Depression Facts: Who, What, Why and How to Manage It

Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people around the world. Learn more about who suffers from it & how to manage it.

Depression Facts: Who, What, Why and How to Manage It

Increasingly, research suggests that these factors may cause changes in brain function, including impaired activity of certain neural circuits in the brain. The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can result in a variety of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with suicidal thoughts.

The basis of treatment is usually medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Increasingly, research suggests that these treatments may normalize brain changes associated with depression. Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, an estimated 5% of adults suffer from the disorder.

It is characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or pleasurable activities. It can also disturb sleep and appetite. Tiredness and lack of concentration are common. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.

The effects of depression can be long-lasting or recurring and can dramatically affect a person's ability to function and live a rewarding life. Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people around the world. It can have a profound impact on an individual's life, affecting their relationships, work performance, and overall wellbeing. It is important to understand the facts about depression so that it can be properly diagnosed and treated.

The symptoms of depression vary from person to person but generally include persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, changes in appetite or weight, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, low energy levels, difficulty concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and thoughts of death or suicide. Depression can be caused by a variety of factors including genetics, environmental factors such as stress or trauma, medical conditions such as thyroid disorders or chronic pain, and certain medications. In some cases, the cause may be unknown. The diagnosis of depression is based on criteria outlined in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

To diagnose major depression, one of the symptoms should be depressed mood or loss of pleasure in activities for at least two weeks. Other types of depressive disorders include persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), mood dysregulation disorder (in children and adolescents), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and major depressive disorder with psychotic characteristics (involving psychosis or hallucinations). Treatment for depression typically involves medication (antidepressants), psychotherapy (counseling), lifestyle changes such as exercise and stress management techniques, and support from family and friends. In some cases, alternative treatments such as acupuncture or yoga may also be beneficial.

It is important to seek help if you think you may be suffering from depression. The SAMHSA National Helpline provides free referrals to treatment centers across the United States for those who are uninsured or underinsured. In addition, there are many online resources available to help those suffering from depression find support and treatment options. Depression can have a profound impact on an individual's life but it is important to remember that it is treatable and there is hope for recovery.

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