What Is Depression?

 

 

Depression is a condition that effects many people within our society.  This blog post is designed to give a brief overview of Symptoms, Demographics and Treatments that are available:

 

SYMPTOMS OF A DEPRESSIVE EPISODE:

 

  • DEPRESSED MOOD
  • LOSS OF INTEREST OR PLEASURE
  • FATIGUE NEARLY EVERY DAY
  • SLEEP DIFFICULTIES
  • SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT CHANGE
  • FEELINGS OF WORTHLESSNESS
  • DIMINISHED CONCENTRATION
  • RECURRING THOUGHTS OF DEATH

 

These symptoms must cause significant distress and the symptoms must last for at least two weeks.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS:

 

  • About 1 in 10 people will experience depression during their lifetime.

 

  • Most people experience their first depressive episode between the ages of 20 and 30.

 

  • Women are two times more likely to develop depression.

 

RISKS FOR DEPRESSION:

 

  • Family history of depression or similar conditions.

 

  • Poverty, isolation, unemployment or other stressful life events can sause depression.

 

  • Regular drug and alcohol abuse.

 

OTHER FACTS ABOUT DEPRESSION:

 

  • Over half of those with a diagnosis of depression also suffer from anxiety.

 

  • Physical exercise can have a significant antidepressant effect.

 

  • 60% of those who commit suicide suffer from depression or a related mood disorder.

 

  • Depressive episodes can also occur during Bipolar Disorder alongside manic episodes.

 

WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE FOR DEPRESSION?

 

PSYCOTHERAPY (COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY):

 

  • CBT works by adjusting the mind to change self defeating thoughts and behaviours.

 

  • CBT has been found to be very effective at treating depression, it can be more effective than medicine in many cases.

 

  • CBT is by far the most researched form of treatment for depression.

 

MEDICATION:

 

  • Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to increase the level of serotonin in the brain.

 

  • Studies show that this form of medication is most effective when used to treat severe cases of depression.

 

  • They do not work overnight and it can take up to 6 weeks before they reach their full effect.

 

A COMBINATION OF BOTH PSYCHOTHERAPY AND MEDICATION HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION.

 

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