While depression is a serious medical condition, it is highly treatable. Approximately 80% to 90% of patients respond to treatment and gain relief from symptoms. However, before a treatment program can begin, a health professional must first perform a thorough evaluation. This may include a physical examination and an interview with the patient. Blood tests may also be performed to rule out medical causes of depression, which would alleviate depression-like symptoms. A health professional’s evaluation will also include an exploration of specific symptoms of depression and other factors, such as medical history, cultural background, and environment.
Psychotherapy is a treatment option for depression that may be combined with medication. It is often more effective when taken early in the course of the illness, when symptoms first begin to appear. In addition, psychotherapy may help prevent or reduce symptoms by working with the person’s brain and underlying issues. It is important to note that no two individuals experience depression in the same way. While the initial treatment may take a few weeks, significant improvement is usually noticed within ten to fifteen sessions.
A family history of depression may increase the risk of developing depression. Depression runs in families, but there is no single gene that increases the risk. Personality traits, lifestyle choices, and coping abilities all impact the risk of developing depression. People with low self-esteem and personality traits are more likely to be depressed than people with positive traits. In addition to genetics, anxiety can play a role in developing depression. However, it is difficult to pinpoint which of these factors is at the root of depression.
Preventative measures may be necessary to reduce the risk of developing depression. A number of community-based prevention programmes include school-based interventions that promote positive coping among children and adolescents. Other interventions focus on enhancing resilience, building self-esteem, and connecting with family and friends. Depending on the type of depression a person experiences, they may be eligible for social security disability insurance benefits. In some cases, depression may be a result of a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, or a divorce. The effects of depression can be severe, but with early treatment, it can be treated and prevented, and long-term maintenance therapy can help the individual stay stable.
The symptoms of depression can vary from mild to severe. Those who are depressed often experience a constant feeling of sadness or hopelessness, while those who experience mild depression may have occasional episodes of crying spells or have trouble waking up. People who suffer from depression may also experience changes in appetite and energy levels. Some even experience thoughts of death. Treatment for depression can involve psychotherapy or prescription medication. For major depression, however, it is essential to consult a health professional.
Often, symptoms of depression in older adults are misdiagnosed as other disorders. The most common symptoms of depression in older adults are sleep disturbances, low motivation, and a fixation on death. Depression can even be a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the symptoms of depression often mimic those of other medical conditions, and an older person may simply assume that it is an inevitable part of aging. So, when looking for signs of depression in an older adult, it is best to consult a health care professional.