Diagnosing Depression: A Brief Overview
In this contemporary era, many people find themselves struggling with depression. However, obtaining basic information regarding the nature of the disease as well as treatment options can empower individuals to begin leading healthier lives. With this idea in mind, consider the following informational outline:
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mental disorder that involves experiencing profound, prolonged feelings of sadness. The DSM-5 states that depression occurs when an individual manifests at least five of these symptoms simultaneously:
- Feelings of depression for the majority of the day, especially morning
- Feelings of guilt almost every day
- Experiencing fatigue almost every day
- Impaired concentration
- Ongoing hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Disinterest in activities
- Feelings of restlessness
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
Depression: Identifying The Signs And Symptoms
There are a wide range of symptoms associated with depression. Some of them include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Inability to make decisions
- Decreased energy
- Feelings of helplessness and worthlessness
- Excessive sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Persistent aches and pains, cramps, digestive problems, or headaches that are not responsive to treatment
- Ongoing feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
- Suicidal thoughts
Who’s At Risk For Depression?
There are a variety of factors that increase an individual’s susceptibility to depression. Some of them include:
People within the 45-65 age bracket are most likely to experience depression.
2. Economics And Education.
Individuals who are less educated, less economically stable, and have less insurance are more susceptible to meeting criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD.)
3. Marital Status.
A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that marriage lowers susceptibility to depression for both women and men. Research also indicates that divorce makes an individual more susceptible to depression.
4. Family History.
Studies indicate a correlation between a family’s history of depression and the individual’s susceptibility to the condition. For example, individuals who have a twin with major depressive disorder (MDD) are 50% more likely to develop the condition. Additionally, individuals with a parent who had depression are 25% more susceptible to acquiring the disease.
Depression: Diagnosis And Treatment
Although depression can be a debilitating condition to live with, treatment options are available. The first step towards finding the ideal solution for the condition is diagnosis. Traditionally, people obtain diagnosis by visiting a doctor. Once the doctor diagnoses an individual with depression, there are several natural and synthetic treatment methods that can be sought. Some of the natural treatment methods include regular exercise, massage therapy, and juice cleansing. Synthetic treatment formats include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs).
The treatment format prescribed by the doctor will be contingent upon numerous factors, including but not limited to the severity of the condition.
Depression is a serious disease that affects millions of people across the globe. Despite the life-hampering effects that the condition can have on an individual’s life, it is important to note that solutions exist. If you think that you may be struggling with depression, be sure to consult with a trained medical professional for diagnosis and treatment.