What is depression?

Depression is a serious medical condition that can result in emotional and physical issues and adversely impact a person’s ability to perform daily tasks. Fortunately, it is a treatable condition, and the symptoms can be significantly reduced with the help of a certified psychiatrist or psychologist.

Symptoms of depression

While the symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, depending on the reason or form of depression, below is a list of symptoms common in most forms of depression. 

  • Lack of energy or feeling tired most of the time
  • Sleeping too much or not sleeping at all
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed by the person
  • Extreme weight gain or loss 
  • Difficulty focusing on things
  • Feeling empty or sad
  • Experience aches or pains that do not seem to have occurred for any specific reason 
  • Getting suicidal thoughts 
  • Loss of self-esteem, feeling worthless 
  • Irritability, outbursts over relatively more minor issues

Causes of depression

  1. Trauma: Depression can be a long-term effect of trauma. Any form of past emotional, sexual or physical abuse can have detrimental effects on the mind. Often, people suffering from trauma are unaware of it and let it fester for long periods, leading to depression. 
  2.   Chemical imbalance: The chemical levels in our brain determine our mood or thought patterns. An imbalance or disruption in the same can lead to mood disorders or depression. 
  3.   Life-altering events: Major life events, such as a loss of a loved one, divorce, or loss of a job, can sometimes lead to depression. One may also feel the need to unite with a departed person (in case of losing a loved one). 
  4.   Genetics: Our genes play an extremely important role when it comes to being vulnerable to certain medical conditions. If there has been a history of depression in the family, one may be more likely to develop the symptoms. 
  5.   Addictions: Consumption of recreational drugs or excessive alcohol has also been linked to depression. This is because substance abuse often disrupts the chemical composition of our brain. 
  6. Hormonal Imbalance: The hormones in our bodies are responsible for several things, including maintaining a physiological equilibrium. Production of excessive or less than required hormones in the body can also often lead to anxiety, brain fog, confusion, and depression.
When to see a doctor?

While some of the symptoms mentioned above might overlap with other ailments, it is best to seek medical advice if the symptoms are persistent and you are not able to point out why. For certain symptoms like extreme emotional pain, feelings of helplessness, or suicidal thoughts, immediate help should be sought. To book an appointment, contact Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, India.

Treatment for depression
  1. Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is an extremely crucial part of treating depression. Seeking the help of a professional therapist not only helps in understanding the root cause of the issue and navigating it and provides people with the tools to identify and overcome negative patterns and feelings.
  2. SSRIs and SNRIs: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are a group of antidepressants aimed at regulating the chemical serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the primary chemical responsible for changes in our mood. When the brain produces less than the required amount of serotonin, it can often lead to depression. Exercising, having a healthier diet, getting more light, or meditation are some natural ways to increase serotonin levels. 
  3. Combination therapy: Depending on the severity, your doctor may suggest combination therapy. It comprises taking antidepressants as well as psychotherapy to ease the symptoms. Combination therapy works better than opting only for psychotherapy or antidepressants. It is usually recommended in moderate to severe cases of depression.

In today’s fast world of hyperconnectivity, it is easy to miss observing certain early symptoms of depression. One of the most important methods of taking care of our mental health and preventing or easing the symptoms of depression is increasing our awareness of the subject and noticing the signs early on to ease the suffering or avoid any untoward incident. Depression can be treated through medical assistance, consistent effort, and time. Seek professional help as soon as you notice persistent symptoms and feel the need to get professional advice. To book an appointment, contact Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, India.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Depression

Antidepressants can make you feel drowsy or tired. However, they do not make depression worse.

Yes, excessive sleep or lack of sleep (insomnia) is one of the primary symptoms of depression.

Birth control may cause your hormones to fluctuate, resulting in mood swings. But it is unlikely to cause depression.

Severe forms of depression are accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, leading to suicidal thoughts. In such cases, immediate professional help should be sought.

Depression can sometimes lead to extreme weight loss or weight gain.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.