Depression affects millions of Americans each year. Although depression can happen just once in your lifetime, individuals tend to have multiple bouts over time. During those bouts, symptoms usually occur nearly every day, almost every day and can include:
Loss of pleasure or interest in all or most normal activities, including hobbies or sports. Insomnia and fatigue. The depressed feels hopeless and worthless and often worries or obsesses about things that other people usually wouldn’t worry about. These symptoms usually develop gradually over time and can cause depression, even though one hasn’t actually been depressed yet. If someone has suffered from depression for a long time, however, these symptoms will manifest themselves immediately without warning. It’s important to recognize the signs of depression because they can be warning signs of something much more serious.
There are many possible auses of depression. The two major categories of causes of depression include biological and psychological causes. Biological causes are those that occur through changes in brain chemistry, for example in genetic disorders. They can result from a variety of medical conditions including brain injuries, brain tumors and stroke. Psychological causes are those that result from stressful life experiences or situations and can lead to negative mood changes like the depression.
Symptoms of depression range widely depending on the severity of the depression. For mild depression, symptoms usually manifest during the day such as sadness and fatigue. People with moderate to severe depression have difficulty functioning throughout their daily lives, which causes them to seek out help. Because severe depression can be disabling to the point of being impossible to function, it is very important that those who experience depression seek medical attention to ensure there are no physical problems causing their depression.
When someone does experience depression, they may experience a wide range of symptoms. Some of the symptoms may include loss of appetite, sleep disturbance, decreased energy levels, lack of concentration and feelings of worthlessness. Some people experience symptoms related to brain activity while others experience symptoms related to a chemical imbalance in their brain. Regardless of how the depression is affecting a person’s life, the symptoms are usually very serious. These symptoms, if left untreated, can lead to physical illnesses and in some cases, death.
There are several medications available to treat depression. Doctors may use one or more medications to treat depression depending on the severity of the condition of the patient and the reactions of their family and friends. Some medications are used to treat both medical and psychological conditions resulting from depression. Antidepressants are most often prescribed to those who experience moderate to severe depression. When a patient combines medication with therapy, they are much more likely to find relief from their depression symptoms.
Chronic pain is another common condition that can cause depression in many people. For example, depression can develop as a result of chronic pain caused by injury, disease or surgery. A patient may have difficulty functioning on a daily basis when pain and discomfort interfere with their lives.
Antidepressants can be very effective for those suffering from major depression. People who take antidepressants are far more likely to feel positive about themselves after treatment. Some antidepressants may also be used to treat co-occurring medical conditions. Talk therapy may also be used together with medications in combination to treat depression in some patients. Once a person begins to work on developing an appropriate lifestyle and diet, they may find that depression completely disappears after some time.
It can be difficult to determine when to offer support for a loved one dealing with depression. Family members must learn how to handle the different emotions that are often associated with depression. One funeral home manager shared that there are often times that the support needed by someone who is grieving for a friend can come from offering words of comfort and telling them that life is still OK. Family members must be sure not to push the emotions of grief and loss too hard as this will only make the situation worse.
Dealing with depression is not always easy. People suffering from depression sometimes feel that they are worthless and are unable to do anything to make themselves feel better. In order to treat depression, it is important to offer words of encouragement often and to offer support at the right time. Medications such as antidepressants may help a person feel less lonely and frustrated by the daily grind. Sometimes it can be as simple as offering a shoulder to cry on when someone is feeling very down and depressed.
The feelings that come with depression can be overwhelming. Dealing with depression can be done through seeking treatment such as talk therapy or even talking with a trained professional such as a doctor. These professionals will be able to understand exactly what your loved one is going through and provide the best advice for handling the illness. If your loved one is showing signs of feeling overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or even thoughts of suicide, you need to take steps that will ensure their safety and health.