Depression, Stress & Anxiety

What Is Depression?

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a widespread and significant medical condition that has a negative impact on how you feel, think, and behave. It is also, thankfully, treatable. Depression produces unhappiness and/or a loss of interest in previously appreciated activities. It can cause a slew of mental and physical issues, as well as a reduction in your capacity to operate at work and at home.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
    Thoughts of death or suicide

For a diagnosis of depression, symptoms must endure at least two weeks and show a change in your previous level of functioning. Also, medical diseases (e.g., thyroid difficulties, a brain tumor, or vitamin deficiency) can resemble depressive symptoms, so it’s crucial to screen out any underlying medical issues.

How Is Depression Treated?

Psychotherapy, often known as “talk therapy,” is sometimes used alone to treat minor depression; however, it is frequently used in conjunction with antidepressant drugs to treat moderate to severe depression. In the treatment of depression, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to be beneficial. CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on fixing problems in the present. CBT teaches a person to notice distorted/negative thinking and to change their ideas and behaviors so that they can respond to situations in a more positive way.

Medication: An individual’s brain chemistry could play a role in their depression and treatment. Antidepressants may be provided as a result to aid in the modification of one’s brain chemistry. These aren’t sedatives, “uppers,” or tranquilizers. They don’t become a habit. Antidepressants have little effect on those who aren’t depressed.

American Psychiatric Association