Depression - Definition, Signs, Symptoms & Treatment Options

Depression - Definition, Symptoms & Treatment Options

Depression, also known as "Mood Disorder" is a mental condition characterized by the feelings of sadness, restlessness, loss of interest, stress & anger. Depression can mostly affect the people between the ages of 45 to 65, but in modern times, people of middle age are also at higher risk of having severe depression.

People suffering from depression not only experience a depressed mood but also lose their interest & hope in completing their daily tasks.

Feeling down sometimes is a normal thing. Feelings of sadness, restlessness, boredom & upsetting events happen to everyone, but when people experience these conditions on daily basis, they could be dealing with depression.

People can experience depression in many as well in different ways. It may interfere with their routine activities, resulting in loss of precious time, interest, hope & lower productivity. It may also affect one's relationships & may cause serious mental health conditions.

Some health conditions that can get worse due to stress & depression include, asthma, diabetes, cancer, obesity & anxiety.

The cause of depression in an individual could be anything, ranging from relationship to financial problems & beyond.

Depression is an ongoing illness or disorder, but not the passing one. It can last for months or years, however the severity of symptoms reduces with the time. According to experts, the symptoms of depression mostly last for about 14 days.

According to a survey conducted by World Health Organization (WHO), around 200 million Indians are suffering from severe depression, i.e. 1 in per 5q Indians. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world countries over 10 months back, followed by an unprecedented lockdown, stress or depression levels have been on rise, with 43% Indians suffering from moderate or severe depression, says new study.

So, how to overcome from depression? How this mood disorder can be cured? Before we head over to depression symptoms & its treatment, you might me interested in taking a free depression test.

Symptoms of Depression

Having already said that Depression is characterized by the feelings of sadness, restlessness, anger & stress, however it can be more than that.

Severe depression could result in a variety of negative effects on physical & mental well-being. It  may have more symptoms than what is expected. Some of them may affect your mental health while other may affect your physical well-being.

It should be noted that every individual going through depression may not have the same symptoms. It varies on the severity of this disorder. If you have mild depression, symptoms could also be mild, if moderate, symptoms may also be moderate & if severe, symptoms may also be more & severe.

Depression symptoms be ongoing or come & go or last for a long time. If you continuously experience a few of the following symptoms of depression for at least 2 weeks, you may be suffering from it.

Symptoms of depression include :

  • Feeling sad or having depressed mood
  • Showing lack of interest in daily works & activities
  • Loss of Sexual desire during the period
  • Coming of suicidal thoughts in mind
  • Lack of energy for work
  • Feeling restless, angry & worthless
  • Showing Ill-behavior towards family members or friends
  • Can't sleep or sleeping more often 
  • Feeling guilty for something, either done or not
  • Lack of concentration, consciousness
  • Headaches & other mental problems
  • Weight loss or gain within little time
  • Avoidance of eye contact with family members, relatives or loved one's
  • Feeling anxious or empty
  • Hopeless & pessimistic feelings
  • Talking or moving slowly
  • Staying in home for long time without feeling uncomfortable
  • Getting bored with something or while talking to someone
  • Digestive problems, pimples or pains
  • Irritability and crying often

The symptoms of Depression could be different in Teens, Adults, Males & Females and may last for a short or a long time period on the basis of severity.

Treatment for Depression

Depression can be cured successfully as there are a lot of treatment options available for it. You may successfully recover yourself from the symptoms of depression by only one form of treatment but if you are going through severe depression, then a combination of treatments will work best for you.

Here is the list of treatment options available, to overcome from depression :

1. Medications : Doctors may prescribe you some anti-depressant, anti-anxiety & antipsychotic drugs.

Medications for the treatment of mild, moderate or severe depression include : Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants, Noradrenaline and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), N-methyl D-aspartate antagonists & Monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

2. Psychotherapy : Talking with a specialist may help you to learn the skills & cope with your negative feelings, which in turn may help you to overcome from depression.

3. Light therapy : Exposure to the doses of white light could be helpful in reducing the symptoms of depression.

4. Herbal Supplements : Some herbal supplements (Such as St. John’s wort, SAMe, and fish oil) are also effective in reducing the symptoms of depression.

5. Avoiding Alcohol : Avoiding alcohol & drugs may also help you to cope with the symptoms of moderate depression.

6. Exercise : Physical Exercise for about 30 minutes daily, could be also helpful in improving your mood & reducing the severity of depression symptoms.