Gaining A Better Understanding of Depression

treatments for depression

Depression is extremely prevalent in today’s society, with around one in four people being affected by mental health issues. However, though many people are affected by depression, there are a lot of facts about depression which are not widely well known. If you are looking to support a friend who is experiencing mental health issues, being well informed and lending support when they ask you for it is the best way to help someone in need. If you feel you might be affected by symptoms of depression, or if you think someone you know may be experiencing symptoms Honey Lake depression treatment clinic can help. This guide will help you gain a better understanding of the different types of depression, along with possible causes, symptoms and treatment options.

Types of depression

Depression is an overall umbrella term which is used to describe several different mental illnesses. There are many different types of depression. The most common depressive disorder is most often referred to as ‘clinical depression,’ with common characteristics of low moods and suicidal tendencies. Clinic depression can come in a variation of severities, from mild to moderate and severe. The diagnosis will depend on the number of symptoms, as well as the frequency of symptom occurrence, and the effect depression has on a person’s ability to function from day to day.

There are also other, less common types of depression. Dysthymia is the name given to persistent mild depression which lasts for a long period of time (usually this is classed as two years or more). Psychotic depression is a very severe type of depression which is also characterized by psychosis, including hallucinations and/or delusions.

Causes of depression

Though the onset of depression can occur at any age, it most commonly manifests between early teens to late twenties. The causes of depression can vary from person to person and will be dependent on individual circumstances. Firstly, there can be a genetic component to depression: research has shown that there may well be a link between a certain gene which was prevalent in over 800 families affected by recurrent depression. Biologically, serotonin levels have been linked to depression. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which helps to regulate sleep cycle and improve emotional and mental wellbeing. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression, and this is also something which is thought to be passed on genetically.

Depression can also be a result of environmental factors, such as experiencing trauma or bereavement. For example, someone who experiences the loss of a loved one is likely to experience low moods, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and may feel like they have nobody to turn to, which is how depression can begin to manifest. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression which is affected by the change in the seasons, usually starting in fall and improving around spring. SAD is particularly prevalent in those who naturally produce less vitamin D, as Vitamin D is something which the body naturally produces from contact with direct sunlight. This is most likely due to shorter days, colder weather and depression can also occur as a result of a pre-existing medical condition, such as anxiety, or physical illnesses like cancer, and developing depression can exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions. Postnatal depression is a specific depressive disorder which can occur in new mothers during and after pregnancy. While the specific cause of this has not been pinpointed, pregnancy causes a lot of hormonal and physical changes in the body which can have a mental toll on mothers. Stress, sleep deprivation, poor diet and social isolation could also be contributing factors to this form of depression.

Symptoms of depression

Not everyone will experience depression in the same way; while some people will experience a lot of symptoms, others may only be affected by one or two. Symptoms can also appear frequently depending on the individual and the type of depression. The most common characteristics of depression include low mood, and negative feelings such as sadness, loneliness or guilt. Depression can cause people to become socially isolated and cut off from their friends and family members. It may also mean that basic daily routines become neglected, such as carrying out common personal hygiene tasks, because an individual’s ability to function normally decreases as depression becomes more severe. People with depression may act irrationally, and experience volatile mood swings. Children and teenagers can become withdrawn, as it is difficult to understand and process what they are feeling.

Treatments for depression

There are now a lot of different treatments for depression which are widely available to people. The first step in treating depression is to visit a doctor or psychiatrist, who can formally diagnose you. This normally involves taking a standardized depression test, which screens for prevalent signs and symptoms of depression. Your doctor may also ask you questions about how you’ve been feeling, your medical history and any recent life events which may have contributed to your low mood. Once your doctor gives you a formal diagnosis, they may suggest a range of different avenues of treatment you could take.

Medication is available which has been found to be beneficial for some people with depression. One of the most common types of anti-depressant is Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, which allow higher levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin to stay in the body for longer without being reabsorbed. Dopamine reuptake blockers are also available; dopamine is another neurotransmitter which plays a roll in regulating emotional responses. Aside from medication, there are other medical treatments available. ECT is a less common method for treating depression, however, may be the type of treatment you may wish to consider; TMS treatment offers such preventative treatment services.

Aside from medical treatments, making lifestyle changes, such as increasing exercise and eating better, can help with depression. Holistic treatments, such as herbal medicine and relaxation techniques may also be effective. Therapy can be a great way to get the route of environmentally caused depression and to work through issues to resolve the underlying cause. This can also help people to develop coping mechanisms to deal with symptoms of depression. Therapy can be one-to-one, or in groups, and can take place in person or over the phone, on the internet or via text chats.

If you, or someone you know, are suffering from symptoms of depression, then it is helpful to get an understanding of it so that you know how best to get the support and help needed.

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