Many have regarded it as a disease. Its subliminal effect runs through the very veins of man. The word depression, aliased Major Depressive Disorder is a medical condition (mostly a disorder) accompanied by sad and anxious feelings in which the depressed party losses interest in activities; sleep, appetite etc, thereby, causing impairments in his day to day life. Depression runs through all ages. It was initially referred to as ‘melancholia’. It not only affects the lifestyle of people but also the mind and body; the way they talk, think, feel and even act. Depression as opposed to the conventional ‘mood swing’ might go on for as long as months, even years in some cases. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks.
Cause of depression varies in various patients. Little wonder Stephen Fry said: ‘‘depression isn’t a straight forward response on a bad situation. Depression just is like the weather’’. Stress, bullying, broken relationships, unemployment, rejection, amongst others are the factors responsible for depression.
Symptoms of Depressed Patients:
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Loss of appetite
- Increased Fatigue
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Social Isolation
- Slowness in activity
- Lack of Concentration.
Depression, being a disorder has been typologically classified into major depressions, Psychotic depression, antenatal and post natal depression, bipolar disorder, cyclothymic disorder and dysthmic disorder.
Major Depressive Disorder Treatment
Treatment for depression has been typified into: Psychotherapy, Hospitalization, Medications, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Self Help.
This is also known as talk therapy or psychological therapy. This basically means treating depression by talking about your condition with a mental health professional. There are various types of therapy, but the three most common are:
- Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Some medical professionals use a combined approach of all these methods.
Basically, psychotherapy helps depressed patients to get to the root of the cause of their depression and deal with it, develop a better way of tolerating situations and become a better problem solver, make more passionate decisions, learn how to bulk stress and how to cope with situations.
Personal actions can be taken to treat depression. These methods include;
Exercise: regular exercise helps to boost some chemicals which triggers growth of new brain cells like antidotes.
Social Support: This helps to reduce isolation. Staying amidst friends lifts the spirit and prevents the depressed party from dwelling on unhealthy thoughts.
Nutrition: a balanced meal improves the physical and mental health. It also helps to keep energy up and maximize mood swings
Sleep: Sleep has a way of having a strong effect on the mood when the body is being deprived of it. Sufficient amount of sleep however makes the body more bright and active.
Medication is actually the most pronounced way of treating depression. This however does not mean it is the most effective. This entails the use of anti depressants. It might eradicate some of the symptoms but the root of it might not be dealt with unlike psychotherapy where you can talk about it and get to the root of it all. Anti depressants also have side effects and in worse cases cause addictions.
In more serious cases, there might be the need to stay in the hospital especially where personal care fails. Some depressed victim results to cutting themselves. This can be curtailed through getting them to seek psychiatric treatments in the hospital.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
This basically deals with sending electric currents through the brain to impact the neurotransmitters in the brain and help to relieve depression. ECT is used for people who do not get better with medications.