Categories: disorders

Depression: Symptoms, Risk factors, Causes and Treatment


Depression is a foremost depressive condition. It is a common and serious medical disease that negatively affects how the person feels, the way he thinks and how he acts. Luckily it can also treatable.

Depression is characterized by feelings of sadness, loss of interest in daily life activities, emotional stress and physical problems. It can lead to the decreased ability of the person to work and perform daily life tasks.


Depression symptoms can differ from minor to severe. The major depression can cause a diversity of symptoms. Some symptoms may affect your mood while others may affect your body. The symptoms may also be constant, may come and go.

  • The feeling of constant sadness (feeling blue).
  • Having a depressed mood.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in daily life activities.
  • Changes in diet (weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting).
  • Sleeping disturbances (sleeping too much).
  • Loss of liveliness.
  • Increased fatigue.
  • Increase in useless physical activity.
  • Feeling valueless or embarrassed.
  • Difficulty thinking, focusing or making choices.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Irritability, headache, and digestive problems.
  • Anger, mood swings and crying.

It is significant to understand that feeling depressed at times is a common part of life. The sadness and upset conditions occur to one and all. But if the person is feeling depress and downhearted on a consistent basis then the person could be dealing with the depression. This disease is deliberated as a severe therapeutic illness that can get complicated without the appropriate treatment. Those people who get the treatment will see the signs of progress in symptoms in just a small number of weeks.

Types of depression

There are mainly nine types of depression named

  1. Major depression
  2. Persistent depression
  3. Manic depression, or Bipolar disorder
  4. Depressive psychosis
  5. Perinatal depression
  6. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  7. Seasonal depression
  8. Situational depression
  9. Atypical depression

Major depression

Also called a major depressive or classic disorder. This is a severe form of long term type depression characterized by unhappiness, pessimism, misery, difficulty sleeping, inadequate energy, fatigue, overreaction, severe pains, lack of interest, memory problems, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide. These symptoms can last weeks or even months.

Persistent depression

This type remains for two years or more. Also known as dysthymia or chronic depression. Persistent depression might not be strong as major depression but it can still make everyday responsibilities problematic.

This disease is characterized by deep sadness, low self-esteem, absence of interest, appetite variations, changes to sleep outlines, low energy, attentiveness and memory difficulties, and social withdrawal.

Manic depression, or Bipolar disorder

In mania or hypomania, the person may feel very happy and alternating with episodes of depression. In order to be identified with bipolar I complain, you have to understand an episode of mania that continues for seven days or less than seven, if hospitalization is obligatory. The person may also experience a depressive episode before or following the manic episode.

Depressive psychosis

Some persons with major depression may also experience the periods of losing touch with reality. This is known as psychosis and it can involve deliriums and illusions. The experiencing of these two symptoms together is known clinically as the major depressive condition with psychotic features. On the other hand, some healthcare professionals still refer to this sensation as depressive psychosis or psychotic depression. Hallucinations occur when a person can see, hear, smell, taste, or feel things that are not real.

Perinatal depression

This is also known as the major depressive disorder occurring during the pregnancy or after childbirth. It is frequently called postpartum depression but this term only relates to depression after giving childbirth. Perinatal depression can occur while pregnancy. The hormonal variations that occur during the pregnancy and childbirth can produce changes in the brain that lead to the mood fluctuates.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe type of premenstrual syndrome. These psychological symptoms are more severe. Around all women may feel more emotional and depressed in the days leading up to their period.

Seasonal depression

This is also called seasonal affective disorder and major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern. This is related to certain seasons. For most people, it tends to happen during the winter months.

Situational depression

This is called adjustment disorder with an extremely depressed mood and it looks like the major depression in many respects. It is related to the specific events such as the death of a precious one, a serious illness, life-threatening event, going through a divorce, being in the emotionally or physically abusive relations, being jobless and facing serious economic problems.

Atypical depression

Atypical depression states the condition that is in the first instance goes away in response to the progressive events. The doctor may refer to it as a major depressive disorder with atypical features. This is not unusual or rare. It also doesn’t mean that it is more or less severe than other types.

Risk Factors

This disease can disturb anybody. Even a person who is living in moderately perfect environments. There are multiple reasons that can play a role in this disease.


Alterations in definite chemicals of the human brain can cause signs of this disease.


The disease can run in relations. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the disease in life.


People with low self-confidence, who are simply overcome by stress, or who are generally negative appear to be more likely to have the disease.

Environmental reasons

The constant experience of violence, negligence, cruelty or scarcity may make some people more susceptible to the disease.

Disorders that can get worse due to this severe disease are

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Diagnosis of depression

There is not a single test to diagnose the disease but the healthcare professionals can do the diagnosis on the basis of the symptoms and a psychological assessment. In most of the cases, they will ask questions about your moods, appetite, sleep pattern, daily life activities, different thoughts, and behavior.

The blood test and physical examination can be done in order to find other health issues because this disease can be interlinked with other health problems. The thyroid issues and vitamin D deficiency may aggravate the signs and symptoms of the disease.


If the disease is not treated properly or left untreated, complications can consist of

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Physical pain
  • Panic attacks
  • Relationship problems
  • Social isolation
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Self-harm

How Is Depression Treated?

This disease is amongst the most treatable of all the mental complaints because 80 percent to 90 percent of the people with the disease ultimately respond well to the treatment. Nearly all the patients have some relief from the symptoms.

The healthcare professional should carry out a thorough diagnostic evaluation of the patient which includes the interview and physical examination.


The antidepressants are prescribed to treat the symptoms of the disease. These antidepressant medicines are not sedatives and tranquilizers. Generally, the antidepressant medications have no motivating effect on the people not having the disease.

Antidepressants show improvement within the first week. If the patient feels slight improvement after many weeks, then the psychiatrist can change the dose of the medication and may add/substitute additional antidepressants.


Psychotherapy is also called a “talk therapy,” which is at times used alone for the treatment of mild, moderate and severe depression. The psychotherapy is often used in combination with the other antidepressant medications. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is found to be very active in treating the symptoms of the disease.

The psychotherapy involves the patients and other people. The treatment depends on the severity of the disease. It may take several sessions up to 10-15.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

It is a healing treatment. The most commonly used for patients with severe major depression and bipolar disorder, those who have not reacted to the other treatments. It involves transitory electrical promptness of the brain although the patient is under anesthesia. A patient typically receives ECT two to three times a week for treatments.


By doing regular exercise, quality sleep, a healthy diet, conversation with friends or family, avoid alcohol and good company may help to create an optimistic feeling and also improve the mood.

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