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Depression – What is It?
Depression is a serious mood disorder that can affect every part of your life. It is not a character flaw, but a chemical imbalance in your brain that needs treatment.
Depression can cause you to lose interest in things you used to enjoy, or to feel hopeless about your future. You may also have trouble sleeping, eating or feeling energetic.
Most people who have depression get better with treatment. This can include medicines, therapy, and other ways of treating your symptoms.
The best way to find out if you have depression is to talk with your doctor. He or she will ask questions and do a physical exam. They might also do lab work to check your hormone levels or other factors.
You may be asked about your family history of depression or other mental health conditions. Your doctor might also do a questionnaire to see what your thoughts and feelings are like.
There are many different types of depression, but the main one is called major depressive disorder. It is very common, and it can be hard to diagnose.
Early treatment is the key to getting well. It may involve a combination of medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.
Symptoms: The most common signs of depression are sadness, loss of energy or appetite, trouble sleeping, concentrating or making decisions, and thoughts of self-harm. The symptoms usually last more than two weeks and interfere with your daily activities and relationships.
The most common triggers for depression are stress, illness or the death of a loved one. Other factors, such as financial stress, isolation or problems with your health may set off depression too.
Seniors are more likely to be depressed than younger adults. This is because they have experienced more significant life changes in their older years, such as losing a spouse or caring for an aging parent.
If you’re a senior and you think that you might have depression, talk to your doctor. They can help you find a doctor who specializes in depression.
You can also go to a local senior center or church to find out about therapists who specialize in depression. Often, they can offer treatment on a sliding scale for people who need it.
Counseling: Psychotherapy (talk therapy) is the most effective form of depression treatment. A counselor helps you identify the causes of your problems and learn new skills for dealing with them. Sometimes all you need is a few sessions with a therapist, but some people need therapy for longer.
Your therapist will work with you to improve your mood and help you build healthy coping skills. This can help you get better and live a more fulfilling life.
If your depression is severe, your doctor might recommend electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which is a type of medication that sends a mild electrical current through the brain to treat your condition. ECT can be very effective in severe cases of depression that do not respond to other medications.