Depression is not what we are made for, and those who have it suffer needlessly since there are effective depression treatments available. Every year, at least 10% of Americans need require treatment for the symptoms of depression.
What is depression?
Clinical depression is a serious medical illness that affects how you feel, think and function. Depression is extremely common and may be one of the most undiagnosed illnesses in the U.S. With proper diagnosis and treatment, almost all people suffering the symptoms of depression can be cured or effectively treated.
How does a qualified doctor know if a person needs depression treatment?
One of many checklists used to diagnose clinical depression includes the following 10 symptoms and causes:
1. Deep, persistent feeling of sadness
2. Significant loss of interest/pleasure in activities formerly enjoyed (such as sex)
3. Feeling of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt
4. Energy loss, persistent fatigue
5. Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
6. Insomnia or sleeping too much
7. Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
8. Thoughts of death or suicide or attempts at suicide.
9. Restlessness, irritability
10. Recently had a baby (in the case of post-partum depression)
It is clear from the list that the symptoms of depression are wide-ranging and that in reality any deviation from the norm (what is normal for the patient) may indicate depression. Five or more of the symptoms means that it is likely the person requires depression treatment.
A recent study found that, of those who currently fit the profile suffering the symptoms of depression, and requiring treatment, one in four people were not really depressed. Instead, they were dealing with a particular loss that would make anyone sad. The conclusions of this study asserted that people who are appropriately grief-stricken, but not actually depressed, unfortunately are often diagnosed as sufferers. The researchers suggested that the checklists need to be revised so that the diagnosis of who needs depression treatment is more accurate.
What is the difference between those who are merely sad, and those who need depression treatment?
There are many similar symptoms, what sets depression apart from appropriate grief or feelings of sadness is the absence of any cause. Depression treatment is probably not required if you are experiencing:
– Normal sadness or grieving after the death of a loved one, or loss of job or relationship.
– Feelings of sadness or grief that lessen with time.
Depression affects people of both genders and all ages, but the commonest age of onset is teens to mid-twenties, and women need depression treatment almost twice as often as men.
What causes depression?
One or more causes can be present. The causes include:
– Environmental factors, such as exposure to abuse/neglect.
– Personality traits that cause vulnerability to depression.
– Genetic factor, as studies show depression can run in families.
– Biochemistry abnormalities in the brain
– Medical condition, such as undiagnosed diabetes, or vitamin or mineral deficiency
What does depression treatment consist of?
Of course, the treatment chosen might be closely related to the cause, as in the case of a vitamin deficiency or ongoing abuse or neglect. Depression treatment can include:
– Psychotherapy (several sessions)
– Dietary changes
– Recovery from addictions
– Vacation or adjusting work schedule if overworked
– Antidepressant medication, prescribed by psychiatrist or family doctor, to correct chemical imbalances
– Herbs and vitamins, such as DHEA and St. Johns wort
Do you need depression treatment?
If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of depression, see a psychiatrist or your family doctor and ask for a thorough evaluation. Find out whats wrong, and you will have made the first step to getting better.