DEPRESSION

Description

  • Causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest
  • It is a real illness with real symptoms
  • Can be treated with right treatment and support

Symptoms

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Continuous low mood or sadness
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Having low self-esteem
  • Feeling tearful
  • Feeling guilt-ridden
  • Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • Having no motivation or interest in things
  • Finding it difficult to make decisions
  • Not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • Feeling anxious or worried
  • Having suicidal thoughts

Physical Symptoms:

  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Lack of energy
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Constipation
  • Changes to the menstrual cycle

Social Symptoms:

  • Not doing well at work
  • Avoiding contact with friends
  • Neglecting hobbies and interests
  • Having difficulties at home and in family life

Causes

  • Biological differences
  • Brain chemistry
  • Hormones
  • Inherited traits
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Stressful life events
  • Social isolation
  • Loneliness

Risk Factors

  • Low self-esteem and being too dependent
  • Traumatic or stressful events
  • Childhood trauma
  • History of other mental health disorders
  • Serious or chronic illness
  • Abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Some high blood pressure medications or sleeping pills

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical examination
  • Lab tests
  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Using criteria listed in DSM-5

Treatment

Medications:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)
  • Atypical antidepressants
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Other treatment options:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

Medications

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Aplenzin, Forfivo XL)
  • Trazodone and mirtazapine (Remeron)
  • Vortioxetine (Brintellix)
  • Vilazodone (Viibryd)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Selegiline (Emsam)

Prevention

  • Take steps to control stress
  • Reach out to family and friends, especially in times of crisis
  • Get treatment at the earliest sign of a problem
  • Consider getting long-term maintenance treatment

Lifestyle Management

  • Stick to the treatment plan
  • Learn about depression
  • Pay attention to warning signs
  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs
  • Look at life with a positive attitude
  • Eat healthy and exercise daily