Thursday, January 23, 2014

Major Depression - Symptoms, Causes and Management

Major depression is a type of a mental disorder that is characterized by low mood, low self-esteem, and loss of pleasure or interest in activities that were normally enjoyable. Other terms for this form of depression are clinical depression, major depressive disorder, unipolar disorder and unipolar depression.

Depression is considered as a disabling condition that affects an individual's general health, eating and sleeping habits, school or work, family, and friends. In the United States alone, sixty percent of those who died of suicide have depression, and three to four percent of people who are suffering from major depression commit suicide.

The Signs and Symptoms
People who are suffering from this type of depression generally show a loss of pleasure that were once enjoyed and a low mood that encompasses all aspects of life. These people may be preoccupied with inappropriate regret or guilt, self-hatred, and feelings and thoughts or hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness. Other symptoms include difficulty in sleeping, withdrawal from social activities and situations, poor memory and concentration, suicide attempts, and thoughts of death. In severe cases, people who are depressed may experience the symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions.

Causes of Major Depression
Psychological, social, and biological factors are said to play a role in causing depression. Psychological factors refer to the person's coping ability in response to problems and stress. Also, a distorted way of thinking and low self esteem has been linked with depression. Persons who are suffering from other psychological conditions such as schizophrenia and anxiety are also likely to suffer from depression.

Social factors include social isolation and poverty. A study has shown that those people who had experienced child abuse (emotional, sexual, physical, neglect) when they were young are more likely to develop major depression later in life. Other social factors that can contribute to the development of depression include death of a loved one, divorce or marital conflict, parental depression, financial problems, and family problems.

Biological factors refer to those imbalances in the brain chemicals that can alter the brain activities. People with depression usually show a disturbed pattern of the relationship between the different parts of the brain, which means to say that the brain activities are altered.

Management of the Condition
The most commonly used treatments for depression are medication, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy. Medication for depression is called antidepressants. These medications are effective, however, they have numerous side effects and they can only relieve the symptoms and not cure the condition itself. Psychotherapy is best for those who are 18 years old and below. Psychotherapy, however, may not work for some especially to those people who are not comfortable talking about their personal life. Electroconvulsive therapy on the other hand, should be used as the last resort as it makes use of electricity and may impose harm to patients if not done in the right manner. These are the reasons why some people opt for natural cures, which are 100% safe, fast acting and with permanent effects.

Major depression is really a serious disorder and can be hard to live with. But with proper management it can easily be treated.

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