Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances, such as:
Examples of other types of depressive disorders newly added to the diagnostic classification of DSM-5 include disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (diagnosed in children and adolescents) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
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:
Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many. Several persistent symptoms in addition to low mood are required for a diagnosis of major depression, but people with only a few – but distressing – symptoms may benefit from treatment of their “subsyndromal” depression. The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness. Symptoms may also vary depending on the stage of the illness.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world. 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 is now recognized as occurring in 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. Sometimes medications taken for these physical illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression. A doctor experienced in treating these complicated illnesses can help work out the best treatment strategy.
Risk factors include:
Depression, even the most severe cases, can be treated. The earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is. Depression is usually treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. If these treatments do not reduce symptoms, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and other brain stimulation therapies may be options to explore.
Quick Tip: No two people are affected the same way by depression and there is no “one-size-fits-all” for treatment. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you.
Antidepressants are medicines that treat depression. They may help improve the way your brain uses certain chemicals that control mood or stress. You may need to try several different antidepressant medicines before finding the one that improves your symptoms and has manageable side effects. A medication that has helped you or a close family member in the past will often be considered.
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. If you begin taking antidepressants, do not stop taking them without the help of a doctor. Sometimes people taking antidepressants feel better and then stop taking the medication on their own, and the depression returns. When you and your doctor have decided it is time to stop the medication, usually after a course of 6 to 12 months, the doctor will help you slowly and safely decrease your dose. Stopping them abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Several types of psychotherapy (also called “talk therapy” or, in a less specific form, counseling) can help people with depression. Examples of evidence-based approaches specific to the treatment of depression include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and problem-solving therapy.
If medications do not reduce the symptoms of depression, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be an option to explore. Based on the latest research:
"ഞാനും എന്റെ മോനും കുറേകാലം ഭർത്താവിനൊപ്പം വിദേശത്തായിരുന്നു. ഇപ്പോൾ ചില കുടുംബപ്രശ്നങ്ങൾ കാരണം നാട്ടിലെത്തിയ ഞാൻ മകനെ ഇവിടുത്തെ സ്കൂളിൽ ചേർത്തു. തുടക്കം തൊട്ട് വിദേശത്ത് പഠിച്ചുവളർന്ന അവന് ഇവിടുത്തെ സ്കൂളുമായി ഒട്ടും പൊരുത്തപ്പെടാൻ സാധിക്കുന്നില്ല. എട്ടിൽ പഠിക്കുന്ന അവന് എല്ലാ കാര്യത്തിലും പരാതിയാണ്. പഠനത്തിൽ ഒട്ടും ശ്രദ്ധിക്കുന്നില്ല."ഇങ്ങനെ സംഭവിക്കാനുണ്ടായ കാരണങ്ങളെ കുറിച്ചാണ് ആദ്യം ആലോചിക്കേണ്ടത്.…read more
Dr Somanath is a leading and eminent psychiatrist based in Kochi. He did his MBBS at Medical College Kottayam and post graduation in psychiatry from NIMHANS Bangalore. He has 20 years of experience in the field of psychiatry and worked as faculty in NIMHANS, SH Hospital Painkulam, Thodupuzha, Child Care Centre Gandhinagar and Lakeshore hospital Kochi. His current research interests are Genetics of Psychiatric disorders, Developmental disorders in children, psychosomatic medicine, Health education & Public awareness programme.read more