DEPRESSION – Symptoms, Causes, Tests, And Types

What Is Depression?

Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It may be defined as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday actions.

It’s also fairly common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source estimates that; 8.1 percent of American adults ages twenty and over had depression in any given 2-week period from 2013 to 2016.

People experience depression in many ways. It may interfere with your daily work, resulting in wasted time and lower productivity. It can also affect relationships and some chronic health conditions.

Conditions that can get more serious due to depression are:

  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

It’s important to understand that feeling down at some points in life is a normal part of life. Sad and upsetting events happen to everyone. But, if you’re feeling down or hopeless regularly, you could be dealing with depression.

Depression is viewed as a serious medical condition that can get worse without proper treatment. Those who seek therapy/treatment often see progress in symptoms in just a few weeks.

Symptoms

Depression can be larger than only a constant state of sadness.

Major depression can cause a variety of symptoms. Some affect your mood, mind, and others affect your body. Symptoms may come and go. It depends on person to person.

The symptoms of depression can be felt differently among;

  1. Men 
  2. Women 
  3. Children

Men may experience symptoms related to their:

  • Mood – anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness
  • Emotional well-being – feeling empty, sad, hopeless
  • Behavior – loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicide, engaging in high-risk activities, drinking excessively, using drugs
  • Sexual interest – reduced sexual desire, lack of sexual performance
  • Cognitive abilities – an inability to concentrate, difficulty completing tasks, delayed responses during conversations
  • Sleep patterns – insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness, not sleeping through the night
  • Physical well-being – fatigue, pains, headache, digestive problems

Women may experience symptoms related to their:

  • Mood – irritability, sudden mood swings
  • Emotional well-being – feeling sad or empty, anxious or hopeless
  • Behavior – loss of interest in activities, withdrawing from social engagements, thoughts of suicide
  • Cognitive abilities – thinking or talking more slowly
  • Sleep patterns – difficulty in sleeping through the night, waking early, sleeping too much
  • Physical well-being – decreased energy, greater fatigue, changes in – appetite, weight changes, aches, pain, headaches, increased cramps

Children may experience symptoms related to their:

  • Mood – irritability, anger, mood swings, crying
  • Emotional well-being – feelings of incompetence (example – “I can’t do anything correct”) or despair, crying, intense sadness
  • Behavior – getting into trouble at school or refusing to go to school, avoiding friends or siblings, thoughts of death or suicide
  • Cognitive abilities – difficulty concentrating, a decline in school performance, changes in grades
  • Sleep patterns – difficulty in sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Physical well-being – loss of energy, digestive problems, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain

The symptoms can extend beyond your mind. These seven visible symptoms of depression prove that depression isn’t just all in your head.

Causes

There are numerous possible causes for depression.

Common causes include:

  • Early childhood trauma: Some events affect the body in a way that our body reacts to fear and stressful situation differently.
  • Brain structure: There’s a higher risk for depression if the frontal lobe of your brain is less active. However, scientists still don’t know if this happens before or after the start of depressive symptoms.
  • Medical conditions: Certain conditions may put you at higher risk, such as insomnia, chronic illness, chronic pain, or ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder).
  • Family history: You have a greater risk of developing depression if you have a family history of depression or another mood disorder such as major depressive disorder.
  • Drug use: A history of drug or alcohol misuse can increase the risk of depression.

Approximately 21 percent of people who have a substance use problem also undergo depression. Also, other risk factors for depression include:

  • Low self-esteem or being self-critical
  • Personal history of mental illness
  • Certain medications
  • Stressful events, such as economic problems, loss of a loved one, or a divorce, harsh arguments with loved ones. You can buy stress toy to feel good. Use stress toy on regular basis and other stuff for healthy mind. Click here to buy.

Various factors can affect the feelings of depression, as well as who develops the condition and who doesn’t.

The causes of depression are usually tied to other elements of your health. However, in many cases, healthcare providers are incapable to determine what’s prompting depression.

Tests

There isn’t a single test to diagnose depression😕. But your healthcare associates can make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and a psychological evaluation.

In most cases, they’ll ask a series of questions about your:

  • moods
  • appetite
  • sleep pattern
  • activity level
  • thoughts

Depression can be connected to other health problems, your healthcare provider may also conduct a physical examination and order blood work. Sometimes vitamin D deficiency or thyroid problems can trigger signs of depression.

Never ignore the symptoms of depression. If your mood is not improving or it is getting worse, seek medical help. Depression is a serious mental health illness with the potential for difficulties/complications.

If left untreated, complications can include:

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Physical pain
  • Substance use problems
  • Panic attacks
  • Relationship problems
  • Social isolation
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Self-harm

Types

depression types

Depression can be split into categories depending on the severity of symptoms. Some people experience mild and temporary scenes, while others experience severe and ongoing depressive events.

There are two main types: 

  1. Major depressive disorder 
  2. Persistent depressive disorder.

Major Depressive Disorder

A major depressive disorder is a more serious form of depression. It’s characterized by persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and worthlessness that don’t go away on their own.

In order to be diagnosed with MDD (major depressive disorder) depression, you must experience 5 or more of the following symptoms for over 2 weeks:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day
  • Loss of interest in most regular activities
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Not being able to sleep
  • Sleeping a lot 
  • Slowed thinking or movement
  • Fatigue or low energy most days
  • Loss of concentration or indecisiveness
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

There are different subtypes of major depressive disorder. American Psychiatric Association refers to it as “specifiers.”

These include:

  • atypical features
  • mixed features
  • anxious distress
  • seasonal patterns
  • melancholic features
  • psychotic features
  • catatonia

Persistent Depressive Disorder

PDD (Persistent depressive disorder) was called dysthymia. It’s a milder, but chronic, form of depression.

For the diagnosis, symptoms must last for at least 2 years. PDD can affect your life more than major depression because it lasts for a lengthier period.

It’s common for people with PDD to:

  • feel hopeless
  • lose interest in normal daily activities
  • lack productivity
  • have low self-esteem

In Brief 

Depression can be treated, but it’s important to stick to your treatment plan sincerely. 

That’s it for this article. Treatment and prevention of depression article is coming soon, stay tuned. To get notified, subscribe now for FREE. Thank you for reading.

Aman Pawarhttps://getfitwithaman.com
Aman Pawar is Certified Diet and Nutrition Expert. Also he is Certified Fitness Trainer. He also writes on Quora and his answers has generated more than 15k plus views in less than 6 months! For more info visit About Us page.
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