We can all experience emotions like anger, sadness or joy. Usually we feel that we control our emotions and we are able to manage them on a daily basis.
A person with depression experiences negative emotions more intensely and for longer than most people. She has more difficulty controlling her emotions and may have the impression that her life is limited to constant suffering. This makes it difficult for the individual to fulfill his professional, family and social obligations.
Different forms of depression
Depression manifests itself in different forms:
Major depression: symptoms of depression that significantly affect a person’s general functioning for at least 2 weeks.
Bipolar Affective Disease.
Seasonal depression: the presence of symptoms of depression that always occur at the same time each year. In many people, these symptoms usually appear at the onset of winter.
Postnatal depression: the presence of symptoms of depression in a woman, usually during the 6 months following her delivery.
The person with depression experiences several physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms are present most of the time, for at least 2 weeks.
Here are the most frequent physical symptoms of depression:
Lack of energy or great agitation;
Sleep problems: the person sleeps too much or not enough;
Decreased or increased appetite, which may cause loss or weight gain;
Loss or loss of sexual interest;
Onset of discomforts such as headaches, back or stomach pain.
The most frequent psychological symptoms in the person with depression are:
A great sadness. For example, the person often cries;
A very significant loss of interest in professional, social and family activities;
A feeling of guilt or failure;
Difficulty concentrating on a task;
Difficulty in making decisions;
When to consult
Do not wait no longer to be able to do your usual activities to consult. If you have symptoms, you can consult some mental health organizations and associations. They offer information, help and support. See the Help and Resources section for resources.
See your family doctor or another health professional if you are suffering to the point where:
Your symptoms prevent you from functioning normally;
You have difficulty assuming your social, professional or family responsibilities.
A health care professional will be able to assess whether you are depressed or have another health problem with similar symptoms. In order to properly assess you, you may need to take stock of your physical condition or prescribe laboratory tests. He will propose a treatment plan adapted to your needs.
If you think about suicide and fear for your safety or that of the people around you, check out the Preventing Suicide page. You will find more information on the help and resources available.
Depression is a disease that is treated with recognized treatments. These allow those affected to regain control over their daily lives and activities. The earlier the person is consulted, the sooner it will recover.
In the majority of cases, depression is effectively treated with psychotherapy, antidepressant drugs or a combination of these two treatments.
Experts generally recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat depression. This psychotherapy aims at changing the person’s thoughts and problematic behaviors and replacing them with thoughts and reactions appropriate to reality. It also helps the person to develop strategies to regain his balance.
Other therapies may also be appropriate to the individual’s needs.
Medications for depression
Antidepressants are drugs that restore the brain’s chemical balance. They decrease the intensity of physical symptoms and act on:
Recommendations for medication use
If your doctor prescribes medications, it is important that you take them by carefully following the directions provided.
You will also need to be patient before getting results. It may take some time, sometimes up to 4 to 8 weeks, before the medication produces its maximum effect.
Even if you feel better, you should continue to take your medications as they were prescribed to prevent your symptoms from appearing again.
If you have any unwanted side effects from medication, consult your doctor as soon as possible to discuss it. It could adjust your medication or recommend another medication.
People with depression may be more likely to have other problems such as:
Addiction to alcohol or drugs;
Protection and prevention
Depression can not always be prevented. However, if you have symptoms associated with depression, you can take action today. Tips for maintaining good mental health will help you change lifestyle habits. These changes will not cure you, but they will help you to improve your health and reduce the number of factors that worsen or maintain your condition and the influence of these factors.
Depression does not always have a single cause. Often, it is a combination of several factors that causes the onset of symptoms of depression. Some of these factors include:
Heredity. For example, the fact that other family members are or have been infected with the disease.
The fact of being affected by certain other diseases. For example :
Other chronic diseases;
Social factors: the presence of stressors in the person’s life, such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job;
Environmental factors: substance abuse or addiction.