Chest and Pulmonolgy

Depression

DESCRIPTION:

Depression refers to one of the most common and serious mood disorders that forms a sense of loss, sadness and anger and has a tendency to affect the way a person thinks, behaves and feel’s. It can cause serious physical and mental issues and affect the daily life of the person by interfering with day to day activities such as sleeping, working or eating.

Types of depression

  • Persistent depressive disorder, that lasts for over two years and can cause major issues to a person.

  • Perinatal depression that affects women during or after pregnancy. It lasts for a few weeks after delivery.

  • Psychotic depression that allows the person to see or hear upsetting things which are delusional.

  • Seasonal affective disorder that occurs during winter season when there is scarce sunlight. It can affect sleep and social interaction, but lift’s off once, winter is gone.

  • Bipolar disorder, which allows the person experience extremely low moods.

Causes and symptoms

Depression is quite common with people, especially people with responsibilities. There are various risk factors associated with it that vary from genetic, environmental, psychological and biological factors. It can affect people of any age, but usually occurs in adulthood. Other major risk factors include family history of depression, major changes in life, stress, trauma and certain physical conditions and medications.

Symptoms vary from patient to patient, which may include:

  • Persistent anger, sadness or foul mood

  • Feeling of worthlessness, helplessness and guilt

  • Irritability

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Loss of interest in interacting with people and activities

  • Slow movement

  • Trouble sitting still

  • Difficulty sleeping, oversleeping and trouble waking up in the morning

  • Digestive issues, pain, headaches and cramps

  • Thought of death or suicide

  • Trouble concentrating on certain things

  • Abnormal weight changes or appetite

  • Feeling hopeless

Diagnosis

There aren’t any laboratory tests that can diagnose depression, but the doctor can perform few tests that would pinpoint physical illness such as viral infection, hormone changes, thyroid disorder, etc. that could result in depression. A psychologist can examine your symptoms in order to determine if you are diagnosed with depression. He/she can also perform Beck depression inventory test, Hamilton depression rating scale test and Zung self rating scale for depression for diagnosis.



Treatment

Depression can be treated no matter how severe the case is. It is recommended to begin the treatment as early as possible. Based on the kind of depression you are diagnosed with and its severity, the doctor will choose the best line of treatment for you. Medication and psychotherapy is the most common and effective way to treat depression. Sometimes these are used combinely for better results.

Medication: Antidepressants are the most common medications used to treat depression. There are several types of antidepressants and you may need to try more than one in order to find out the one that works best to improve the symptoms and has less complications. It can help you think differently and allow you to get enough sleep and get rid of mood changes. It can take some 2-4 weeks for these medicines to to work.

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy refers to the treatment of depression by talking about your issues to a psychiatrist. Different types of psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy can be used to help you adjust your current issues, eliminate negative thoughts and behavior, explore positive aspects in relationships and life and find better ways to cope up with every difficulty.

ECT and TMS: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure where electric currents are passed through your brain, which impact the effect of neurotransmitters and provide immediate relief from severe symptoms. While Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) requires you to sit on a reclining chair with a treatment coil placed on your scalp, which sends magnetic pulse into your brain to stimulate nerve cells to provide relief from depression. Both methods are used when medication and psychotherapy don’t offer expected help.

If a person becomes a threat to himself or others due to severe symptoms, he may need to stay in the hospital where proper counseling and treatment will be given to improve symptoms.

Complications

Depression treatment can cause some side effects as well, depending on the kind of treatment patient has undergone. These could be:

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Weight gain or increased appetite

  • Sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction and loss of sexual interest

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Constipation

  • Dry mouth

  • Blurred vision

  • Dizziness

  • Insomnia

  • Agitation

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety



Post operative care

Depression treatment can last long and during the treatment, proper care is highly essential for faster recovery. Take all the medications prescribed by the doctor on time without skipping. If you are thinking of getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about modifying or stopping antidepressant as it can increase health risks for both you and the child.

Think positively and set goals for yourself. Be active by regularly exercising and eating nutritious diet.

Avoid being along and spend as much time as possible with friends and family. Gather more information about your condition and necessary steps to improve it. Avoid thinking too much about anything and concentrate on improving your mood.

Join Yoga classes and meditation to make you feel relaxed and comfortable and consult your psychiatrist if your complications become severe.