By The BroglieBox Team
5 min read
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Depression symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis. These symptoms 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., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Before a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and possibly a physical examination. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem (which is why official diagnosis by a physician is critical). The evaluation is to identify specific symptoms, medical and family history, cultural factors and environmental factors to arrive at a diagnosis and plan a course of action.
Some treatment options can include but are not limited to:
– Self help and coping strategies
– Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
– Self Help
Depression is a real illness and help is available. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the vast majority of people with depression will overcome it. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, a first step is to see your family physician or psychiatrist. Talk about your concerns and request a thorough evaluation. This is a start to addressing mental health needs.
Related Conditions include:
– Peripartum/postpartum depression
– Persistent depressive disorder (previously known as dythymia)
– Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
– Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
– Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
– Bipolar disorders
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Fifth edition. 2013.
National Institute of Mental Health. (Data from 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.)
Kessler, RC, et al. Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62(6):593602.
At this time, we can recommend the below resources:
Talk Space or Better Help (Online/Virtual Therapy)
The Buddy Project (For loneliness and peer support)
Crisis Text Line (For Depression and Self Harm)
Suicide Prevention Hotline (For Self Harm and Suicide Prevention)