DEPRESSION – BASIC FACTS AND SYMPTOMSAugust 13, 2020
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.It is a group of conditions associated with the elevation or lowering of a person’s mood, such as depression or bipolar disorder. Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression, while increased levels of the hormone may decrease arousal.
Men may experience symptoms related to:
- Mood, such as anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness.
- Emotional well-being, such as feeling empty, sad, hopeless.
- Behavior, such as loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicide, drinking excessively, using drugs, engaging in high-risk activities.
- Sexual interest, such as reduced sexual desire, lack of sexual performance.
- Cognitive abilities, such as inability to concentrate, difficulty completing tasks, delayed responses during conversations.
- Sleep patterns, such as insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness, not sleeping through the night.
- Physical well-being, such as fatigue, pains, headache, digestive problems.
Women may experience symptoms related to:
- Mood, such as irritability.
- Emotional well-being, such as feeling sad or empty, anxious or hopeless.
- Behavior, such as loss of interest in activities, withdrawing from social engagements, thoughts of suicide.
- Cognitive abilities, such as thinking or talking more slowly.
- Sleep patterns, such as difficulty sleeping through the night, waking early, sleeping too much.
- Physical well-being, such as decreased energy, greater fatigue, changes in appetite, weight changes, aches, pain, headaches, increased cramps.
Children may experience symptoms related to:
- Mood, such as irritability, anger, mood swings, crying.
- Emotional well-being, such as feelings of incompetence or despair, crying, intense sadness.
- Behavior, such as getting into trouble at school or refusing to go to school, avoiding friends or siblings, thoughts of death or suicide.
- Cognitive abilities, such as difficulty concentrating, decline in school performance, changes in grades.
- Sleep patterns, such as difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Physical well-being, such as loss of energy, digestive problems, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain.
Cause for Depression
While it is not clear what specifically causes depression, a widely accepted theory is a change in brain structure and chemistry. Specifically, substances called neurotransmitters are out of balance in depressed people. Possible causes for the imbalance include certain medications, alcohol or substance abuse, hormonal or seasonal changes, or enduring a traumatic event, like being the victim of abuse or losing a loved one or a job.
1)Major Depressive disorder: Major depressive disorder is the more severe form of depression. It’s characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that don’t go away on their own.
- feeling depressed most of the day
- significant weight loss or gain
- sleeping a lot or not being able to sleep
- slowed thinking or movement
- fatigue or low energy most days
- feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- loss of concentration or indecisiveness
- recurring thoughts of death or suicide
2)Persistent Depressive disorder: Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) used to be called dysthymia. It’s a milder, but chronic, form of depression.
- lose interest in normal daily activities
- feel hopeless
- lack productivity
- have low self-esteem
How to overcome from depression?
1) Find small ways to be of service to others: Find personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself. Remember service doesn’t have to be big to count.“Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue… as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
2)Exercise: Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity 3 to 5 days a week. Exercise can increase your body’s production of endorphins, which are hormones that improve your mood.
3)Avoid alcohol and drugs: Drinking or misusing drugs may make you feel better for a little bit. But in the long run, these substances can make depression and anxiety symptoms worse.
4)Take care of yourself: You can also improve symptoms of depression by taking care of yourself. This includes getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, avoiding negative people, and participating in enjoyable activities.
- Ashwagandha : Ashwagandha simulates the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain that promotes calmness and has been shown to stimulate nerve growth. It’s known as a nootropic herb, or one that supports the brain and healthy cognitive function.
- S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe): This compound has shown in limited studies to possibly ease symptoms of depression. The effects were best seen in people taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of traditional antidepressant.
- 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): 5-HTP may raise serotonin levels in the brain, which could ease symptoms. Your body makes this chemical when you consume tryptophan, a protein building block.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These essential fats are important to neurological development and brain health. Adding omega-3 supplements to your diet may help reduce depression symptoms.