In psychology, depression is a mood or emotional state characterized by low self-worth or guilt and a diminished capacity to enjoy life. Typically, depressed individuals exhibit several of the following symptoms: feelings of gloom, despair, or pessimism; diminished self-worth and increased self-pity; a decline in enjoyment from routine activities or a loss of them; decreased vitality and energy; a lack of speed in thought or action; reduced appetite; and insomnia or sleep problems. Depression differs from simple sorrow or mourning, which are appropriate emotional reactions to the loss of loved persons or objects.
Depression is considered to be present when there are clear reasons for a person’s unhappiness. This means that the depressed mood is more prolonged or severe than the event that caused it. The classification of depression into various types is based on differences in the duration of the illness, the circumstances under which it occurs, and other characteristics. Examples of distinct types of depression include bipolar disorder, persistent depressive disorder, major depressive disorder (clinical depression), and seasonal emotional disorder.
Characteristics and causes of depression
Before Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician who coined the term “melancholia,” depression has been described by physicians as probably the most prevalent psychiatric condition. The disorder’s course varies extremely from person to person; it could be mild or severe, short-term or long-term. Depression can last for up to four months if not treated. Depression influences women twice as often as it does men. Although it can occur at any age, the typical onset occurs in one’s 20s. There are numerous causes of depression. A person’s vulnerability to depression can be increased or a depressive episode can occur as a result of unfavorable life events.
In addition, negative thoughts about oneself and the world play a significant role in the development and persistence of depressive symptoms. However, it appears that both biochemical and psychosocial mechanisms are significant causes; The brain’s improper regulation of the release of one or more naturally occurring neurotransmitters, particularly epinephrine, and serotonin, appears to be the primary biochemical cause. Some sufferers are thought to be depressed as a result of the brain’s reduced levels or activity of these chemicals.
It’s normal to feel down from time to time; however, if you feel down the majority of the time and it affects your day-to-day activities, you may have clinical depression. It is a condition that can be treated with medication, therapy, and lifestyle adjustments. Depression can take many different forms. Some are brought on by life events, while others are brought on by brain chemical changes.
A person who suffers from bipolar disorder also known as “manic depression” experiences mood swings that range from extremes of high energy and an “up” mood to low “depressive” periods. You will exhibit the signs and symptoms of major depression during the low phase. Taking medication can help you control your mood swings. A mood stabilizer, like lithium, may be recommended by your doctor regardless of whether you are experiencing a high or a low.
The FDA has endorsed three medications to treat the discouraged stage:
• Olanzapine -fluoxetine combination
For bipolar depression, doctors may “off-label” prescribe other medications like the anticonvulsant lamotrigine or the atypical antipsychotic Vraylar.
This is perhaps referred to as “major depressive disorder” by your doctor. If you experience depression on most days of the week, you might have this type.
Other signs and symptoms include:
• Loss of interest in or enjoyment of your activities
• Gain or loss of weight
• Having trouble falling asleep or feeling sleepy during the day
• Feeling restless and agitated or very sluggish and slowed down physically or mentally
• Being exhausted and lacking energy
• Feeling worthless or guilty
• Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
• Suicidal thoughts
Most days, you feel anxious and restless. Because you are concerned that something terrible might occur and that you might lose control of yourself, you have difficulty concentrating.
You experience a tremendous amount of sadness and lose interest in the things you used to enjoy. Even when good things happen, you feel bad. Also, you might:
• Feel particularly down in the mornings
• Lose weight
• Not getting enough sleep
• Consider suicide
When you first get up in the morning, you might experience the most severe symptoms of melancholic depression. Think about asking someone to assist you with your first day’s tasks. Even if you don’t feel hungry, you should eat frequently.
You feel uneasy most of the time. You may also:
Talk a lot Move impulsively, like pacing around the room and fidgeting with your hands. Talk therapy can help. You will meet with a mental health professional who will assist you in coping with your depression.