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How To Manage Depression - Health - Nairaland

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How To Manage Depression by franks123(m): 6:09pm On Jul 18, 2016
1. The word 'depression' causes much confusion. It is often used to describe when someone is feeling 'low', 'miserable', 'in a mood', or having 'got out of bed on the wrong side'.

2. However, doctors use the word in two different ways. They can use it to describe the symptom of a 'low mood', or to refer to a specific illness, i.e a 'depressive illness'. This factsheet relates to depression, the illness.

3. This confusion is made all the worse because it is often difficult to tell the difference between feeling gloomy and having a depressive illness. Doctors make a diagnosis of depression after assessing the severity of the low mood, other associated symptoms and the duration of the problem.

4. Depression is very common. Almost anybody can develop the illness; it is certainly NOT a sign of weakness.

5. Depression is also treatable. You may need to see a doctor, but there are things you can do yourself or things you can do to help somebody suffering from the illness. What you cannot do is 'PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER' - no matter whether this is what you think you should be able to do, or what other people tell you to do.

6. People who have experienced an episode of depression are at risk of developing another in the future. A small proportion may experience an episode of depression as part of a bipolar affective disorder (manic depression) that is characterised by episodes of both low and high moods.

Nevertheless, depression is a state whereby someones mood is low and averted from normal activities which can affect the person's thoughts, feelings, behaviour and sense of well being.

Types of treatment
1. Psychotherapy: There are many different forms of psychotherapy. Simply talking to somebody or your doctor about your problems is a form of psychotherapy and can help greatly.
2. Medication: Antidepressant medication helps to correct the 'low' mood and other symptoms experienced during depression; they are NOT 'happy pills'. Antidepressants do not change your personality. Antidepressants are NOT addictive.

Who gets depressed?

Depression is very common.

Between 5 and 10 per cent of the population are suffering from the illness to some extent at any one time.

Over a lifetime you have a 20 per cent, or one in five, chance of having an episode of depression.

Women are twice as likely to get depression as men.

Getting depression is not a sign of weakness. There are no particular 'personality types' that are more at risk than others. However, some risk factors have been identified; these include inherited (genetic) factors, such as having parents or grandparents who have suffered from depression and non-genetic factors such as the death of a parent when you were young.

What causes depression?

We do not fully understand the causes of depression.

Genes or early life experiences may make some people vulnerable.

Stressful life events, such as losing a job or a relationship ending, may trigger an episode of depression.

Depression can be triggered by some physical illnesses, drug treatments and recreational drugs.

It is often impossible to identify a 'cause' in many people and this can be distressing for people who want to understand the reasons why they are ill.However depression, like any illness, can strike for no apparent reason.

It is clear that there are definite changes in the way the brain works when a person is depressed: Modern brain scans that can look at how 'hard' the brain is working have shown that some areas of the brain (such as at the front) are not working as well as normal. Depressed patients have higher than normal levels of stress hormones.

Symptoms of depression

source: For more information

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