Depression

A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.

What is depression?

Depression is a widespread mental health problem affecting many people. The lifetime risk of depression in males is 8-12 % and in females, it is 20- 26%.

Depression ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Clinical depression is the more-severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder. It isn’t the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder.

May be followed by this symptoms ;

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.

The highest incidence of depression symptoms has been indicated in individuals without close interpersonal relationships or persons who are divorced or separated there can be many reasons.

Are Women at Higher Risk for Major Depression?

Almost twice as many women as men have major or clinical depression; hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, and menopause, may increase the risk.

Other factors that boost the risk of clinical depression in women who are biologically vulnerable to it include increased stress at home or at work, balancing family life with career, and caring for an aging parent. Raising a child alone will also increase the risk.

What Are the Signs of Major Depression in Men?

Depression in men is significantly under-reported. Men who suffer from clinical depression are less likely to seek help or even talk about their experience.

Signs of depression in men may include irritability, anger, or drug and alcohol abuse (substance abuse can also be a cause of depression rather than the result of it). Suppressing negative feelings can result in violent behavior directed both inwardly and outwardly. It can also result in an increase in illness, suicide, and homicide.

Etiology

  • Biological attribution into alterations in Neurochemical, genetic endocrine, and circadian rhythm function. Research suggests that depression results when the level of NOREPINEPHRINE and serotonin are decreased and dysregulation of acetylcholine and GABA.
  • Genetic theories
Genetic theories
  • Circadian rhythm theories circadian rhythm is responsible for daily regulation of wake-sleep Cycle arousal and activity pattern, and hormonal secretions. Individuals experiencing circadian rhythm changes are at increase risk for developing depressive symptoms and other mood symptoms. Nutritional deficiencies, physical or psychological illness, hormonal function.
  • Changes in brain anatomy Loss of neuron in the frontal lobe cerebellum and basal ganglia has been identified in depression.

Clinical features

  • Depressed mood: The sadness of mood or loss interest and loss of pleasure in almost all activities ( passive sadness) present throughout the day persistent sadness)
  • Depressive cognition: Hopelessness ( a feeling of no hope in the future due to pessimism).Helplessness (feels that has no help) worthlessness, unreasonable guilt, self-blame over trivial matters in the past.
  • Suicidal thought: ideas of hopelessness are often accompanied by the thought that life is no longer worth living and that death had come as welcome release. These gloomy preoccupations may progress to the thought of a plan of suicide.
Suicidal thought
  • Psychomotor activity: retardation is frequent. Thinks walk and act slowly. Slowing of thought is reflected in-person speech, restlessness feeling of uneasy.
  • Somatic symptoms
    • Significant decrease in appetite or Weight.
    • Early morning awakening at least 2 hours or more before the time.
    • Diurnal variation with depression being worst in the morning.
    • Pervasive lack of interest.
    • Psychomotor agitation or retardation.

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