Depression


by Helen C. Forrester
Depression Types

What is Depression?

Depression (also known as major depressive disorder) is a medical illness that detrimentally affects how an individual thinks, feels, and acts. It causes severe sadness and loss of interest in daily life activities. If left untreated, it can lead to an array of physical and emotional problems and affect every aspect of life.

History

Throughout human history, the concept of depression was present in every phase of history. With time and evolving knowledge, the definition also changes. Nowadays, it is known as a major depressive mood disorder specified by sad feelings, characterized by past events. Let’s look into the history of how its meaning gets melded and changed over the years.

    Origin Of Depression

Hippocrates (Father of Medicine), who was an ancient Greek physician who considers all bodily functions to work by four fluids, known as humor. Humor consists of blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm. His concept was that adequate balance between these fluids manifests as good health and if they are out of balance, it can lead to different diseases.

Later, Greek physician and philosopher Galen adds to Hippocrates’ view and states that personality types of humans also come from an excess of these internal fluids. As stated by humor’s theory, a melancholic or gloomy personality is the result of an excess of black bile. At that time, sad people were considered introverted and over-thinkers. This melancholic concept leads to our present understanding of the great depression.

    A Dual Approach

In the 19th century, German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin started to mention melancholic personality types as “depressive states” due to the persistent gloomy mood. He introduced a dual approach to view severe depression and divided it into two categories; manic depression and dementia praecox.

Manic depression occurs due to an external factor, like the death of a loved one. It was expected that it is episodic and will go away with time.  On the other hand, severe depression that does not originate from external sources originates from the individual’s psyche. Karpelin’s concepts are still valid to this day and hold critical value in the understanding of depression.

    Sigmund Freud’s Point Of View

Sigmund Freud, who is considered the father of psychoanalysis, gives his point of view on depression in the 1917 essay and writes the meaning as  “Morning and Melancholia”. He defined melancholy the same as the current depression definition, expressing that melancholy is a sense of loss that occurs when the unknown object has been lost due to mind repression.

He proposed that depression and anxiety affect the traditional mourning process, making the person feel more sadness than others. This state of mind makes an individual feel more hopeless, angry and stuck in gloominess. Depressed people blame themselves for the loss of the loved one while keeping their memory in the heart.

    Modern-Day Approach

Adolf Meyer, a Swiss psychiatrist, distinctly describes depression definition. He emphasized taking into account biological and mental elements as contributing factors to the great depression causes.

Nowadays, the understanding of depression and anxiety has changed with consistent research and studies. This leads to different treatment medications for depression and what manifests as a depressive state. If you feel any of the symptoms, consult your medical and mental health professional. One of the treatment approaches is Deep TMS, integrating medicine into the regime can suppress the symptoms. With the advancement and shifts in culture, research, and philosophical perspective, multiple views, and treatment options are available for patients. People can seek help and benefit from many different medications for depression approaches and methods.

Types Of Depression

Depression interferes with your daily life and needs to be managed. There are many types of depression, most important of them are given below;

    1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

Mostly, depression is referred to as major depressive disorder. If a person experiences the mentioned symptoms for two weeks, he is diagnosed with major depressive disorder. It is a disorder specified by many different characteristics;

  •   Weight fluctuation
  •   Gloomy mood
  •   Lack of interest
  •   Sleep changes
  •   Difficulty in concentration
  •   Feeling of guilt
  •   Death and suicidal thoughts
  •   Fatigue

     2. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

Persistent depressive disorder is a type of depression that is present for more than two years. The intensity of the disease can vary, people might feel relief from depression symptoms but they exacerbate again. Some of the key features of persistent depressive disorder are given below;

  •   Lack of interest
  •   Sadness
  •   The decline in self-esteem
  •   Irritability
  •   Sleeping changes
  •   Low Appetite
  •   Fatigue and decline in energy
  •   Hopelessness

    3. Bipolar Depression Disorder

Bipolar depression disorder is defined as a disorder that has abnormal periods of increased depressed mood (mania). They can be of extreme or mild nature, it can interfere with a person’s life severely. Most of the patients also report the symptoms of great depression and anxiety. Psychosis and hallucinations can occur in severe cases, suicide risk in these patients is 15 times greater than the others.

Apart from common depression symptoms, people with great depression also have an array of physical and emotional symptoms. Some of them are given below;

  •   Hopelessness and low-self esteem
  •   Fatigue, insomnia, and lethargy
  •   Unexplained pains
  •   Irritability and anxiety
  •   Difficulty in taking a decision

    4. Post- Partum Depression (PPD)

Pregnancy can affect women’s mental health as well. Depression during pregnancy can manifest during or after the birth of a child. Postpartum depression symptoms (PPD) are quite just common.

Frustration, anxiety mood changes are common after childbirth. But, PPD symptoms last longer than two weeks. Some of the key symptoms are mentioned below;

  •   Gloomy mind
  •   Mood swings
  •   Appetite changes
  •   Loss of interest
  •   Feeling worthless
  •   Anxiety and panic attacks
  •   Thoughts of hurting yourself and baby
  •   Social anxiety
  •   Suicidal thoughts

If the condition is not diagnosed and treated, it can lead to a worse condition. Antidepressants, counseling, and hormone therapy proved to be effective in postpartum depression.

    5. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) comprises fatigue, irritability, anxiety, bloating, food binging, breast tenderness, and aches. PMDD has the same symptoms but depressed mood-related ones are more common. Some of the most common symptoms are;

  •   Fatigue
  •   Sadness and hopelessness
  •   Mood swings
  •   Inability to concentrate
  •   Increased stress or anxiety
  •   Food cravings

    6. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

If anyone experiences depression, weight gain, and lack of sleep during the winter months. But symptoms go away in spring, this type of depression is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

SAD occurs when the normal circadian rhythm of the body gets disturbed. When light enters the eye, it disturbs the circadian rhythm and manifests as a seasonal affective disorder.

The prevalence rates are not known because SAD goes away undiagnosed mostly. It is more common in far northern areas and treated with light therapy.

     7. Atypical Depression

If you ever find yourself binge eating or sleeping too much, but you still feel optimistic. Such symptoms can lead to atypical depression; a form of depression that is opposite to the typical presentation of depression. Atypical is more common than other types and responds well to MAOI (Monoamine oxidase inhibitor). Some of the key features of this are given below;

  •   More eating
  •   Fatigue and weakness
  •   Increased sensitivity to rejection
  •   Harsh moods

Signs and Depression Symptoms

There are many kinds of depression symptoms. Some of them are given below;

  •   Fatigue
  •   Difficulty in concentration and remembering
  •   Hopelessness
  •   Irritability
  •   Appetite changes
  •   Digestive problems
  •   Continuous feeling of sadness
  •   Death and suicidal thoughts
  •   Aches, cramps, and pains that won’t fade away
  •   Frustration

Causes of Depression

There are many different causes of depression and anxiety. Some of the common causes are;

  •   Family history
  •   Early Childhood Trauma
  •   Low Self-esteem
  •   Medical Conditions
  •   Drug Use
  •   Stressful events
  •   Certain medications
  •   Personal history of depression mental illness

Difference between Anxiety, Stress, and Depression

Anxiety

If you have an anxiety disorder, you may experience the following distinct symptoms;

  •   Fear, anxiety, or getting panic
  •   Persistent anguish
  •   Sudden panic or anxiety attacks without any reason

Stress

Stress is a response to daily life tensions and threatening circumstances. Anxiety on the other hand tends to prolong and is more difficult to treat. Symptoms of the stress include;

  •   Headache
  •   Chest pain
  •   Heart palpitation
  •   Sleep changes
  •   Skin rashes

Stress fades away when the stress triggers go away. But chronic stress can worsen health. If you are confused about whether you have depression and anxiety, or stress, consult the doctor immediately.

Depression

When you are depressed, it affects every aspect of life. In depression, you can experience the following symptoms;

  •   Sadness
  •   Hopelessness
  •   Anger
  •   Lack of motivation
  •   Sleep changes
  •   Personality changes
  •   Disappointment

If these symptoms sustain for two weeks or longer, you will experience a great depression episode.

Practice to Get Rid of Mental Health Depression

It is quite treatable, both medical and lifestyle factors can improve the patient’s condition.

1. Learn about your condition

The patient should be familiar with his condition, it triggers by some factors. It is vital to know about the depression symptoms and warning signs. If the patient knows what triggers his symptoms, the onset of symptoms can be controlled.

2. Talk through your thoughts

If just talking generally, depressed patients feel better. Connecting to others can decrease hopelessness and sadness. Many support groups make sure that such people get the support they need to talk about their lives.

3. Visit a doctor

Seeing a doctor is essential for diagnosis and treatment. According to specific types of depression, doctors prescribe medication or recommend therapy.

4. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy or talk therapy is a highly beneficial medication for depression. It can help people to figure out negative thoughts with positive and constructive ones. Doctors advise getting CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), it is an alternative to medicine in some cases. Other psychotic depression therapies like psychodynamic and interpersonal therapy also help in fighting it.

5. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness means focusing on the current moment, it allows people to stop worrying about the past and future. It helps in relieving depression and anxiety, mindfulness with CBT prevents the recurrence of depression episodes.

6. Connect body and mind

In depression, both mind and body should be treated as one. It is important for maintaining a physical and psychological state. Activities like Acupuncture, massage, tai chi, music therapy, meditation, etc.

7. Exercise

Physical activity releases endorphins that enhance depressed mood and relieves depression symptoms. Even a slight exertional activity like walking and swimming is helpful for the patients. Incorporating exercise in daily routine is recommended in the protocol of treatment. Studies show that exercise also reduces sleep problems.

8. Balanced Diet

Diet is important for depression mental illness, any deficiency in food groups can deteriorate well-being. It is highly recommended to take a balanced diet to prevent deficiency and keep the person fit. Daily calorie intake should be from all the food groups like proteins, carbs, and healthy fats.

9. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs can worsen the symptoms. Patients are advised to stop taking drugs and alcohol excessively, depression therapists with the help of therapy can make it easy to handle the intake of alcohol.

10. Relaxation Time

Being anxious and feeling stressed is a hallmark of depression. Always take time to relax and meditate, it helps to enhance the mental wellbeing of the patient. Relaxing can be done in many different ways like reading books, watching television, or going outside.

11. Get Adequate Sleep

Regular sleep is important for mental health depression, too much or too few symptoms can enhance the effects of depression. Try to go to bed early and sleep for a good 7-8 hours. You can also incorporate a hot bath, reading, or drinking chamomile tea.

There are some ways to get over Depression:

Meditation
Relaxing Music
Relaxing Study Music
Relaxing Music for Kids
Sleep Music
Instrumental Music

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is the Depression definition?
  • It is also known as major depressive disorder. It is a medical illness that affects how an individual thinks, feels, and acts.

  • What causes depression?
  • There are many different causes like the history of trauma, stressful events, certain medications, low self-esteem, etc.

  • What are the signs of depression?
  • Some of the most common symptoms are fatigue, difficulty in concentration and remembering, hopelessness, irritability, appetite changes, digestive problems, continuous feeling of sadness, death and suicidal thoughts, aches, cramps and pains that won’t fade away, frustration.

  • Is it essential to treat depression?
  • Yes, it is essential to treat that as it can lead to major depressive disorder.

  • How to get out of depression?
  • It can be treated by exercise, relaxation, meditation, a balanced diet, Psychotherapy, etc.

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