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Basics

Depression Basics

 
Symptoms
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Diagnosis
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Causes
Causes of Depression
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Facts & Statistics
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Depression Basics     

Depression Basics Learning

Depression basics deal with the understanding of depression, its occurrence, its warning signals and general approach towards it. Simply put, depression means melancholy, gloominess, despair and sadness. It is a state of mental condition with physical manifestations. This disorder (or illness) affects the entire body and mind with visible effects on thought and action. Persons who are victims of depression find it difficult to come out of it and get better without treatment. The state of depression may last for months or even years.

The problem with this disorder is its very basic nature. It interferes with the person’s capacity to communicate and get help. It is not just the transient nature of the ‘blue’ mood. Neither is this a case of just physical weakness or debility. It is a psychological illness that saps away the energy in a person. Untreated, that person may become a mental wreck. It affects the patient’s daily life—eating habits, sleeping patterns, social behavior, professional responsibilities etc.

Looking for Warning Signals

Different persons will have different mental equilibriums. The degrees of severity of this depressive disorder also differ greatly. But the basic signals or indicators of the onset of this mental illness are the same. Any persistent behavioral changes and physical deteriorations should be taken note of and appropriate remedial measures should be undertaken. The following points are to be taken seriously:

Changes in Thought Processes: The person who is afflicted with this disorder may have difficulty in focusing and in judging things and people. They may suffer temporary memory loss. They experience difficulty in remembering things. Their confidence levels will become low. They think abnormally and irrationally. They will be overwhelmed with guilt feelings. Their outlook will be pessimistic and they indulge in self-denial.

Changes in Emotions: As we discussed earlier, depression basically is gloominess and sadness. The person with depressive disorder will always be gloomy and sad without any apparent reason. They disfavor the very things that they enjoyed earlier. They become lethargic and lose will to accomplish things. They become weary and feel ‘weighed’ down always. Patients seem to lose control over their tempers and feelings. They appear as if they have resigned to their state of vulnerability.

Changes in Demeanor: The behavioral changes in depressed people reflect in their demeanor. Patients may become more disinterested in their surroundings. They become aloof and refuse to interact with family and friends. They become reclusive. Their dietary habits oscillate from over-eating to denial of food intake altogether. It is common to find patients resorting to uncontrolled crying and sobbing. They constantly complain and throw temper tantrums. They ignore their personal well-being and their personal hygiene will become a concern. Their occupational and domestic responsibilities will suffer as they prefer to lie in bed always.

Changes in Bodily Health: Extreme emotional changes in a patient reflect in changes in bodily health also. Prolonged weariness is a condition that is observed in patients even when they are constantly confined to heir bed. Remaining in bed will not give them any benefit as they often suffer from sleep disorders. This will only exacerbate the condition of depression further. They suffer bodily pains and aches. They always remain restless.

Depression Basics for Health Management

Now, if these conditions persist for some weeks or for months, then one can be sure of the onset of depression. The treatment is based on two approaches. The first one is the ‘talk’ therapy. Patients need a lot of emotional support to help them come out of depression. Psychologists, friends and family members are the right counselors for the patient. Counseling and talking to patients require lot of patience and understanding. It will help them in getting their self-confidence back. The return to normalcy may take months, but eventually they will come out of the disorder.

The second approach to treatment is medication. Generally, anti- depressants are the preferred choice of medical practitioners. The dosage depends on the degree of severity of the depression. There are other medications for different types of depressions. Doctors say that the most reasonable rationalization for depression is an imbalance in certain chemical compounds in the brain. They also say that it is genetic in nature and hence runs in the families.

 
 

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