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According to medical Dictionary
"a mental state or chronic mental disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, loneliness, despair, low self-esteem, and self-reproach; accompanying signs include psychomotor retardation (or less frequently agitation), withdrawal from social contact, and vegetative states such as loss of appetite and insomnia." What are the different forms of depression? There are several forms of depression (depressive disorders). Major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder are the most common.
• Major depressive disorder (major depression) Major depressive disorder is also known as major depression. The patient suffers from a combination of symptoms that undermine his ability to sleep, study, work, eat, and enjoy activities he used to find pleasurable. Experts say that major depressive disorder can be very disabling, preventing the patient from functioning normally. Some people experience only one episode, while others have recurrences. • Dysthymic disorder (dysthymia) Dysthymic disorder is also known as dysthymia, or mild chronic depression. The patient will suffer symptoms for a long time, perhaps as long as a couple of years, and often longer. However, the symptoms are not as severe as in major depression, and the patient is not disabled by it. However, he may find it hard to function normally and feel well. Some people experience only one episode during their lifetime, while others may have recurrences. A person with dysthymia might also experience major depression, once, twice, or more often during his lifetime. Dysthymia can sometimes come with other symptoms. When they do, it is possible that other forms of depression are diagnosed.
• Psychotic depression When severe depressive illness includes hallucinations, delusions, and/or withdrawing from reality, the patient may be diagnosed with psychotic depression. • Postpartum depression (postnatal depression) Ads by Google Heal Depression Online - Practical Love & Self-Care Skills $59. Guaranteed Results. Free Trial - Schizophrenia - Unique Mental Health Care Treatment Hope for Mental Health Issues – Hope and Healing from BPD - A unique and insightful prespective on Borderline Personality Disorder - Postpartum depression is also known as postnatal depression or PND. This is not to be confused with 'baby blues' which a mother may feel for a very short period after giving birth. If a mother develops a major depressive episode within a few weeks of giving birth it is most likely she has developed PND. Experts believe that about 10% to 15% of all women experience PND after giving birth. Sadly, many of them go undiagnosed and suffer for long periods without treatment and support. • SAD (seasonal affective disorder) SAD is much more common the further from the equator you go. In countries far from the equator the end of summer means the beginning of less sunlight and more dark hours. A person who develops a depressive illness during the winter months might have SAD. The symptoms go away during spring and/or summer. In Scandinavia, where winter can be very dark for many months, patients commonly undergo light therapy - they sit in front of a special light. Light therapy works for about half of all SAD patients. In addition to light therapy, some people may need antidepressants, psychotherapy, or both. Light therapy is becoming more popular in other northern countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom.
• Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness. It used to be known as manic depression. It is not as common as major depression or dysthymia. A patient with bipolar disorder experiences moments of extreme highs and extreme lows. These extremes are known as manias. What are the signs and symptoms of depression? Depression is not uniform. Signs and symptoms may be experienced by some sufferers and not by others. How severe the symptoms are, and how long they last depends on the individual person and his illness. Below is a list of the most common symptoms: • A constant feeling of sadness, anxiety, and emptiness • A general feeling of pessimism sets in (the glass is always half empty) • The person feels hopeless • Individuals can feel restless • The sufferer may experience irritability • Patients may lose interest in activities or hobbies they once enjoyed • He/she may lose interest in sex • Levels of energy feel lower, fatigue sets in • Many people with a depressive illness find it hard to concentrate, remember details, and make decisions • Sleep patterns are disturbed - the person may sleep too little or too much • Eating habits may change - he/she may either eat too much or have no appetite •
Suicidal thoughts may occur - some may act on those thoughts • The sufferer may complain more of aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems. These problems do not get better with treatment. More information on the symptoms of depression is available in our article What Are The Symptoms Of Depression?. Some illnesses accompany, precede, or cause depression Anxiety disorders, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder often accompany depression. People who are dependent on alcohol or narcotics have a significantly higher chance of also having depression. Depression is much more common for people who suffer from HIV/AIDS, heart disease, stroke cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and many other illnesses. According to studies, if a person has depression as well as another serious illness he is more likely to have severe symptoms, and will find it harder to adapt to his medical condition. Studies have also shown that if these people have their depression treated the symptoms of their co-occurring illness improve. Dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) - scientists from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, found that elderly patients with depression were more likely to develop dementia and MCI. They reported their findings in Archives of Neurology (January 2013 issue). After gathering and examining data on a group of Medicare recipients in America, the researchers found that a significant proportion of seniors with MCI had depressive symptoms. Depression and discrimination 79% of people who have been diagnosed with depression say they have experienced discrimination because of their mental disorder. Most previous investigations have linked depression as a consequence of discrimination. This study, carried out by researchers from King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, England, and reported in The Lancet in October 2012, found that it can occur the other way round; people may be discriminated because they have depression. Lead researcher Professor Graham Thornicroft said: "Previous work in this area has tended to focus on public attitudes towards stigma based on questions about hypothetical situations, but ours is the first study to investigate the actual experiences of discrimination in a large, global sample of people with depression. Our findings show that discrimination related to depression is widespread, and almost certainly acts as a barrier to an active social life and having a fair chance to get and keep a job for people with depression." What causes depression? We are still not sure what causes depression. Experts say depression is caused by a combination of factors, such as the person's genes, his biochemical environment, his personal experience and psychological factors. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) has shown that the brain of a person with depression looks different, compared to the brain of a person who has never had depression. The areas of the brain that deal with thinking, sleep, mood, appetite and behavior do not appear to function normally. There are also indications that neurotransmitters appear to be out of balance. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that our brain cells use to communicate. However, imaging technology has not revealed why the depression happened. We know that if there is depression in the family a person's chances of developing depression are higher. This suggests there is a genetic link. According to geneticists, depression risk is influenced by multiple genes acting together with environmental and others factors. An awful experience can trigger a depressive illness. For example, the loss of a family member, a difficult relationship, physical sexual abuse.
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