Archive | Depression

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Disguised Symptoms That You’re Clinically depressed

What Are The Causes Of Depression?

Depression is a medical condition impacting general outlook and state of mind. Sometimes, depression is called the "blues." It is viewed as sensation sad and down or losing interest in activities. Even as most people feel by doing this for a few weeks at a time, depression is more than simply feeling blue.
Depression is a major mental health condition that needs medical attention. Talk to your physician if you think you are struggling with depression. People at any age and at any life circumstance can be depressed.
Depression that isn't really dealt with can have a lasting effect on your life, from issues around work, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide efforts, suicidal ideas, or stress on your relationships.
Lots of people have a delighted and healthy life with depression treatment, while others, nevertheless, must deal with anxiety on a long-lasting basis, and should be dealt with on a lifelong basis.

Signs of Depression

The symptoms of depression are variable, depending on the seriousness. There are some standard signs you can enjoy out for. Depression can not just have an effect on how you act however affects your feelings and ideas.
Common signs include the following:
One of these 2 needs to exist on a lot of days over the very same two-week period ...
- Sad or depressed mood
- Loss of interest in enjoyable or pleasurable activities
And, at least 5 of these must likewise exist ...
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Frustration.
- Irritability.
- Angriness.
- Having trouble focusing or focusing.
- Being worn out.
- Being unfortunate or lonely.
- Feeling guilty.
- Poor school or work performance.
- Difficulty deciding.
- Trouble believing clearly.
- Being worried all the time.
- Being uneasy.
- Being separated.
- Being anxious.
- Feeling worthless or hopeless.
- Craving foods that aren't healthy for you.
- Having little energy.
- Alcohol or illicit substance abuse.
- Muscle discomfort or headaches.
- Suicidal ideas or propensities.

Some individuals also reveal proof of psychotic episodes, mania, modifications in motor abilities, or state of mind modifications. Having these might imply you do not have depression but rather have other kinds of anxiety, such as bipolar illness or catatonic depression.

Reasons for Depression.

There isn't simply one cause of anxiety. Some individuals are more susceptible to depression than others are. It is vital that you speak to your doctor about your signs.

Reasons for Depression.
- Genetic-- depression can be acquired. If you have a family member with depression, you are more likely to have depression. The precise genetic system behind how this works isn't yet known.
Even though this potential cause isn't really known, it does suggest that anxiety begins with modifications in brain chemistry. These might be out of balance in those with anxiety. Why these neurotransmitters are out of balance and what role they play in depression isn't really clear.

- Hormonal-- modifications in the production of hormones or the function of hormones might also lead to the start of the depression. With postpartum depression, for example, the lady has a modification in hormones that causes her to develop symptoms of depression.

- Seasonal-- as the daytime hours get shorter in the winter season, lots of individuals establish sensations of fatigue, sleepiness, and an absence of interest in daily tasks. This is called seasonal affective condition and is a type of anxiety discovered generally in individuals who reside in northern environments. Your medical professional may prescribe a light box or an antidepressant when you have these sensations in the winter season time.

- Situational-- whenever you experience a struggle in life, a huge modification in your life, or an injury, you can trigger a case of depression. Things like having a severe life change, having financial problems, being fired from your task, or losing an enjoyed one can have a big influence on your emotional and mental state.

- PTSD-- this is likewise called post-traumatic stress condition and is a type of anxiety that happens after a major scenario in your life. PTSD can be seen in childhood trauma, soldiers after a war, being identified with a lethal depression, remaining in a major car or other kinds of mishap, being attacked or abused, or seeing something frightening.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, their depression typically appears with these medical conditions.

- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-- According to the Anxiety And Depression Association Of America, 7.7 million adults or 2.5% of the population has PTSD. It is more widespread in ladies than in males. Rape is the most typical trigger of this type of depression, in truth, 45.9% of ladies and 65% of guys who are raped will have PTSD. Childhood sexual assault is one of the greatest predictors for a diagnosis of PTSD.

- Cancer and treatment for cancer.
- Drug abuse or dependency.
- Eating conditions.
-
. Parkinson's disease.
- Heart illness or those who have actually had a cardiac arrest.
- Surgery.
- Diabetes.
There are a number of other causes of depression, however, the majority of the time, the problem is biochemical and needs anti-depressants to change the brain's chemistry.

 

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How to Diagnose Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

Signs Of Depression: When To Get Assistance

Sadness, solitude, and periodic anxiety are regular parts of life that can be experienced by anybody at some time in their lives. Feeling sad or depressed can happen as a result of a split, work stress, financial problems, basic struggles of life and is a normal reaction to grief and loss. These times and feelings come and go, and usually, there is a source or factor for the anxiety that we can determine.
It is when a low state of mind and certain accompanying symptoms of depression end up being the standard and last for more than 2 weeks, that it might be indicative of clinical anxiety.
At this moment, it is time to look for help from a doctor. Your main doctor is a fantastic location to begin, and he or she can screen you for anxiety or refer you to a psychiatrist so that you can get the assistance you require.
If left neglected, signs of anxiety may worsen and can last for numerous months or perhaps numerous years causing significant suffering, a decreased quality of life and might result in suicide. Not getting psychiatric treatment can be harmful. More than 10% of individuals who have depressive signs commit suicide.
Recognizing the symptoms of anxiety is generally the most significant issue when making the medical diagnosis of anxiety and treating it.

What are the signs of depression?

A diagnosis of depression needs that there be a number of consistent signs together with a low mood that is present for at least two weeks, other important factors to consider include:
- Not everybody will experience every symptom, some may have a couple of, while others
will have many
- The signs of depression can be serious or moderate
- The symptoms can differ based upon the phase of depression
Inning accordance with the National Institute of Mental Health, the signs of anxiety might include any of the following:
- Suicide attempts or thoughts of suicide
- Sad, "empty", or distressed feelings
- Continuous aches and discomforts, digestion problems, and headaches that don't alleviate even with some type of treatment and have no known cause
- Appetite loss or consuming excessive, consisting of a 5% body weight loss or gain over a month's time
- Anger, irritability, agitation, low tolerance level, short temperateness and whatever and everybody getting on your nerves
- Loss of interest in activities when enjoyed, even sex
- Uneasiness and irritation
- Sleeping disorders, excessive sleeping, or morning wakening
- Feelings of pessimism and hopelessness
- Feelings of vulnerability, insignificance, or guilt
- Exhaustion and decreased energy
- Restlessness and agitated behavior such as the failure to sit still
- Issues focusing, making decisions, or keeping in mind information
Exactly what are the indication of suicide with depression?
Individuals who are depressed are at a greater danger of being self-destructive. Anyone who has suicidal thoughts or ideation need to be taken incredibly seriously. Help is available from the suicide hot line at 1-800-SUICIDE.
Warning indications of the possibility of suicide in anxiety include:
- Having a death dream or appealing fate by taking risks that could lead to an early death
- Depression that worsens
- Always thinking or speaking about death
- A sudden and significant witch from being sad to appearing to be pleased or really calm
- Checking out or talking with individuals they as soon as appreciated
- Talk of killing oneself
- Saying things like "I desire out" or "It would be better if I weren't here"
- Putting affairs in order, altering a will, or tying up loose ends
- Making comments about being useless, defenseless, or hopeless
Remember that if you or a liked one is revealing any of the above indications of suicide with depression either contact a health professional right now or call a local suicide hotline. If these aren't possible, go to the emergency room for emergency examination and management.

Depression in Adolescents

It prevails for teenagers to sometimes feel sad. When the unhappiness lasts for more than 2 weeks, however, it may indicate the teen is experiencing anxiety.
It is estimated that 1 in every 8 teens and 1 in every 33 kids have anxiety. If you presume that your teenager is suffering from depression, you require to take them to an emergency room or to a psychiatrist who specializes in treating teenagers.
How is anxiety identified?
The medical diagnosis of anxiety often begins with a total history and physical exam by your physician. Due to the fact that certain illnesses, medications, or infections can likewise trigger signs of depression, your medical professional will wish to understand when the symptoms started, how long they have actually lasted, and how bad they are.
They will ask you whether you have had anxiety in the past and what sort of treatments you have actually had that has worked for you previously. Your household history of mental disorders, including depression, is exceptionally crucial, as is any history of alcohol or illegal drug usage.
There are different screenings used by psychiatrists to determine if depression exists and what type the client has.
Typical Screenings
- MADRS
- Beck Anxiety Inventory
- PHQ-9
- HAMD
- Geriatric Anxiety Scale
How Depressive Symptoms are Dealt with
If a physical cause for the depressive signs is eliminated, your doctor might begin an initial treatment or might refer you to a psychiatrist of a psychologist.
This psychological health specialist will help you understand methods you can feel much better with treatment, such as with the use of psychiatric therapy or antidepressant medication. Sometimes both things might have to be used for the treatment of depressive symptoms.

How Severe Is Your Depression? Most people at some point in their lives will experience some symptoms of depression.

CLICK HERE FOR FREE DEPRESSION TEST

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Symptoms of Depression-Self Diagnosis Depression Test

How Severe Is Your Depression?

Sadness, loneliness, and occasional depression are experienced by everyone at some point in their lives. Feeling sad or depressed can occur as a result of a breakup, work stress, financial problems, general struggles of life, and can be a normal reaction to grief and loss. These feelings come and go and typically there's a source or reason for the depression that we can identify. Conversely, when a low mood and certain accompanying symptoms become the norm and last for more than two weeks it may be indicative of clinical depression. A diagnosis of depression requires that there be several persistent symptoms along with a low mood that is present for at least two weeks. Not everyone will experience every symptom, some may have a few while others will have many symptoms that can be severe or mild and can vary based on the stage of depression.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health symptoms of depression include feeling sad, empty, or anxious. Ongoing aches and pains, digestive problems and headaches that don't ease with treatment and have no known cause. Appetite loss or eating too much including a 5% body weight loss or gain over a month's time. Suicide attempts or thoughts of suicide. Anger, irritability, short-tempered Ness, and everything and everyone getting on your nerves. Loss of interest and activities you once enjoyed even sex, restlessness, and irritability insomnia or excessive sleeping. Feelings of pessimism and hopelessness, feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, or guilt. Fatigue and significant loss of energy, restlessness and restless behavior such as the inability to sit still. Problems concentrating making decisions or remembering details.

If you suspect that you have depression it's time to seek medical help. Depression is certainly treatable and doctors have various options at their disposal. However, if left untreated, depression may get worse and can last for several months or years to cause major suffering, a reduced quality of life and may even lead to suicide. More than ten percent of people with depression commit suicide. There are various mental health screenings to diagnose depression and the type of depression you may have. Typically depression is treated with psychotherapy or antidepressant medications and often both avenues may need to be utilized for successful treatment outcomes if you suspect you have depression.

 

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Celebrities With Serious Mental Disorders

While it may appear that celebrities lead perfect lives that money and fame make them invulnerable, sometimes it's not always true. Mental illness doesn't discriminate against who it affects. Just like everyone else, celebrities may have struggles they're unable to share that they may struggle with every day. The stigma of mental illness is very strong but here are some celebrities that have come forward to help break it. Emma Stone when speaking to The Wall Street Journal in 2013's doesn't reveal that she's suffered from panic attacks during her childhood. Stone went on to say the attacks became so bad she developed an agoraphobia for a time. While panic disorders tend to develop in persons early 20s, Stone started much earlier around the age of 8 while the attack still happened she's found ways to develop healthy coping strategies to deal with them.

 John Nash, while best known for his Nobel Prize for economics Sciences in 1994, the math genius fought an internal battle with mental illness Nash suffered from paranoid schizophrenia a difficult to sort of it leaves the person unsure of what's real and what isn't. It can affect social responses and ability to think logically at times. Given that it causes feelings of paranoia, Nash said in an interview with PBS that during periods of paranoia he would hear voices but he said they reflected his wishes to have a more influential role in the world. He also said that he didn't suffer and that mental illness is actually misunderstood. He made adjustments in his life to live with his schizophrenia and said it did not negatively affect his work. Nash's story actually inspired the award-winning 2001 film A Beautiful Mind.

Catherine Zeta-jones while now more outspoken about her illness to help erase the stigma, there was a time when Zeta-Jones was wary of discussing her condition in 2011 Zeta-Jones was diagnosed with bipolar disorder - a type of manic depression and sought treatment when first diagnosed. She told InStyle magazine that she didn't want to be a poster child for the illness she wanted to show fans that it could be treated and controlled and wanted to handle this situation gracefully. She checked into a treatment center in April 2013.

Drew Carey the prices right host has never been ashamed to admit that he has suffered from depression in his autobiography dirty jokes and beer stories. The unrefined Carey talks about his longtime battle with mental illness and even speaks of his suicide attempts. He hopes that having more celebrities speaking out will help these stigmatize mental health issues and show they are just like anyone else.

Carrie Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Carrie Fisher's life isn't all romance and lightsabers Fisher's struggled with substance abuse and bipolar disorder which can manifest severe mood swings that can affect daily activity. Speaking to ABC News primetime Fisher was able to speak publicly about her illness saying she wasn't ashamed.

 Elton John speaking to Larry King back in 2002. Elton John spoke about his struggle with substance abuse in bulimia an eating disorder that causes people to binge then expel their food either by vomiting or using laxatives. While portrayed more often in women, a quarter of those affected is men. After seeking help for his illness John said it was the best thing I ever did, but you know those three words "I need help" if only I'd said them earlier. John suffered for sixteen years before seeking treatment for his illness and cocaine addiction. In 1990 JK rowling before becoming a best-selling author the Harry Potter writers struggled with depression prior to the take-off of her magical book series Rowling says living in poverty in dealing with the death of her mother drove her to her lowest point she has said the Dementors dark soul sucking creatures that feed off human happiness emerged from her depression while giving her feelings a physical form aided in her recovery she also credits the help of therapists and helping her overcome her

In 1990 JK Rowling before becoming a best-selling author, the Harry Potter writer struggled with depression prior to the take-off of her magical book series. Rowling says living in poverty in dealing with the death of her mother drove her to her lowest point she has said the Dementors dark soul sucking creatures that feed off human happiness emerged from her depression. While giving her feelings a physical form aided in her recovery she also credits the help of therapists and helping her overcome her depression. 

Mel Gibson in addition to a diagnosis of bipolar one disorder which was once classified as a manic depressive disorder. Gibson also had severe issues with alcohol and was even arrested in 2006 in charge of the DUI. It was when he sought help for his substance abuse that he discovered he was suffering from a mental illness feeling ashamed for the way he behaved Gibson apologized for his behavior and sought treatment for his illness.

 Jim Carrey credited as being an amazing comedian in movies like Ace Ventura Bruce Almighty and dumb and dumber. Carrie is considered one of the elite when it comes to acting, so it may come as a surprise that he told interviewers in 2009 that he had struggled with depression for a significant portion of his life. His depression reached a point where he felt it was so debilitating that he could not overcome it so he sought the help from doctors and was prescribed with Prozac. In addition to this illness, Carrie was also diagnosed with ADHD which sometimes goes hand-in-hand with depression. After some time he found that Prozac was not helping and decided to try alternative treatments. In addition to accepting and speaking out about his illness, Carrie also avoids drugs and alcohol which can agitate his condition.

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Lady Gaga Reveals Her Struggle with Depression and Anxiety

 

I said this earlier and I'll say it again, I invented myself Lady Gaga and I've curated my life to be an expression of my pain, this is how I overcame my depression. It's by creating somebody that I felt was stronger than me but, once I went through all sorts of changes my career taking off becoming more isolated you know nothing was able to fix how I was genetically made. I was born this way so how do we now, knowing all of that no matter how much success you have, no matter how many opportunities of fame and fortune, no matter how many people accept you to your face, the person that really needs to accept you is you.

 I have some sort of anxiety depression something that's changed my whole life.  I take antidepressant medication for it and I have tried to get off of them but, the doctor always tells me not to do that it's not safe.  Whenever I've tried to get off my meds I seem to get very neurotic, so I have had to study all different types of ways and dig into all these different areas to figure out how to function. As a public figure, it's not possible that I have the resources that other kids have so this is not fair. I started looking into Ayurvedic medicine, I started looking into mindfulness and meditation, I started looking into a mantra and I pray sometimes. I make music, write poetry and I am an actress now which helped me a lot, so these are the things that I started to do. What really helped me the most that I want to impress upon all of you is that I realize that part of my identity is saying no to things I don't want to do. You are all in school and you all have a lot of teachers and a lot of people around you that tell you all day what you have to do.

It is your right to choose what you do and don't do. It is your right to choose what you believe in and what you don't believe in. It is your right to curate your life and your own perspective, you are not here to be a puppet for you that's not what they want. Am I wrong to make decisions like why am I unhappy? Stephanie Gaga, why are you unhappy? Why is it that you want to quit music a couple years ago? That's like well I really don't like selling these you know fragrances perfumes, I don't like wasting my time spending days just shaking people's hands and smiling and taking selfies. I feel shallow to my existence and I have a lot more to offer than my image. I don't like being used to make people money, I feel sad when I'm overworked and that I've just become a money-making machine and that my passion and my creativity takes a backseat, that makes me unhappy. So I started to say no I'm not doing that, I'm not taking that picture, I'm not going to that event, I'm not standing by that because that's not what I stand for.

Then slowly but surely I remembered Who I am and then you go home and you look in the mirror and you're like yes I can go to bed with you every night because that person I know, that person has balls, that person has integrity, that person has an opinion, that person doesn't say yes, that person doesn't get a text from somebody and say oh my god they wrote this and they sent this emoji should I write this back. Do you think it's okay to say are they going to like me if I say something different? This is the age that we live in, we're not actually communicating with each other we are unconsciously communicating lives, so when I check in with myself throughout the day and I say do I really want to do this and if the answer is no, I don't do it and you shouldn't either

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Battling Depression Disorder (and winning!)

Hey yo, so I know it's been a very long time since I've made a video. I believe the last one I made was back in March, that was like six seven months ago and I just want to thank my subscribers (everybody) who have emailed me and sent me messages on Facebook and checking up on me making sure I'm okay. In the beginning of this year uh I dealt with a lot of crap very severe depression and I just had to take a step back. I didn't realize I would take such a long time away from YouTube, but I'm just going to go ahead and get this out of the way so I can start making videos again. After I started to feel better you know I sought treatment, got help which is very important.

Free Depression Test

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2 Minute Self Diagnosis Depression Test

Depression Test

If there was just a simple depression test you could take in order to figure out whether or not you’re depressed. It would be nice to go in, have some blood taken and get your results back the following week, but it doesn’t exactly work like that. Depression is a mental illness that is taking over many people …

Depression Isn’t Uncommon

Recent years have seen a shift in the consciousness surrounding mental health. People have become more aware of the different issues regarding mental illness, and have become more attuned to the presence of these illnesses in society. Though stigma hasn’t completely been eradicated, rising levels of acceptance have come to the forefront to battle the negative effects of discrimination and ridicule.
In light of the rising rates of mental illness sweeping the globe, it’s vital that we educate ourselves and make ourselves aware of the struggles many people have begun to face in order to be able to help those who are too afraid to speak out about their experiences.
These days, it is no longer uncommon to know someone, be related to someone, or to be someone struggling with depression. Knowledge about the condition is extremely important in helping yourself and others cope with and recover from the condition.

What is Depression?

In the past, it was enough for people to chalk depression up to hormones, or to describe it simply as being sad. Today, however, these simplistic ideas about the condition aren’t nearly enough anymore. Misconceptions regarding the condition can actually be harmful, so we always need to be cautious when faced with different ideas presented as the “truth” particularly exaggerated representations of mental illness that are prevalent in popular culture.
Life can be difficult, and we all go through different challenges that can make us feel down or sad. We aren’t always going to be happy, and that’s completely normal. Feeling upset because of the different problems life present isn’t depression. But, if this sadness persists day after day, week after or week, or even months on end, then depression may actually be at play.

How Do They Diagnose Depression?

Since there is no depression test, exactly how do they diagnose depression? Depression is officially described as sadness or low mood levels lasting for at least two weeks, accompanied by other distinct symptoms.
Further, depression is much more severe than having the blues; the condition is disruptive and can impede an individual from performing daily tasks and activities.
There are different diagnostic parameters, all of which can be found in a manual (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) used by mental health professionals to diagnose different mental illnesses.
In the DSM-IV, depression is said to be present when the individual experiences at least 5 of the following symptoms:

• Low moods, at least (especially in the morning)
• Persistent fatigue
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt on almost a daily basis
• Difficulties in concentration, sleep (lack of sleep or sleeping excessively), and decision making
• Lack of interest and pleasure in activities an individual used to find interesting (on almost a daily basis)
• Suicidal thoughts or engaging in risky behavior that is destructive/life-threatening
• Restlessness/Laziness
• Significant weight changes (loss or gain)

The manual also states that aside from these symptoms being present, these must not be caused by any ingested medicine, substance, or physical illness.
Further, when these symptoms occur within two months of losing a loved one, they are not considered indications of depression but rather normal reactions to a tragic event.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, unlike most illnesses, depression can’t be diagnosed by specialized blood or laboratory tests. Therefore, mental health care professionals have developed ways to diagnose the conditions via in-depth interviews and written tests. Interviews are considered the most useful tool for diagnosis, given that these give the psychiatrist great insight into the patient’s state of health, their specific experiences involving the symptoms of the condition, their personality, and other relevant details. Furthermore, there are many things that can be revealed during an interview that won’t come out on a test; like verbal reports on a patient’s daily moods, routines, and lifestyle.

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Depression – Are You Really Depressed?

Depression Comes and Life Goes?

Depression bites. We’re sorry, but there is no other way to put it. It's a gross, heavy, disgusting monster that feels like a parasite that saps all of your life energy to sustain itself. If you are living with depression, you can probably admit you are in a vicious cycle. You want to crawl out of your depressed state, but most of the things that would possibly help just take too much energy and motivation, which you have none of because you are... well, depressed.

Then you feel guilty about not doing those things that seem so easy for other people, which zaps you even more and drives you deeper into depression. It is not fun one bit, nothing about it is fun and we understand that it probably makes you feel pretty frustrated.   That's okay. Right now, you don't need to feel confident or hopeful. We will be confident in you right now and you can pick up the reigns later. We know that you can get through this. My confidence in you is not misplaced or unfounded.

You're a brilliant human being and we hope you give us the chance to prove it to you. Consider this: you are exhausted, right? Feeling like every single thing you do takes 1000% more effort because you have this annoying personal black cloud over your head as well as a backpack full of 100 heavy bricks that you carry around all day?

When Depression brings its host of effects?

Alright, so, many of you are probably not sure whether or not the crappy feelings you are having qualify as a depression. We tend to throw around the term depression pretty casually here in the USA.

You might hear someone say that they are depressed when their sports team blows it or when their favorite musical group loses a member. This points to one of the annoying things about depression: it is an emotion and it is also the name of a disorder.

What we mean is, you can feel depressed without having depression. Throw in the fact that depression does not look the same for everyone and this shit can get really confusing.

Let’s try to clear it up a bit.   Have you ever lost a family member or favorite pet? Have you ever completely bombed a test that you needed to do well on in order to get the grade you wanted in a class? Have you broken up with a significant other? I could keep going, but what I am trying to get at is the fact that we have all encountered periods of sadness in our lives. What is distinct about the sadness that follows these sorts of events is that it is “reactional” in nature.

That means you have gone through some shit and your heart is really heavy as a result. You might even have been more than “just a little sad.” Maybe you were having a hard time eating, crying almost constantly, and feeling completely drained of your energy. It is common for difficult circumstances to throw you into a sort of temporary depression.

This is a good thing. It means that you are a good human and that you cared about the issue in the first place. We run into trouble when our overwhelming feelings of sadness extend beyond the immediate situation. If the situation resolves and you still find yourself in the throes of these feelings, you might need to take a step back and evaluate whether you might be depressed.

Of course, many of you are probably here because you are in a similar emotional state, seemingly for no reason. Nobody died, and objectively things are not all that bad, but you just can’t seem to stop feeling like garbage. In fact, that probably fuels the depressive fire even more. That knowledge that things could be worse.

Depending on your circumstances and who you ask, there very well may be a reason for this depressed state you find yourself in … it just might take some digging to find it.

Even if you feel you have no reason to be in such bad shape, it is important, to be honest with yourself and consider the possibility that something clinically significant might be going on here.    And we can’t neglect to mention the people who have an easily identifiable reason for their depression. Trauma, abusive relationships, extreme poverty, a never ending series of tragedies… all of these things are good reasons to feel depressed. It’s tough because these circumstances are not really “your fault.”

 

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Depression Definition – It’s Time to Get a Grip on the Definition

Depression Definition

According to the dictionary, depression can be defined as 1. Feelings of severe despondency and dejection.  That’s a pretty vague depression definition, isn’t it? Seriously, with something THIS big, we need to develop a clear understanding of exactly what it is.

Depression is such a common issue that any definition you find will be relatively similar. These are the current DSM criteria for a major depressive episode. You need to have five or more of these symptoms that occur during the same two-week period and represent a change from previous functioning. At least one of your symptoms has to be depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure:

  • Depressed mood for most of the day, nearly every day. In children or adolescents, this can look more like irritable mood.
  • Lowered interest or pleasure in nearly all activities for most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain (change in 5% of body weight in a month) when you haven’t been intentionally changing your diet or a decrease in appetite, nearly every day.
  • Insomnia (not sleeping enough) or hypersomnia (sleeping way too much), nearly every day.
  • Either speeding (agitation) up or slowing (retardation) down of your activities, as noticed by other people.
  • Fatigue or loss of energy, nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or over-the-top guilt, nearly every day.
  • Trouble with thinking or concentrating, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal thoughts without a particular plan, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for committing suicide.

 

For your experience to qualify as a major depressive episode, these symptoms need to be disrupting some important area of functioning such as your ability to operate socially or work effectively at school or your job. These symptoms also can’t be due to the effects of drugs, medicine, or a medical condition. Certain medications can have a depressant effect, which is definitely a valid experience, but it is considered to be separate from a major depressive episode.

What’s with this phrase “depressive episode?” A huge number of people have a major depressive episode at some point in their lives. This is at least a two week period in which you meet those criteria that we just talked about. A smaller, but still way too large number of people experience major depressive disorder, which means that they have a pattern of recurrent depressive episodes across a portion of their lifetime. You can think of it as being similar to an eating disorder. You can have an episode of starving yourself, but that does not necessarily make you meet criteria for anorexia. It is the recurrent behavior over time that qualifies it as a psychological disorder.

Depression Isn’t the Same for Everyone

We would like to talk a bit about the fact that depression is not the same for every individual. It is difficult to stick to the books and convey what we are trying to say about this, so please forgive us if we draw a bit more from personal experience than research here. One of the things that persistently upsets depressed people is when they meet a mental health professional who instantly groups them into a very specific category in their mind.

Stereotypical Versions of Depression

Perhaps one of the more stereotypical versions of depression is what we like to call the “sorrowful” subtype. This one looks a lot like active grief. The way we can typically identify someone in this mode is by asking whether they find themselves crying at literally everything. The wrong commercial comes on, you hear a song that makes you feel all the feels, the wind changes… you hardly need an excuse to shed some tears. It’s like you’re on the verge of breaking down 24/7. This version of depression really sucks because it’s not exactly the type that you can hide easily. Not so awesome when you are trying to hold it together at work. You’re just so sad that it almost literally aches in your heart. Often times, people start out with this type of depression and take it from there.

Conclusion

When you first start to feel the stings of depression and start to question yourself and everything around you, it can be a really painful sting. If you feel depressed, it is important that you seek help before you sink deeper.

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Depression Treatment – What’s Available?

Before anything, a psychiatrist should first be contacted prior to taking any other steps. This mental health professional helps the patient work through their experiences, identify the type of depression present, and to choose and modify a treatment plan to cater to the needs of the patient.

Here are some treatment options that are currently being used to alleviate depression:

#1: Antidepressants: Given that mental illnesses can likely be the effect of chemical imbalances in the brain, antidepressant medicines are often given to complement therapy and to counter these chemical abnormalities.

There are three known chemicals in the brain (called neurotransmitters) that function to regulate mood. These are norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. In people struggling with depression, these neurotransmitters may be abnormally high or abnormally low.

Different types of antidepressants function to normalize these levels in the brain.

-Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are the most common type of antidepressants used for treatment. You may have heard of some of these, such as Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, or Zoloft. The side effects associated with SSRIs are mild to moderate, depending on the person. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs, are a newer class of antidepressant that function in a way similar to SSRIs. Examples include Effexor, Cymbalta, and Pristiq.

-Tricyclic antidepressants, or TCAs, were among the first types of medication used to treat depression, and are still being used today. Examples of these include Elavil, Adapin, Sinequan, Tofranil, Pamelor, Vivactil, and Surmontil.

-Monoamin oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs, were also among the first types of medication for depression, and are still being used today. These block an enzyme called monoamine oxidase, a chemical associated with a number of neurological and psychiatric conditions. Examples of MAOIs include Nardil, Parnate, and Marplan.

-Buproprion, like Wellbutrin and Aplenzin, functions to alter abnormal levels of norepinephrine and dopamine. These have mild to moderate side effects and are found to be at lower risk of causing sexual side effects.

-Vortiexone, more commonly known as Brintellix, was approved by the FDA in 2013 and is now the newest antidepressant used to regulate serotonin receptors that consequently affect other important neurotransmitter systems. Currently, this type of medication has been found to have minimal side effects and benefits that help address the cognitive symptoms associated with depression.

#2: Antipsychotics Aside from antidepressants, antipsychotics may be described in order to aid treatment. Antipsychotics have been found to be particularly helpful in the patient who struggles with resistant depression. Examples of antipsychotic medications include Abiligy, Seroquel, Symbyax, and Zyprexa.

#3: Psychotherapy & Behavioral Therapy Medication alone won’t work to battle depression, so taking antidepressants usually goes hand in hand with therapy. The purpose of both therapies is to help the individual develop and adapt feasible coping strategies to effectively deal with depression. It also helps the individual get replace negative attitudes and outlooks shaped by depression with positive ways of thinking. All of these serve not only to decrease stress, but also to enhance the efficacy of any medication being taken.

#4: Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one option available for the treatment of severe depression. This procedure entails the application of a brief electric current to the brain via electrodes attached to the scalp while the patient is under sedation. Despite its effectiveness, ECT is only used to treat severe depression that has proven unresponsive to other forms of treatment, or when patients struggling with severe depression become threats to themselves or other people.

#5: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Device This is a device used for patients struggling with major depression that is unresponsive to medication. This method is considered the least invasive form of treatment for resistant depression. TMS differs from ECT in that it uses a magnetic field rather than an electric shock, and this magnetic field targets a specific part of the brain. The device is placed on the scalp, where it then sends pulses to stimulate nerve cells that are in charge of regulating moods. This method is considered safer but less effective than ECT.

#6: Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) This method is also used to treat individuals struggling with resistant depression. Unlike ECT and TMS, this is considered an invasive form of treatment. A device the size of the wrist watch is implanted into the patient’s chest, with its wires leading to the left vagus nerve. Electrical impulses are then coursed through the wires to this nerve, which is responsible for the passage of information between the brain and the body.

These are the most common modes of treatment used to alleviate depression. Aside from these formal treatment options, there are also other steps that can be taken in order to get the most out of them.

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