Depression is a common mental illness that affects people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is also one of the most treatable mental illnesses. In fact, treatment can help you reach remission.
Depression can be treated with a combination of therapy, medicines, and lifestyle changes. The severity of the symptoms can vary from person to person, but most sufferers find relief in a few weeks.
Depression is a brain disorder that causes extreme feelings of hopelessness and sadness. This feeling of despair is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are several factors that can contribute to depression, including genetics, stressful life events, and health conditions. If left untreated, the symptoms of depression can last months or even years. Some people who experience depression may end up harming themselves. Luckily, most treatments can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, making it easier to get better.
A health professional should conduct a thorough physical examination and mental health evaluation. They will explore your medical and family history, as well as the specific symptoms you are experiencing.
Depression is often linked to certain medical disorders, such as anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. You may have to undergo a blood test to rule out any possible cause of your depression. Other disorders that can trigger depression include an underactive thyroid or long-standing illnesses.
Your doctor will develop a treatment plan to help you manage the symptoms of your depression. Sometimes, the treatment will take a few weeks, but it can also take longer. Often, you will need to change your medications. Also, some people have problems with alcohol or drug use, and it is important to avoid these.
If you are depressed, you should seek treatment right away. Untreated depression can lead to self-harm and suicide. If you think that you are suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Or, if you are at home, you can contact your local hospital emergency department.
Medications can help reduce the symptoms of depression, but they can’t cure the disease completely. Antidepressants can provide some relief, but they will not eliminate your depression.
Some people also find that taking medication can cause the symptoms of depression. Therefore, it is important to talk with your health care provider before stopping any of your medications.
Many people with depression have a co-morbid anxiety disorder, substance abuse problem, or eating disorder. While these problems don’t directly cause depression, they can add to the symptoms and make it harder to treat.
Depressed individuals tend to feel irritable, sulky, and often have co-morbid anxiety. Treatment should focus on identifying stressors, reducing stress, and learning lifestyle habits that will promote a positive mood.
Some studies have found that some areas of the brain, such as the basal ganglia, are shrinking in people with depression. These structures are deep in the brain and may be involved in thinking, emotional processing, and memory.
Depression is often treated with medication, therapy, and a healthy diet. Getting support from friends and family can also be helpful.