being restless or cranky
  • Excessively crying
  • Having feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or weight gain
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Feeling fatigued, having less energy
  • Physical symptoms that include headache, chronic pain, and digestive issues — these physical symptoms typically do not respond to treatment
  • Suicidal thoughts/ attempts

Depression in Children:

Children, too, face depression. The cause of their depression can be family history, physical health, other life events etc. depression in children can look different from that of adults. Signs of depression in children are as follows:

  • Anger outbursts
  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Changes in appetite, either increased or decreased
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Vocal outbursts or crying
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Physical complaints (such as stomachaches and headaches) that don’t respond to treatment
  • Trouble during events and activities at home or with friends, in school, during extracurricular activities, and with other hobbies or interests
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression in Teens and College Students:

Depression in Teens and College Students is very serious problem. They face a lot of emotional, functional and physical issues. They face academic issues, peer pressure, hormonal changes etc. which are all the causes of depression. Teenagers show different symptoms for depression than adults. The symptoms are as follows:

·         Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason

·         Frustration and anger outbursts, even over small matters

·         Conflict with family and friends

·         Low self-esteem

·         Loss of energy

·         Insomnia or sleeping too much

·         Changes in appetite — decreased appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain

·         Use of alcohol or drugs

·         Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still

·         Slowed thinking and speaking or body movements

·         Self-harm

·         Making a suicide attempt

Sakshi Jain Chief Psychologist for Depression Counselling at Swastha Clinic

Chief Psychologist – Sakshi Jain

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Treatment

Once you understand the cause and symptoms of depression, it’s only advisable to get help and make sure that the person in need gets proper treatment. Different types of treatment are available for people undergoing depression and they are all interconnected. The types of treatment available are:

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy also known as talk therapy is helps in understanding the issues that the person is facing and help them resolve their issues. Some of the techniques used by Psychotherapists are:

·         Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

·         Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT)

·         Gestalt Therapy

·         Problem-Solving Therapy

Medication

Medication is required for people who are undergoing severe depression. They are referred to psychiatrists who are equipped with the knowledge of providing medication. Medication is always prescribed with addition to psychotherapy as they go hand-in-hand. It is also necessary for the person undergoing depression to understand the cause of it as coping skills will be provided by the psychotherapists.

Self-Help Techniques

Some self-help techniques such as mindfulness techniques and journaling etc. can be used so as to feel better if you are undergoing milder symptoms. Different tests are conducted in-order to understand if a person is undergoing depression and these tests are standardized and valid. Only a therapist can conduct these tests.

If you feel that you or anyone around you is exhibiting these symptoms make sure you help them. Book appointment to understand yourself better

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