Depression

Depression is a word we used often time. Depression may be invisible but it can be known and understood.

Depressive Disorder  is a highly prevalent, debilitating and multi-determinant condition. Cognitive functions can act as protective or facilitating factors for the development of mental disorders. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of Sadness and Loss of interest. A person suffering from Depression generally exhibit feeling of Guilt, loss of pleasure, interest, low self esteem and loss of appetite. It may have trouble doing normal day to day activities and depression make you feel as if life is not worth living.

Depressed patients tend to perceive themselves, the future and the world more negatively, since they have recurrent thoughts of inadequacy, such as being incapable of carrying out their daily tasks, a burden to others, and unable to do anything right as well as having negative reports about tasks and social interaction.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. According the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects about 121 million people. Untreated depression can lead to suicide, and the WHO estimates that 850,000 people worldwide commit suicide every year. Their estimates project that depression will rise to second place in the global burden of disease listing by the year 2020. The risk of major depression is increased with neurological conditions such as stroke,parkinsonism disease or multiple sclerosis and during the first year after childbirth.It is also more common after cardiovascular illnesses, and is related more to a poor outcome than to a better one.

Depressive disorders are most common to observe in urban area than in rural population and the prevalence is in groups with stronger socioeconomic factors i.e. homelessness.

TYPES:-

There are mainly THREE type of depression MILD, MODERATE and SEVERE .There is also various type describe like MAJOR DEPRESSION, sometimes called major depressive disorder (MDD), clinical depression, unipolar depression or simply depression. It involves loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities with that suicidal tendency. The symptoms are experienced most days and last for at least two weeks. The symptoms interfere with all areas of a person’s life, including work and social relationships.

1) Major depressive disorder(MDD) is now more commonly seen in people.

2) MELANCHOLIA where many of the physical symptoms of depression are present. One of the major changes is that the person can be observed to move more slowly. The person is also more likely to have a depressed mood that is characterised by complete loss of pleasure in everything, or almost everything.

3) PSYCHOTIC DEPRESSION in this there is various type of delusion and hallucination are experience by patient.

4) ANTENATAL AND POSTNATAL DEPRESSION – Women are at an increased risk of depression during pregnancy and in the year following childbirth. Depression is longer lasting and can affect not only the mother, but her relationship with her baby, the child’s development, the mother’s relationship with her partner and with other members of the family.

5) ATYPICAL DEPRESSION is the expressions of depression that contrast with the usual characteristics of depression. For example, rather than experiencing appetite loss the person instead experiences appetite increase; and sleepiness rather than insomnia.

It can be practically classified into two important types viz. PRIMARY & SECONDARY.

  • PRIMARY DEPRESSION originates  primarily from psychological factors and generally have some psychiatric factor behind its occurrence.
  • SECONDARY DEPRESSION occurs as a resultant of some pre-existing and generally critical physical illness and patient goes into depression thinking of the possible poor outcome of his disease. This is accompanied with hopelessness and pessimism.

CAUSES:-
1) BRAIN CHEMISTRY: neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that likely play role in depression, when these chemicals are out of balance may be associated with depression symptoms.
2) HORMONES: changes in the body balance of hormone may involve in causing or triggering depression. Hormones changes can result from thyroid problems,menopause, or a number of other conditions.
3) INHERITED TRAIT: Depression is more common in people whose biological relative also have this condition.
4) LIFE EVENTS: Traumatic events such as the death or loss of loved one, financial problems, high stress or childhood trauma can trigger depression in some people.
People may have multiple episodes of depression, during these episodes symptoms occur like feeling of sadness, emptiness, unhappiness;angry outburst, irritability or frustration even over small matters; loss of interest in normal activity; Sleep disorders like insomnia or sleeping too much: tiredness and lack of energy so that even small tasks take extra efforts; changes in appetite, weight loss or increases craving for food and weight gain; slowness of all movement like speaking, thinking etc.; feeling of worthlessness or guilt or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility; Trouble thinking, concentration, making decisions and remembering things; frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts: unexplained physical problems such as headache, back pain etc.

There are several other conditions with symptoms that can include depression. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis so you can get appropriate treatment.major criteria to diagnose so you can get appropriate treatment.major criteria to diagnose depression is a patients symptoms, physical examination and tests like CBC, THYROID tests etc. to rule out underline causes. There are screening tests available to detect depression like Hamilton’s screening test; Baptisia screening test. There are several other conditions with symptoms that can include depression. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis so you can get appropriate treatment.

Depression is a serious disorder that can take a terrible toll on individuals and families. Untreated depression can result in emotional, behavioural and health problems that affect every area of your life. Complications associated with depression may include: Excess weight or obesity, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes;Alcohol or substance abuse;Anxiety, panic disorder or social phobia ;Family conflicts, relationship difficulties, and work or school problems;Social isolation; Suicidal feelings, suicide attempts or suicide;Self-mutilation, such as cutting;Premature death from other medical death.

Numerous depression treatments are available. Medications and psychological counselling (psychotherapy) are very effective for most people. Different types of psychotherapy can be effective for depression, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, dialectic behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and mindfulness techniques. There are different antidepressant medicines which are prescribed by allopathic doctors like Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs include fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram and escitalopram, duloxetine.

Recently Research conducted by Dr. Irving Kirsch, who was interviewed on “60 Minutes” determined that with mild to moderate depression, antidepressants are no more effective than placebo. So, do people get better on antidepressants? Yes, but not because of the chemicals that the drugs are altering. The leading theory is that it’s nothing more than the placebo effect enabling the power of the mind to treat the depression. On the other hand, the side effects that many individuals experience like Acute side effects of SSRIs include stomach upset, nausea, fatigue, headache, fatigue, tremor, nervousness and dry mouth. Some of the more persistent, or chronic, side effects are daytime fatigue, insomnia, sexual problems and weight gain.Some patients, particularly those over 35 or with medical problems, may experience a change in EKG (electrocardiogram) readings that measure certain heart function.

The best medicine for depression is HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE. Homeopathy offers an excellent treatment for all stages of Depression, especially in the early stages. Homeopathy can take care of various symptoms of depression. Homeopathy medicines address the root cause of the disease at mental depth and hence prevent the relapse and recurrence of the condition. Psychotherapy and Counselling may be of additional help with homoeopathy but not mandatory.