Major Depression

depression

Major Depression is a serious disorder that afflicts the human psyche in such a way that the afflicted tend to act and react abnormally toward others and themselves.  It has approximately affected billions of people in the world each year. Depression is strongly linked with suicide. Such suicide rate is now responsible for more deaths than cardiovascular diseases or cancer. Depression is often described as an exaggeration of the duration and intensity of normal mood changes. 

Depression is not only common in adults; it is also seen in teenagers as well. In them it is due to low self esteem stemming from increased emphasis on peer popularity. It may also arise due to poor family relations.

Etiology

Depression is thought to be caused by disruption in the normal levels of certain important neurotransmitters. It is said that the normal levels of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin are important for our mood control and changes. They maintain our mood being normal and happy. Depression is due to a deficiency of these monoamines, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine at certain key sites in the brain. Some other causes include any lesion in hippocampus area which is important area for mood and memory, over activity of hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis, excess secretion of various hormones like cortisol, estrogens etc

 The decrease in level of these important monoamines occur due to variety of reasons such as alcohol and drug abuse, stressful life, events and continuous tensions, poverty, emotional and sexual abuse, due to some diseases like  thyroid diseases, neoplaisa or  due to chronic diseases. The number of hypnotics drugs usage for prolong period of time lead to depression

Signs and Symptoms

The important symptoms of major depression are intense feelings of sadness, gloomy thoughts hopelessness and despair as well as inability to experience pleasure in unusual activities, changes in sleep pattern, appetite loss, suicidal thoughts, constant boredom, peer problems, increase aggression and loss of energy.

Diagnosis

The best way to diagnose is to screen out the vulnerable group of people for the risk of suicide and then refer them for treatment. Some of the risk factors on the basis of diagnosis of depression are made include verbal signs of suicide within the last three months, prior attempts at suicide, indication of severe mood problems or excessive alcohol and substance uses.

Treatment*

The treatment is based on two main avenues; psychotherapy and medication.

The mild cases can be easily treated with the help of psychotherapy sessions which is via intense listening, advice and encouragement.

For the more severe cases of depression, especially those having constant depressive symptoms, medication may be necessary as without pharmaceutical treatment, this condition can further aggravate, escalate and become fetal. The medicines useful for treating this disease are

  • Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors: In this group important and good drugs are fluoxetine, citalopram and fluvoxamine.
  • Serotonin/norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors
  • Atypical antidepressants such as bupropion and mirtazapine.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, impipramine.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

These all drugs result in increase levels of norephinephrine and serotonin in the brain which then provide relief from depression. With the help of family, counselors and mental health professionals, a person can get rid of the depressive symptoms and can be able to fully enjoy his life.

Related posts:

Brain recovery & cells regeneration
There is a belief lasted for years that brain cells which had atrophied for one reason or another can not be replaced and one of the most important r...
Movement Disorders
“Movement disorders are disorders due to neurological pathology affecting the fine muscular movements of the body and interfere with their ...
Memory Loss
We see that one person who was fit, got an accident and loosed his previous memory. Then we see people who are apparently well but showing progressi...
Learning And Concentration Difficulties
Who doesn’t want to activate the brain power to its maximum potential? Who doesn’t aim for the clarity of the mind? Who doesn&am...
Dysthymia
Dysthymia is one of the mood disorders characterized by depression which is of old duration but less severe in intensity than the major depression. ...
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
The childhood disintegrative disorder is a spectrum of developmental delay in the social aspect as well as in the motor skills. This disorder starts...