What is Depression? Symptoms, Causes, Types, Diagnosis, and Relief Methods
What is Depression? Depression is a mood disorder, wherein sadness, anger, and defeat interfere with daily activities. Estimations indicate that approximately 8.1% of American adults over 20 years old suffer from depression. In some cases, depression impacts cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, asthma, obesity, and cancer. Therefore, it is important to know that sadness, frustration, irritation, and defeat are normal emotions that everybody goes through. Now let us know more about depression, and everything related to this disorder.
It can cause many symptoms that impact the mood and body, knowing that they differ from men, women, and children.
Depression Symptoms in Men:
- Mood swings, such as anger, aggression, irritability, anxiety, and insomnia.
- Feeling empty, sad, and hopeless.
- Behavioral changes, like losing interest, not feeling joy, getting tired quickly, suicidal thoughts, consuming alcohol, using drugs, experiencing extremely dangerous activities.
- Sex life changes, like lack of sexual desire, and sexual dysfunction.
- Cognitive impairments, like focus difficulty, having trouble completing tasks, and late responses when talking with others.
- Sleep impairments, such as insomnia, excessive sleepiness, and inability to sleep at night.
- Physical health issues, like fatigue, pains, headaches, and digestive system disorders.
Depression Symptoms in Women
- Mood swings, like irritability.
- Feeling sad, empty, anxious, and hopeless.
- Behavioral changes, like losing interest in activities, avoiding social commitments, and suicidal thoughts.
- Cognitive impairments, like thinking and speaking slowly.
- Sleep impairments, such as the inability to sleep at night, waking up early, and sleeping for a long time.
- Physical health issues, like lack of energy, fatigue, appetite swings, weight changes, pains, headaches, and cramping.
Depression Symptoms in Children
- Mood swings, such as irritability, anger, and crying.
- Feeling helpless and hopeless, crying, and severe sadness.
- Behavioral changes, such as getting in trouble in school or refusing to go to school, avoiding friends and siblings, thinking of death and suicide.
- Cognitive impairments, such as focusing difficulty, the decline of the academic performance, in addition to dropping in grades.
- Sleep impairments, such as sleeping difficulty and sleeping for a long time.
- Physical health issues, such as losing energy, digestive system disorders, appetite swings, and losing or gaining weight.
Causes of Depression
There are several potential causes for depression, and they include the following:
- Genetics and Family History:
People who have a family history with depression or other mood disorders are more susceptible to depression.
- Childhood Traumas:
The events and incidents that one goes through in childhood affect the body’s response to fear and hardships.
- The Brain Structure:
The risk of getting depression increase if the frontal lobe of the brain is less active.
- Medical Conditions:
Certain health conditions increase the risk of depression, such as chronic diseases, insomnia, chronic pain, and ADHD.
- Alcohol and Drug Use:
Alcohol and drug use raise the risk of depression.
We have explained the definition of depression, in addition to its causes and symptoms. Let’s find out how it is diagnosed, its complications, types, and relief methods.
There is no one test used to diagnose depression, for the doctor usually diagnoses according to the symptoms and the mental condition of the patient, wherein the doctor inquires about several issues, including the mood, appetite, sleep pattern, thoughts, and energy level. And since depression might be linked to other health conditions, the doctor might do a physical and blood test, wherein thyroid gland disorders or vitamin D deficiency lead to depression symptoms.
In case depression was left untreated, the patient will suffer from the following complications:
- Weight loss or gain.
- Physical pain.
- Drug use.
- Panic attacks.
- Problems with relationships with others.
- Suicidal thoughts.
Types of Depression
Depression is categorized as follows according to the severity of the symptoms:
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder is one of the severest types of depression, wherein the patients suffer from constant sadness, hoplessness, and feeling unworthy, and these feelings do not disappear on their own.
People with major depressive disorder will suffer from 5 or more of the following symptoms in the span of two weeks:
- Feeling depressed all day long.
- Losing interest in most things.
- Significant weight loss or gain.
- Excessive sleeping, or the inability to sleep.
- Slower thinking or moving.
- Fatigue or lack of energy on most days.
- Feeling guilty or unworthy.
- Losing focus or hesitating.
- Frequent thoughts about death or suicide.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent depressive disorder is also called dysthymia, and it is less severe than the previous type.
People with persistent depressive disorder will suffer from the following symptoms for a least two year:
- Losing interest in daily activities.
- Feeling hopeless.
- Lack of productivity.
- Low self-esteem and appreciation.
Now that we learned about diagnosis, complications, and types of depression, let’s move on to the most important part, which is depression relief methods.
Depression Relief Methods
Coping with depression is difficult for the patient, treatment, however, significantly improves the patient’s life quality. It is common to combine medications and psychotherapy, the relief methods include the following:
The doctor may prescribe medications for the depression patient, including:
- Antianxiety medications.
It is worth noting that each type of medication used to relieve depression has benefits and potential adverse effects.
Psychotherapy helps the patient learn to deal with negative emotions. Support groups are also very helpful.
Exposure to artificial light might help regulate the mood and alleviate depression symptoms. Light therapy, or heliotherapy, is commonly used to relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Consult your doctor about acupuncture and meditation.
Exercising highly helps depression patients, wherein performing physical activities for 30 minutes daily for 3-5 days a week increases the body’s endorphin production, which is a hormone that helps improve the mood.
Avoiding alcohol and narcotics.
Alcohol consumption and drug use might make one feel better temporarily, however, in the long run, they can make depression and anxiety worse.
Feeling exhausted can escalate depression and anxiety symptoms, therefore, one must separate career and personal life in order to feel an improvement.
Taking Care of Yourself.
You can also alleviate depression symptoms by taking care of yourself by getting enough sleep, committing to a healthy diet. As well as avoiding negative people, and participating in fun activities.
The Wellness Supplements from Hekma Center.
All products in the wellness supplement package for depression are natural and certified by the Ministry of Health with a GMP certificate. They are packaged in accordance with the strict international laws of safety, health, hygiene, and security with ISO-9001 and ISO-22000 certificates, moreover, the products are FDA approved. All the products exclusively found in “Hekma Center” can be purchased from our website or certain eCommerce websites like Amazon.
The recommended wellness supplement package for depression hereunder consists of 100% natural products, and they are all very safe and efficient in relieving the disease. This supplement package is specifically for people with depression, without other diseases. If the patients suffer from diseases other than depression, they must contact us and consult the specialists at Hekma Center in order to provide a suitable wellness supplement package.
The table below shows the wellness supplement package for depression from Hekma Center:
Supplement package for Depression - Despondency Medicinal HerbsClick on the product name to read more about it
|Magic1 (Moringa Oleifera)||1|
|Verb (Verbena Officinalis)||1|
|Maca (Maca Root)||1|
|Baical (Scutellaria Baicalensis)||1|
|Cam1 (Milk Thistle)||1|
|Zinc (Zinc picolinate)||1|
|E-Goto (Gotu Kola Extract)||1|
Protecting Against Depression
In general, one cannot protect against depression because it is difficult to recognize its causes.
However, in case one had a depressive episode, they can protect against another episode by making some changes in the lifestyle, such as:
- Exercising and performing physical activates regularly.
- Getting enough sleep and rest.
- Continuing with the wellness program.
- Reducing stress.
- Building strong relations with others.
Bipolar depression occurs in some types of bipolar disorder when someone has a depressive episode. People with bipolar disorder can suffer from extreme mood swings.
The depression symptoms for people with bipolar depression include the following:
- Losing interest or joy.
- Feeling sad, anxious, and empty.
- The inability to complete daily tasks due to lack of energy.
- Memory impairments, like difficulty remembering things.
- Excessive sleep or insomnia.
- Weight gain or loss due to the increase or decrease of the appetite.
- Thinking of death or suicide.
If the bipolar disorder is treated, the patient would have fewer and less severe depression symptoms during the depressive episodes.
The Following is 7 Methods to Improve the Mood During a Depressive Disorder:
Committing to a Healthy Routine:
When feeling depressed, the patient would do many negative things, like refraining from eating even if hungry, or consuming a lot of food. The same applies to sleep, wherein when someone is depressed, they would sleep a lot or not sleep at all. These unhealthy habits would worsen the symptoms, Therefore, one must commit to a healthy daily routine in order to alleviate these symptoms.
These healthy habits include:
- Taking several healthy, light meals at specified times throughout the day.
- Consuming plenty of vegetables, fat-free proteins, and whole grains.
- Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
- Waking up and sleeping at the same time every day.
Organizing the Day:Like specifying times for eating and sleeping, these things help avoid depression symptoms. The patients can make a list of the daily tasks in order to check them off when accomplished. Furthermore, using a calendar and post-its would be helpful since they facilitate organizing. Nevertheless, when scheduling the daily tasks, make sure to make time for rest, or else the symptoms would escalate and deteriorate.
When patients go through a depressive episode, they do not enjoy performing any activities, since the motivation would not be sufficient to do anything. Despite the lack of energy, one can still participate in fun activities, or do things that stimulate happiness. Meaning that one should not be afraid to participate in activities that boost the mood fearing not enjoying them.
Certain exercises help alleviate depression symptoms, such as walking, running, or cycling, wherein the patient must exercise not less than 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes each time.
When one is depressed, they would feel lonely. However, it is important not to isolate, or fewer depression symptoms would significantly escalate. Therefore, one must engage with family and friends and spend time with them.
The patient can try new things during a depressive episode in order to alleviate the symptoms.
Participating in a Support Group:
Participating in a support group for people with bipolar disorder is wonderful and would highly help the patient, wherein these groups would help the patient meet people who suffer from the same condition, and share thoughts.
Depression and Anxiety
One can have depression and anxiety at the same time, and studies proved that people with depressive disorders also suffer from anxiety symptoms.
Depression and anxiety result in similar symptoms, including:
- Memory or focus impairments.
- Sleep impairments.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is a type of anxiety disorder, which leads to having unwanted, frequent thoughts, motivations, and fears called Obsessions. These fears urge the patient to perform frequent behaviors (Compulsion) to reduce the stress from the obsessions, as a result, the patients would avoid social situations and friends, which increases the risk of depression. And studies confirmed that approximately 80% of people with OCD suffer from severe depression.
Psychotic Disorder and Depression
People with severe depression may suffer from the symptoms of another mental disorder called Psychotic disorder. When a person has both disorders, it becomes known as Psychotic depression, in which the patient sees, hears, believes, or smells unreal things. People with this disorder can also suffer from sadness, irritability, and despair. It is worth mentioning that this disorder is serious because the patient might have delusions that cause suicidal thoughts.
At times, pregnant women suffer from depression, and it is a common problem.
Antenatal depression symptoms include:
- Changes in appetite or eating habits.
- Feeling hopeless.
- Losing interest in activities and things that used to be fun.
- Constant sadness.
- Focus impairments and the inability to remember.
- Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, or sleeping for long times.
- Thinking of death or suicide.
We have, herein, inclusively answered the question, What is depression? symptoms, causes, types, diagnosis, as well as relief methods.