Major Depressive disorder is a long-term or lifetime illness for many patients. It is a major enfeebling mental disorder that in the US it affects at least 11 million people and billions of people around the globe. All sexes, ethnicities, and ages can be its victim. Some psychiatrists told, almost 1 in every 10 people suffer from at least one period of depression throughout his life.
However, there exist few unfortunate individuals who end up facing several episodes of the depressive symptoms after phases of normal moods and behavior. This state is known as major recurrent depression. Also, it is considered as the most severe and difficult to treat condition of all types of depressions. This article will provide you the symptoms, causes and treatment of it, so read the complete article.
Characteristics Of Recurrent Major Depression
Major depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is characterized by almost two weeks of the consistent feeling of sadness in all aspects of the person’s life and by a lack of interest in any activity that was previously serene or rewarding. It can occur in a single episode or recurrently and can last for two weeks. It is rare that depression appears as a single episode.
It is often accompanied by low self-esteem, lack of interest low energy, aches without a clear cause and people may also often have false beliefs or see or hear the things that others cannot Period of depression varies person to person; some have periods of depression over the year and then separated by years in which they are normal while some nearly always have symptoms present.
A person affected by major depressive disorder can have negative effects on his personal life, work, or school life, as well as sleeping, eating habits, and general health. The ratio of the adults who died by suicide due to major depression is 2–7%. More than 60% people who die by suicide have depression or other mood disorders.
Symptoms Of Major Depression
To diagnose major depression, at least one of the following symptoms must be present for a minimum period of 2 weeks:
- Negative thinking with inability to see positive solutions.
- Memory difficulties or personality changes.
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements.
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame.
- Inability to focus.
- Lashing out at loved ones.
- Withdrawing from loved ones and regular activities.
- Increase in sleeping.
- Exhaustion and lethargy.
- Morbid, suicidal thoughts.
- Weight loss or gain.
- Sad, irritable mood persistent throughout the day and present most of the days.
- Decrease in the ability to enjoy things or activities that previously showed interest.
- Sleep problems, it may happen that the person cannot reconcile or maintain sleep, or sleep excessively.
- Physical fatigue.
- There may be an increase or decrease in appetite.
- Anxiety, agitation, restlessness, or thought, speech and slow movements almost every day.
- Low self-esteem.
- Decreased concentration capacity that can affect planning.
- Suicidal attempts.
These symptoms interfere negatively in different areas of the person’s life, such as family, work and social life, which are highly disabling.
Causes Of Major Depression
The exact causes of major depression are still not known. However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of developing the condition.
- Changes in the balance of hormones may cause major depression. Hormone changes can result in pregnancy and during the weeks or months after delivery and from thyroid problems or a number of other conditions.
- Alcohol or drug abuse.
- Certain medical conditions, such as cancer or hypothyroidism.
- Particular types of medications, including steroids
- Neurotransmitters are naturally existing brain chemicals that play a role in depression. Recent research indicates that alteration in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters involved in maintaining mood stability may play a significant role in depression and its treatment. A combination of genes and stress can affect brain chemistry and reduce the ability to maintain mood stability.
- Depression is more commonly inherited, people whose blood relatives also have this condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing depression.
Consequences Of Major Depression
Depression is a serious disorder that can cause serious complications to you and your family. Depression often gets worse if it isn’t treated, resulting in emotional, behavioral and health problems that affect every area of your life. Some of the examples are given below:
- Excess weight or obesity, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
- Pain or physical illness.
- Alcohol or drug misuse.
- Anxiety, panic disorder or social phobia.
- Family conflicts, relationship difficulties, and work or school problems.
- Social isolation.
- Suicidal feelings, suicide attempts or suicide.
- Self-mutilation, such as cutting.
- Premature death from medical conditions.
Different therapies are included in its treatment such as;
- Talk Therapy: This encourages communication of conflicts and insight into problems.
- Cognitive Therapy: comprises altering dysfunctional thought patterns.
- Family Therapy: It educates the family about the disorder including diagnosing its presence as well as to cope with the issues that have created in the family because of depressive disorder. Also, its main objective is to educate the family, how to deal with the affected person and how you can help him to overcome this.
- Electro-convulsive therapy or shock treatment: In this, small electric currents are passed through the brain and it seems to cause changes in brain chemistry. This is done under general anesthesia. It is done when the treatment is completed.
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