Depression is the state in which one feels run down or stops feeling pleasure in things which have been pleasurable before.
It can be situational, i.e. due to some unpleasant event or set back in one’s life.
Accidents, financial losses, death in one’s family, e.t.c. are such situations, which cause one to get depressed.
But apart from these, some people experience depression for no reason. They feel sad all the time and fail to enjoy the pleasures of life. These are neurotic individuals.
Depression may be manifestation of psychiatric illness which is said to be due to disturbance in neurotransmitters in brain.
Depression is a state of mind. Reaction to depressing situations varies from person to person. Some people are strong minded.
Adversities touch them and go, without affecting them. On the other end, weak minded persons pass in to depression at the slightest problem they confront and it may pull on for weeks to months.
In the middle are average people who do suffer from depression after any set back? But using their logic and sense of responsibility they get over it and continue life as usual.
Loss of appetite, poor feeding or excess feeding in exceptional cases, sleeplessness or over sleeping, total apathy to surroundings, loss of weight, depressing negative thoughts, these are symptoms which show that the affected individual is suffering from depression.
In extreme depression, there may be attempt to suicide. Unless there is a known valid reason for depression, the person should undergo medical check up to probe into any medical cause for depression
Regarding medical causes for depression, any chronic debilitating illness like HIV/AIDS, T.B., cancer, e.t.c. can induce depression.
Thyroid disorders also cause depression along with other features of dysfunction of thyroid gland. Chronic malnutrition is known to cause depression and can also be the result of depression.
Drugs like beta blockers used for hypertension or corticosteroids can also induce depression as a side effect. But once the drug is withdrawn, depression will disappear.
Acute depression after a binge of alcohol is common among alcoholics. Many alcohol addicts pass into a stage of chronic depression, due to many reasons.
Women around menopause tend to suffer from depression, due to the hormonal changes and sense of loneliness.
Depression can develop at any age from adolescence and above and in either gender.
For those suffering from depression due to any calamity need to be counseled and reassured. If there is a known medical cause for depression, it needs to be treated to cure the depression.
Good counseling, keeping the patient well fed and in a cheerful state also helps him or her to overcome depression. Antidepressant drugs help people suffering from depression as part of psychiatric illness.
But these drugs have unpleasant side effects and should be used in low maintenance doses to keep them out of depression, after acute stage is over.
It becomes difficult for all concerned to handle the people suffering from depression without any reason. Mostly these are weak minded individuals who imagine all kinds of miseries and sorrows visiting them.
They lack self confidence and concentration at work. Alcohol use aggravates the problem. These people should be kept occupied by their family members and friends, to keep their minds from dwelling on their so called miseries.
Even in the free time, they should be motivated to do something creative or useful.
They should feel loved and cared for. Never should they be left alone for a long time because they may find time to implement suicidal ideas.
In fact such people should be encouraged to mix with other people. When they meet people and discuss many affairs, they realize that there are people with far greater problems who are happy and cheerful.
Antidepressant drugs are used for these individuals also but should be reserved for extreme cases and that too for a short time.
It is better to avoid them as they are not absolutely necessary as in case of psychotic individuals.
These individuals have to be motivated to acquire a positive mind set so that they are no longer depressed by depression.
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