Depression as a medical condition is an illness in which there is a mood change leading to extreme feelings of sadness. The feelings, in this case, are more serious than those experienced by people in their daily life. In this case, the feelings of sadness can cause the patient to harbor feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness which can last for weeks. These feelings can alter the ability of the patient to function properly in everyday activities.
The only positive about this condition is that it is possible to treat it.
Learning about the symptoms of depression can make it easy to identify someone with the condition so they can get treatment. Before a person can be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms which are associated with depression will have been observed for two weeks or more. The symptoms of depression include;
- Inability to sleep (insomnia) or excess sleep (hypersomnia)
- Increase in fatigue level
- Changes in appetite
- Overwhelming feeling of sadness and hopelessness
- Loss of interest
These are some of the noticeable symptoms from the viewpoint of an observer. Anyone suffering from depression may also be having thoughts of suicide and worthlessness. They should be carefully watched.
Types of depression
There are various types of depression which may affect an individual. These types vary from the other in how they affect the person and may occur under different circumstances.
Some of the more common forms of depression include;
- Psychotic depression; in a case where there are symptoms of depression along with those of psychosis, it is called a psychotic depression. While the depression will induce sadness, the psychosis will provide hallucinations and delusions which are centered on sadness.
- Persistent depressive disorder; this is a type of depression which lasts for two years or more with periods of extreme depression and others of mild depression.
- Seasonal affective disorder; people with this form of depression tend to be affected during winter seasons. The trigger for this form of depression is a reduction in the amount of sunlight a person gets in a day.
- Perinatal (postpartum) depression; this form of depression is particular to women who have recently delivered a baby. It may occur during the weeks or months after the delivery and the depression, in this case, is usually a major issue.
There are other forms of depression which may be experienced which include;
- Bipolar disorder
- Premenstrual Dysphoric disorder
After diagnosis and evaluation of the situation, a doctor will decide on the most efficient way to treating the depression experienced by an individual. Different methods that a doctor can use include;
Therapy treatment for depression includes psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Electroconvulsive therapy. Psychotherapy involves a discussion between the doctor and the patient or with a group. It is used in cases of depression which have not become serious threats. It is performed in the same way as cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps the individual solve the problems with their thought process.
Electroconvulsive therapy is used in serious cases of depression, and it involves the stimulation of the brain.
Antidepressants may also be given as medication to make some alterations to the brain structure of the patient.