Depression is a disease that manifests itself over an extended period of low mood, decreased energy and activity, and loss of interest in all activities, even those that used to be enjoyable. Symptoms may also include weight gain or loss associated with increased or lack of appetite, sleep problems or excessive sleepiness, constant fatigue, concentration problems, decreased self-esteem, sense of meaninglessness in life and the world, indifference, decreased libido, isolation and the loss of relationships with loved ones, thoughts of death and suicide.
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Sources of the disease
Depression can come from many different sources, both external and internal. The factors causing the disease include:
- biological causes related to the malfunctioning of the central nervous system,
- genetic causes, namely the presence of this disorder in previous generations in the family,
- psychological reasons, i.e. having a predisposition to falling ill, such as: hypersensitivity, inability to cope with difficult situations, a tendency to remember negative events from the past,
- social reasons, which include unemployment, difficult financial situation,
- external causes – a childhood event, a difficult experience, especially the loss of a loved one.
- Past diseases may also affect the development of the disease, e.g. coronary artery disease, diabetes, post-stroke condition, neoplastic disease, and hypothyroidism. Depression often manifests itself at certain stages of life as well. for example, after childbirth or during the menopause.
Types of depression
Making a clear typology and drawing clear boundaries between the different types of depression is a matter that presents some difficulties. However, it is difficult to do without classification, so for the purposes of this article it is worth mentioning the most important and most frequently mentioned varieties in individual scientific studies, namely reactive, endogenous, postpartum and seasonal depression.
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Endogenous depression, also known as clinical, severe or proper, has its source in internal factors, and more precisely in disturbances in the functioning of the brain, although the stimulus that activates it may also be a traumatic external factor. It causes both deep mental disorders (feeling guilty for all the evil in the world, suicidal thoughts and the tendency to implement them) and physical disorders (a person does not have the strength to perform the simplest activities), and therefore requires absolute psychiatric pharmacological treatment, and in extreme cases also clinical treatment. .
Reactive depression is a disorder that is a reaction to a specific life event, e.g. the death of a family member or parting with your fiancé. Its duration is usually shorter than that of typical clinical depression and its course is milder. Psychotherapy and family support play an important role in this type of disease. We talk about postpartum depression when mental and physical fatigue, which accompanies almost every woman even up to six weeks after giving birth to a baby, begins to dangerously elongate and becomes ill.
Postpartum depression is accompanied by constant sadness, physical exhaustion that makes it difficult or even impossible to perform daily household chores and look after the baby and yourself, frequent crying for no reason, and panic and anxiety attacks.
Seasonal depression is a disorder that appears in the fall and winter season and is most likely caused by a lack of sunlight. Its symptoms include depression, lack of energy, irritability, drowsiness, concentration problems, and a sense of hopelessness.
Depending on the type of depression, the doctor selects the most appropriate and effective form of therapy for the patient. In the case of clinical depression, antidepressants (thymoleptics) are best suited to improving synaptic conductivity by increasing the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain. Drug treatment lasts at least six months and is very often supported by psychotherapy. Phototherapy or sleep are also used to treat depression.