Depression

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Overview

Depression is a mood-related disorder that causes a consistent feeling of sadness and decreased interest. Also called as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects the way you feel, reflect, and act, and can cause a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.

Causes

The precise cause of depression is unknown, but some of the following factors have a role in the development of depression:

Symptoms

This mental health condition is usually diagnosed when a patient has 4-6 of the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Decrease in attention or interest in most or all usual activities, such as hobbies, sex, or sports
  • Sleep disorders, including sleeplessness or sleeping more than usual
  • Fatigue and lack of energy, so even minor tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unexplained physical issues, such as back pain or headaches

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of depression is made on the basis of psychiatric evaluation of the patient.

Treatment

Following are some of the medicine groups used in the treatment of depression:

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Atypical antidepressants
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