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A To Z Disease Directory / 06 Jun 2019

DEPRESSION

ABSTRACT -

Depression is a psychological disorder which includes feeling of sadness, loss of interest, and lack of joy in daily activities. It affects feelings, thoughts and behavior which can lead to psychological, emotional or physical problems. It reflects negativity in everything. Diagnosis becomes difficult because there is no particular one cause behind it. Treatment varies with stages of depression and person to person.

Types -
  1. Dysthymia
  2. Unipolar and bipolar depression
  3. Major depressive disorder

CAUSES -

  • Biological changes
  • Disturbance in functioning of neurotransmitters
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Genetic factors
  • Emotional or environmental factors

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS -

  • Changes in sleeping patterns like insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Feeling of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness or guilt
  • Trouble in thinking, concentrating and decision making
  • Anger, irritation and frustration over small matters
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Frequent thoughts of suicide or death
  • Memory problem
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

DIAGNOSIS -

  • Physical examination
  • Blood test – To diagnose hormonal cause behind depression
  • Psychiatric evaluation – It includes study of symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behavior pattern with the help of questionnaire.
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)

TREATMENT -

  • Anti-depressant medications
  • Psychotherapy
  • Yoga and exercise
  • Meditation
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in severe depression

RISK FACTORS -

  • Certain personality traits like low self-esteem
  • Family history
  • Traumatic or stressful events
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Serious chronic illness like cancer

PREVENTION –

  • Improve personality traits
  • Control stress
  • Participate in social activities with family and friends
  • Treat depression at earlier stage
  • Communicate with people

EPIDEMIOLOGY -

  • Estimation shows that 350 million people are affected per year due to depressionglobally.
  • Commonly observed in female more than male.
  • Lifetime prevalence of dysthymia is about 2% in male, 4% in female and 2.5% in generalpopulation.
  • 30% accounts for unipolar depression in chronic depression disorders.

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