Health

Depression and Mental Health

Grief, feeling down, and having a loss of attention or pleasure and interest in daily activities that are going in and around a person’s life are the most common feelings for all of us. But if they continue and preserve they will affect our lives significantly, the issue may cause depression.

Basically depression is a mood disorder or sickness that contains a tenacious feeling of sadness and loss of interest and pleasure. Though it is different from the mood swings and instabilities that people often experience it as a part of life. Major life events, such as grief or sorrow or the loss of a job, may lead to depression. Yet, doctors only consider feelings of sadness to be part of depression if they persevere. Depression is a constant problem, not a passing one like other health problems that came and go after some time and treatment. It consists of phases during which the symptoms last for at least 2 weeks. Depression is a disease that can last for several weeks, months, years, or lifetime.

Signs and symptoms

The common symptoms of depression include:

  • An unhappy mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • A loss of sexual desire
  • Changes in craving
  • Unintentional loss or gain of weight
  • Sleeping habits, too much or too little sleep
  • Anxiety, impatience, and pacing up and down
  • Slackened movement and speech
  • Exhaustion or loss of energy
  • Feelings of unimportance or guilt
  • Difficulty thinking focused or making decisions
  • Repeated thoughts of death or suicide, or an attempt at suicide

According to age and gender, there are different symptoms that are shown, like on females the symptoms are different from the symptoms of a college student.

In female­­s

Depression is approximately twice as common among women as men, according to the survey of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Below are some symptoms of depression that appear more frequently in females:

•           Irritability

•           Nervousness

•           Anxiety

•           Mood swings

•           Exhaustion

•           Tiredness

•           Pondering (dwelling on negative thoughts)

•           Post-delivery depression (Exceptional case)

•           Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (Exceptional case)

In males

Approximately 10% of men in the United States have feelings of depression or anxiety, according to the APA (American Psychological Association). Males with depression are more probable than females to drink an excess of alcohol or smoke cigarettes, display anger and involve in risk-taking as a result of the disorder.

Symptoms of depression in males may include:

•           Avoiding family gatherings and social situations

•           Working without any break

•           having difficulty keeping up with work and family responsibilities and accountabilities

•           Displaying abusive behavior or controlling behavior in relationships.

In college students

College life can stressful and traumatic, and a student may be dealing with other lifestyles, cultures, and experiences for the first time in his life. Some students have difficulty managing these changes, and they may develop depression, anxiety, or both as a result of not coping with the environment.

Symptoms in college students may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing on schoolwork
  • A reduction or intensification in appetite
  • Avoiding social gatherings and activities that they used to enjoy

In teenagers

With the passage of time, a human body make changes. In teenagers, Physical changes, peer burden, and other factors can contribute to depression in teenagers.

They may experience some of the following symptoms:

•           Retreating from friends and family

•           Difficulty concentrating and focusing on schoolwork

•           Feeling guilty, helpless, or useless

•           Anxiety, such as an incapability to sit still

In children

The research said that 3.2% of children and teenagers aged 3–17 have a diagnosis of depression.

In children, symptoms can make schoolwork and social activities challenging and difficult.

They may experience symptoms such as:

  • Crying
  • Low energy
  • Clinginess
  • Disobedient behavior
  • Vocal outbreaks

Younger children may have trouble expressing how they feel in words. This can make it tough for them to explain their feelings of sadness.

Causes

There are many possible causes, and sometimes, several factors chain to activate symptoms that can lead to depression.

Factors that play a role include:

  • Genetic features
  • Changes in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels
  • Psychological and social factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Additional conditions, such as bipolar disorder

Treatment

Some people think that depression is not treatable but in reality, it is treatable, the managing symptoms usually involve three components. The components are:

  1. Support: This can range from conversing practical solutions and possible causes to educate family members.
  2. Psychotherapy: This is also known as talking therapy, some options contain one-to-one counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
  3. Drug treatment: A doctor may recommend antidepressants.

Medication

Antidepressants can help treat moderate-to-simple depression. Several classes of antidepressants are available:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Atypical antidepressants
  • Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

Each class acts on a different neurotransmitter. A person should only take these medications as their doctor advises. Some drugs can take some time to have an effect. By stopping the drug in a middle way, a person may not experience the benefits that it could offer.

Medication side effects

SSRIs and SNRIs can have side effects. A person may experience these symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood sugar
  • Weight loss
  • A rash
  • Sexual dysfunction

Food and diet

Eating a lot of sugary or processed foods can lead to several physical health problems. Results of a 2019 study suggest that a diet that contains many of these types of food could disturb the mental health of young adults.

Eating more of the following foods helped reduce depression symptoms:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Fish
  • Olive oil

Psychotherapy

Psychosomatic or talking therapies for depression include CBT, interpersonal psychotherapy, and problem-solving treatment. For some shapes of depression, psychotherapy is usually the most effective treatment, while some people respond better to a combination of psychotherapy and medications. CBT and interpersonal psychotherapies are the two main and best types of psychotherapy for depression.

Interpersonal therapy purpose to help people identify:

  • Emotional problems that affect relationships and communication
  • How these issues also affect their mood
  • How all of this may be changed

Exercise

Aerobic exercise increases endorphin levels and arouses the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is linked with mood. This may help release mild depression.

Brain stimulation therapies

Brain stimulation therapies are another treatment option for depressed people. For example, monotonous Tran’s cranial magnetic stimulation sends magnetic pulses to the brain, and this may help treat major depression. If depression does not respond to drug treatment, the person may benefit from electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. This may be effective if psychosis arises with depression.

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