Depression

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Overview

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. Depression is different from regular mood changes and feelings about everyday life. It negatively affects all aspects of life, affects your feeling, thinking, behavior and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems, including relationships with family, friends, and community. It can decrease your ability to function at work and at home and sometimes can make you feel as if life is not worth living.

Symptom

Depression is different from regular mood fluctuations. They last most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

Having a depressed mood, feeling sad, irritable, empty

Loss of pleasure or interest in activities

Changes in appetite, unintentional weight loss or gain

Loss of sexual desire

Loss of energy

Aches and pains without definite physical cause

Neglect self-care

Trouble sleeping (insomnia) or sleeping too much

Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

Increase in purposeless physical activity or slowed movements or speech feeling worthless or guilty

Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts or suicide

When to see doctor

If you have symptoms of depression every day for more than 2 weeks.

Notice your mood affects your work, other interests, and relationships with your family and friends make an appointment to see doctor or mental health professional as soon as you can.

When to get emergency help

Immediate attention is needed if a person expresses suicidal thoughts or a desire of self-harm.

Diagnosis

Diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and a physical examination. Some medical conditions can mimic symptoms of depression, so in some cases, a blood test or other specific investigation might be needed.

Treatment

Depression is treatable. Do not try to deal with depression on your own. If you are diagnosed with depression, do not feel ashamed, it is not a stigma. With treatment, you can manage your depression symptoms.

Treatment options;

Medication

Psychotherapy e.g., behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, problem-solving therapy etc.

Other treatment options e.g., electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

Hospitalization is needed if you have severe depression.