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Diagnosis & Treatment of Depression: All you need to know

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Depression is quite common and refers to a serious medical condition that can negatively impact your feelings, your actions, and your thoughts. It is reported that one in 15 adults will be affected by depression every year and one in 6 individuals will experience this at some point of time in their life.

Depression is also often related to suicide deaths. According to the center for disease control and prevention, it is estimated that more than 4,20,000 people commit suicide due to depression every year. Millions of people suffer from depression despite the options available for its treatment from lifestyle changes to various medications. Whichever treatment path one chooses, seeking professional help is the safest step to get back or regain control of one’s life.

What are the types of depression?

Depression can be of different types with each type having its unique treatments depending on its symptoms.

  • Major depression: This is probably the most common of all depressive disorders and marked by a variety of symptoms; it tends to interfere with one’s ability to study, work, sleep, eat, or pursue activities of interest. Episodes of this type of depression can happen many times during one’s lifetime or it may happen only once. Major depressive disorders are diagnosed and categorized by mental health professionals into severe, moderate, and mild depending on how severe they are.
  • Bipolar disorder: This is also called manic-depressive disorder and while they are rare, it can be tricky to handle. This condition is marked by cyclical mood swings, severe lows or depression followed by acute highs of mania. These transitions can also be rather quick and sudden though usually, they are more gradual. In the manic cycle, the patient becomes talkative, overactive, and energetic while during the low depressive cycle, they appear to have all common symptoms of depression.
  • Dysthymia: This is a relatively less-acute form of depression but involves chronic symptoms that may affect your overall emotional wellbeing and hamper your normal activities.
  • Psychotic depression: Here, the patient will show signs of major depressive symptoms. The most common symptoms of psychotic depression are delusions and hallucinations.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD:  People with SAD tend to experience feelings of hopelessness and sorrow that is most commonly associated with winters when daylight hours are less and nights are longer. The symptoms tend to disappear when spring arrives and this condition can be effectively managed with light therapy and antidepressants.
  • Peripartum depression: Peripartum depression is a serious but treatable condition that affects women during pregnancy or after childbirth. It involves feelings of sadness, anxiety, changes in sleep patterns and appetite, and is a risk for both the mother and the child.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): PMDD causes severe anxiety, mood swings, appetite changes, irregular sleep, etc. in women a week or two before their period.
  • Atypical Depression: It is a subcategory of dysthymia or major depression that is visible across many different symptoms of depression. Common symptoms include oversensitivity to criticism, increased urge to eat, unusual heaviness in limbs, unusually long sleep hours, etc.
  • Situational depression: It usually affects individuals who are struggling to come to terms with some difficult event in their lives, like the loss of employment or loss of a loved one. This can be treated with psychotherapy.

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What are the symptoms of depression?

Some common depression symptoms are:

  • Suicidal thoughts or urges to inflict self-harm
  • Anxiety
  • Excess guilt
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Weight changes
  • Appetite changes
  • Insomnia
  • Low energy levels
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and activities that earlier brought enjoyment
  • Psychological impairment
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Unexplained physical pains
  • Feeling of restlessness
  • Inability to focus
  • Staying away from social events

Diagnosis of Depression

While there is no specific medical screening for diagnosing depressive disorders yet, the therapist is usually able to identify depression signs after conducting a physical examination and asking specific condition-related questions to the patient. These can be related to how and when the symptoms first surfaced, how long these lasted, how severe they were, whether there is any medical or family history of mental health problems or drug abuse, etc.

What are the treatment options?

Once the doctor diagnoses someone with depression by ruling out other causes that may be causing the symptoms, they may refer the person to a mental health expert or work with them to chart out the best possible treatment plan. Treatments involve antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. ECT or electroconvulsive therapy can be used for treating depression when the symptoms do not show any improvement.

Cadabams has come up with a groundbreaking treatment option called rTMS to help individuals treat and manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety-related issues. The rTMS or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation uses electromagnetic coils to pass strong magnetic impulses to the nerve cells in the brain to reduce the symptoms.

Watch the video for more details on the rTMS offered by Cadabams.

Why Cadabam’s?

Depression is a medical illness that people can’t get over with just will power. It presents a range of symptoms that needs a holistic approach to identify and reduce them. At Cadabams, the complete treatment approach is based on the individual requirements of the person seeking help.

The panel of world-class and licensed mental healthcare professionals working at Cadabams work closely with the patient and their family to address all the issues that may have contributed to the current situation, whether it’s physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual.

Cadabams also offers rehabilitation facilities, where the individuals are treated with care, compassion, and respect. The team will help you at every step of the journey and allow you to heal in an environment of trust and compassion.

Cadabams can be your go-to destination to seek help when you or your loved ones have been affected by depression or experiencing suicidal thoughts. Their counselors are fully equipped to provide you with the best treatment plans to tackle depression.

Book screening with our director of triage,  Kamlesh Verma
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What makes clinical depression so serious?

One of the major problems with clinical depression is it can go unnoticed for a very long time. The person suffering from it may not find the signs unusual. Even their friends and family may miss the common signs and symptoms of depression in the person. When left untreated, depression symptoms become worse over time leading to problems like chemical dependency, addiction, or even suicide.

What causes depression symptoms?

There can be several reasons that could cause depression symptoms. Some common reasons include feeling unhappy at work or home, being in an abusive relationship, lots of stress, etc. Certain medications as well might increase one’s chances of developing the symptoms of depression.

Other reasons include –

  • Major life events: It could be losing a job, marriage,  etc.
  • Genetics: Some people are more prone to falling victim to depression due to their genes.
  • Gender: Women are at a higher risk of depression.
  • Difference in brain structure or imbalance in brain chemistry

Are there any alternative treatment options for depression?

Alternative treatments are those techniques or methods that haven’t extensively been documented by science or have proven to be safe and effective for a particular condition. Some of them include lifestyle changes, diet, and mental counseling. Certain exercises have also gained evidence as an alternative treatment for mild to moderate forms of depression. Examples of alternative therapies are acupuncture, yoga, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, chiropractic care, guided imagery, massage, etc

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