Depression is a serious mental illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health of the affected
Depression is a mental health condition where the affected suffers from low mood, feeling of worthlessness and lack of concentration. Depression is marked by insomnia (no sleep) or hypersomnia (excess sleep), impaired concentration, restlessness, weight loss or gain. Depression may not occur due to a drug or medication, or as a result of a medical condition viz. hypothyroidism. Depression may lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Depression requires treatment on long-term basis that includes medication, psychological counseling or both.
There are different types of depression – anxious depression occurs when something goes out of hand or someone loses control; atypical depression occurs due to increased appetite and sensitivity to rejection; catatonia depression is marked by uncontrolled and purposeless movement; and Peripartum depression occurs during pregnancy or post delivery.
Different people experience depression due to different factors. Depression may result from physical or emotional abuse or use of certain medication. Conflicts with people and death of someone close may increase the risk of depression. Significantly, personal issues and problems may lead to isolation and depression. Sudden change of fortunes and a prolonged illness may throw some into depression.
Depression in young and the old is evident as sadness, irritability, clinginess and turning to be extremely sensitive. The symptoms of depression are evident as loss of interest in normal activities, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, trouble in thinking, urge to commit suicide, back pain or headache.
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Risks and Complications
Some factors increase the risk of depression. Low self-esteem, huge financial losses, alcoholism and chronic health conditions viz. cancer, stroke and heart disease may increase the risk of depression.
Complications of depression are evident as obesity, illness, anxiety, panic or phobia, family conflict, social isolation, suicidal feelings, self-mutilation or punishment and premature death.
Tests and Diagnosis
The doctor looks for health problems, that may include hereditary diseases and infections. For this, the doctor may recommend for a complete blood test. A depressed employee is referred by the employer for psychological evaluation. The doctor identifies the type of depression and provides treatment accordingly.
The standard treatment for depression includes medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy). The cooperation and coordinated work with family members of the affected and community is crucial for successful treatment of depression.