Depression is a mood disorder that involves a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is different from the mood fluctuations that people regularly experience as a part of life. Depression is an ongoing problem, not a passing one. It consists of episodes during which the symptoms last for atleast 2 weeks. Depression can last for several weeks ,months or years.
Sign & Symptoms –
• A depressed mood
• Reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
• Changes in appetite
• Unintentional weightloss or gain
• Sleeping too much or too little
• A loss of sexual desire
• Slowed movement and speech
• Feeling of worthlessness
• Difficulty in thinking ,concentrating or making decisions
• Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Depression is almost twice as common among women than men.
Following are the common symptoms of female depression –
• Mood such as irritability.
• Emotional well being such as feeling empty or sad, anxious or hopeless.
• Behaviour such as loss of interest in activities ,with drawing from social engagements , thoughts of suicide.
• Cognitive abilities such as thinking or talking more slowly.
• Sleeping patterns such as Depression is a mood disorder that involves a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is different from the mood fluctuations, insomnia , restless sleep , excessive sleepiness.
• Physical wellbeing such as fatigue, pain, headache & digestive problems.
Following are male depression symptoms –
• Mood such as anger, aggressiveness, irritability, restlessness.
• Emotional well being such as feeling empty ,sad hopeless.
• Behaviour such as loss of interest ,no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities , drinking excessively ,using drugs , feeling tired easily , thoughts of suicide ,engaging in high risk activities.
• Physical wellbeing such as greater fatigue, weight changes , appetite changes , headaches ,increased cramps.
Children also have following specific symptoms –
• Mood such as irritability, anger ,mood swings , crying.
• Behaviour such as refusing to go to school, avoiding friends or siblings , thoughts of death or suicide.
• Cognitive abilities such as difficulty concentrating , decline in school performance.
• Sleep patterns such as difficulty in sleeping or sleeping too much.
• Physical wellbeing such as loss of energy , digestive problems, appetite changes , weight loss or gain.
• Family history –
If there is family history of depression or mood disorder ,you are at risk of being depressed.
• Early childhood trauma –
Some life events affect the way your body reacts to fear or stressful situations.
• Brain Structure –
If frontal lobe of your brain is less active you are at greater risk of depression.
• Medical conditions –
Problems such chronic illness , insomnia, chronic pain or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
• Drugs use –
History of drug or alcohol misuse can increases risk of depression.
• Low self esteem
• Personal history of mental illness
• Stressful events of life – like loss of a loved one , economic problem or divorce.
• Major Depressive Disorder –
It is more severe form of depression. It is characterized by persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness that don’t go away on their own.
To be diagnosed with clinical depression ,you must experience 5 or more of following symptoms over a 2 week period-
• feeling depressed most of the day
• loss of interest in most regular activities
• significant weight loss or gain
• sleeping a lot or not being able to sleep
• fatigue or low energy most of days
• feeling of worthlessness
• recurring thoughts of death or suicide
• Persistent depressive Disorder (PDD) –
It is also known as Dysthymia. It is milder but chronic form of depression. In order to PDD diagnose to be made symptoms must last for atleast 2 years. It can affect your life more than major depression as it lasts for a longer period . Symptoms of PDD are –
• Lose interest in normal daily activities
• Feel hopeless
• Lack of productivity
• Low self esteem
After visualising person’s body language and intercepting the symptoms your doctor decides whether you are a victim of depression or not.
Depression is treatable and managing symptoms usually involves three components –
• Support –
This can range from practical solutions and possible causes to educating family members.
• Psychotherapy –
It is also known as talking therapy, some options include one to one counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
• Drug Treatment –
Antidepressents can help treat moderate to severe depression . Each class of antidepressents acts on different neurotransmitter or combination of neurotransmitters. A person should take medications only on doctor prescription.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
Depression is correlated as vishad roga in Ayurveda. Imbalance in psychic energies (satva,rajah & tamas) supported by imbalance of physical energies ( vata,pitta &kapha) are believed to cause various mental disorders . Prana vayu is responsible for proper functioning of the mind . Weakend ojas disturbs the prana vayu which then fails to stimulate the mind.
Sadness, despair and lack of interest in life indicate heightened rajasik & tamasik influences.Lack of mental discipline , indulgence in negative thoughts and activities and negative emotions ,such as hatred,anger etc. are known to came imbalance in psychic energies which in turn leads to diseases like depression.
Line of treatment –
The treatment protocol has different stages including cleansing , pacifying and rejuvenation.
• Useful Procedures –
• Yoga & Pranayam are well known for enhancing mental and spiritual strength.
• Beneficial Herbs –
Asparagus – It acts as brain tonic.
Ashwagandha – It acts as whole body rejuvenator.
Mulethi – It acts as mind rejuvenator.
• Medications –
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