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Depression: An Overview

Depression is the most common mental disorder. As per WHO reports, it is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. Even though one understands depression as mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life, it’s imperative to treat depression if it persists for a long time, as it becomes a root cause for many other medical conditions if not treated on time. Conditions that can get worse due to depression include:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Weight loss
  • Physical pain
  • Panic attacks

Depending on the severity of symptoms, depression can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe. Often depression is a prolonged problem and can last for several weeks, months or years. People with depression suffer from anxiety symptoms, loss of appetite, disturbed sleep, low self-esteem, poor concentration.

There are different types of Depressions. During a Recurrent depressive disorder, the person experiences depressed mood, loss of interest in day-to-day activities, and a low energy level leading to diminished activity for at least 2 weeks.

The bipolar affective disorder typically consists of both depressive and manic episodes separated by periods of normal mood. People with this type of depression have mood swings from extreme highs to extreme low. It is also known as Manic depression.

People with Psychotic depression have ‘psychotic’ symptoms, like delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression occurs in women after childbirth. It can last for weeks or months. Women with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) suffer from depression at the starting phase of their menstrual cycle.

Apart from depression, they have symptoms like mood swings, irritability, anxiety, trouble concentrating, fatigue, loss of appetite, or sleep. When a person faces trouble in managing a stressful event in life, they tend to suffer from ‘Situational’ Depression. 

Symptoms of Depression

It’s very common and obvious for a person to go through periods of deep sadness and grief. These feelings often fade away after a few days or weeks. Profound sadness and depression that lasts more than two weeks affect their ability to function normally. Some of the common signs and symptoms of depression are:

  • Deep feelings of sadness
  • Dark moods
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Appetite changes
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of interest in things one used to enjoy
  • Withdrawing from friends
  • Preoccupation with death or thoughts of self-harm
  • Feelings of aggressiveness, anxiousness, and irritability
  • Drinking excessively
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Difficulty staying focused on a task and performing daily tasks
  • Slow responses during conversations
  • Abnormal sleep patterns, such as insomnia (not sleeping through the night), restless sleep, etc.
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Hallucinations, Delusions or Paranoia
  • Reduced sexual desire or lack of sexual performance

Children may experience symptoms related to their mood, emotional and physical well-being, behaviour, cognitive abilities, or sleep patterns. There are several factors that can increase the chances of depression. Here are some of the main causes of depression:

Abuse – Any past experiences of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse

Medications – Certain drugs such as antiviral drugs, and corticosteroids

Conflicts – Any past experiences of personal conflicts or disputes with closed ones

Death – Grief arising from the death of a close one

Events – Major life events such as loss of a job, divorce, or retirement

Genetic factors – A family history of depression

Brain structure – The lesser active the frontal lobe of the brain, the higher is the risk of developing a depressive disorder.

Medical conditions – Serious chronic medical illnesses such as chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Addiction – Drug or alcohol addiction and abuse

Diagnosis

How to diagnose depression? There’s no single test that can be used for depression diagnosis, but your doctor can check your symptoms and order a psychological evaluation. Usually, they will enquire about your sleeping patterns, moods, appetite, activity levels and general thoughts. All these analyses will help the doctor to tailor a suitable treatment plan. As depression can lead to other health problems, physical examination and blood tests may also be performed.

Your therapist or doctor will determine the clinical condition of depression based on – 

Physical exam – S/he will ask questions about your health as depression is often linked to an underlying physical health problem.

Lab tests – Your doctor might ask for lab tests like a blood test to know the complete blood count; or a thyroid test to make sure it’s functioning properly.

Psychiatric evaluation – Your symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behaviour patterns are crucial to determine your condition. With the help of a questionnaire, your doctor will analyse your underlying psychiatric condition.

DSM-5 – Your mental health professional may use the criteria for depression as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Depression Treatment

Mild to severe, all types of depressions are treatable. If depression is keeping you or your loved ones away from living a content life then do not hesitate to seek medical help. From medications to therapies to lifestyle changes, there are many different treatment options available. Apart from therapies, or treatments, sometimes antidepressants, anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medications are prescribed as well to treat depression and its symptoms.

Different people show different types of symptoms and can have different types of clinical depressions. The treatment plans also vary from person to person. Before choosing your doctor or opting for a treatment or therapy, it is strongly recommended to learn as much as you can about your depression.

The severity of a symptom is an important criterion. The more severe the depression, the more intensive the treatment you’re likely to need. It takes time to find the right kind of treatment.

Talk Therapies 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – CBT aims to help understand the thoughts and behaviour, and how they affect you. It’s a talk therapy where your therapist helps you identify false or negative thoughts and replaces those with meaningful and realistic ones.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) – Depression might not be caused by an incident or relationship, but it does affect a relationship. IPT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on you and your relationships with other people. IPL helps you to effectively communicate with others and address problems that contribute to depression.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – Psychoanalysis is based on the idea that a person’s behaviour is affected by past experiences and their unconscious mind. In this therapy, you are encouraged to say whatever is going through your mind. It helps you become aware of hidden meaning or patterns in what you do or say that triggers your problems.

Counselling – Counselling helps you evaluate the problems you’re experiencing so that you can find new ways of dealing with them.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) – MBCT is specifically designed for people suffering from recurring depression. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy combines elements of CBT and mindfulness techniques (breathing exercises and meditation) to help break negative thought patterns.

Some other severe depression treatment options include –

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – This procedure involves passing a carefully controlled electric current through the brain, which alters the brain’s activity and relieves severe depressive and psychotic symptoms.

Repetitive Transcranial/ Magnetic Stimulation (RTMS) – It is a noninvasive procedure. The patient sits or reclines and an electromagnetic coil is held near the head. The coil then passes magnetic pulses to a targeted part of your brain.

It helps in altering and regulating moods. The procedure is associated with mild to moderate side effects, such as feelings of lightheadedness; temporary hearing problems; mild headaches; or tingling in the face, jaw, or scalp. This therapy should be conducted by professionals only.

Deep Brain StimulationIn rare cases, where the patient does not respond to other treatments, Deep Brain stimulation is used to treat severe depression.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS) – With the help of a small battery-operated stimulator, a constant low-strength current is delivered through two electrodes placed on the head. These stimulate brain activity and improve the symptoms of depression.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) – In this case, a coil is used to send magnetic impulses to stimulate the nerve cells in your brain. 

Alternative Therapies

  • Acupuncture
  • Group Therapy
  • Art / Music Therapy
  • Meditation

Medications for Depression – One of the best treatments for depression is through medication. Your psychotherapist can recommend various types of antidepressants based on your condition:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) 

Atypical antidepressants 

Tricyclic antidepressants 

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) 

Medicines like SSRIs and SNRIs can have side effects. A person may experience nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, low blood sugar, weight loss, a rash, or sexual dysfunction. Antidepressants are not addictive in the same way that alcohol, illegal drugs and cigarettes are, but you might face some withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking them. These include:

  • an upset stomach
  • flu-like symptoms 
  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • vivid dreams at night
  • sensations in the body that feel like electric shocks

Psychotherapy is another one of the major depressive disorder treatments. Going for therapy for depression is important as it can help you share and vent about your condition to an expert psychotherapist. There are several kinds of clinical depression behaviour therapy such as talk therapy, interpersonal therapy, and cognitive behavioural therapy. It can help you in:

  • Adjusting with your present crises
  • Spot negative thought patterns and behaviours and replace them with positive ones
  • Develop positive interactions with each other
  • Identify ways to solve problems
  • Set realistic life goals

For more severe depression treatments, hospitalisation may be required. This can prevent the risk of you harming yourself or anyone else. The best treatment facilities for depression offer residential care as well which help you recover from a depressive episode in a carefully monitored and supportive environment. 

There are several natural depression treatment options as well that can supplement the primary treatment procedures. These complementary treatment procedures are: 

Supplements – Such as St. John’s wort, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), Omega-3 fatty acids can help in creating positive effects on the brain and help in reducing depression symptoms. 

Essential oils – Such as wild ginger and bergamot can help in reducing stress and reducing the effects of depression. 

Vitamin supplements – Such as Vitamin B and Vitamin D can also be effective in reducing the effects of depression symptoms. 

Other non herbal supplements that might help with depression treatment include:

S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) – This is a synthetic form of a natural chemical in the body. Along with depression, it is used to treat other medical conditions such as osteoarthritis (a joint disease that causes joint pain and stiffness), fibromyalgia (widespread pain and stiffness), liver disease and migraine headaches. 

5-hydroxytryptophan – It is an amino acid that your body naturally produces. This helps to boost serotonin, the neurotransmitter in the brain that affects a person’s mood. The potential anti-depressive effects of 5-HTP are stronger when combined with other substances or antidepressant medication.

There are some key steps you can take to lift your mood and help your recovery from depression. When you are in the treatment or completed your treatment, there are a few key steps you can do to help yourself. 

  • Do take your medicines and antidepressants as prescribed. 
  • Talk to your therapists regularly about your health update, or in case if you have any concerns about the medicines you are taking. 
  • Eat healthily and exercise regularly to have good blood circulation in the body, as it aids significantly in your recovery process. 

Rehabilitation for Depression

In the case of depression which is compounded with alcoholism and drug abuse and where outpatient therapy has failed to produce the desired effects, a depression rehabilitation centre is the best place for recovery. Rehabilitation for depression is a therapeutic approach that helps a patient beyond mere symptom recovery. It helps the person not only overcome the condition but also to develop their full potential by giving them the right tools and coping strategies to deal with their issues. Rehabilitation centre for depression offers different programs and therapies that can address both your mental illness and your addiction.

Depression FAQ: All you need to know

How is depression diagnosed and treated?

Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. Thus there’s no specific test to diagnose the condition. Diagnosis of depression is performed through a series of physical exams, lab tests, psychiatric evaluation. Your doctor might also follow the criteria listed under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to diagnose what type of depression a person is going through. 

Treatment of depression consists of a combination of medications, lifestyle therapies, psychotherapy, light therapy, and alternative therapies like herbal supplements and acupuncture. Some doctors also recommend depression help centres for rehab. Check out Cadabam’s mental health rehab which is one of the top depression rehabilitation centres in India if you’re looking at a holistic and long term solution for depression.

What is Postpartum Depression (PPD)?

Postpartum depression occurs in women soon after giving birth. It is a very common condition found in women, which include symptoms like sadness and hopelessness after their pregnancy term. If the condition doesn’t fade after two weeks, then do seek medical help. Counselling and antidepressants are can help treat the condition.

What about depression later in life?

Late-life depression, often known as LLD, is a type of depression that usually occurs after the age of 60 years. It is also known as Late-onset depression (LOD). As this is common in the elderly, there is a risk of conditions like stroke, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and chronic pain to further increase the risk of depression.

Why is depression more prevalent in women than in men?

The prevalence of major depression is higher in women than in men. Several risk factors are said to account for gender differences in rates of depression. Most common causes are hormonal differences between men and women. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone tend to affect the neurotransmitter, neuroendocrine, and circadian systems which ultimately triggers mood disorders.

Why Cadabams?

Cadabam’s is one of the top centres for depression treatment in India. At Cadabams, we follow an integrated treatment approach which is based on a strong diagnosis of the condition, evidence-based techniques and resident-focused care.

Our depression treatment centre consists of a team of experienced psychiatrists, physicians, nurses and assistants work together to deliver unparalleled and world-class treatment facilities for depression. Moreover, it also has a team of on-site consultants, full-time and on-staff doctors who solely focus on caring for residents.

We believe that each of the individual seeking our help is unique and our treatment plan involves all aspects of their well-being. It is our focus to evaluate our patients constantly so that all of their needs are met. Once the treatment plan is ready, we work with them closely to help them recover.

If you have been feeling low and hopeless for quite a long time, don’t fight with it alone. Talk to our experts and avail the best mental health facilities for depression. Depression is a serious condition that can get worse over time if left untreated. People who get treatments can see improvements in their life in a few weeks. Therefore, gathering up the strength to seek help is important.

 

Luxurious Living

At Cadabams, we provide clean, modern, fully furnished accommodations with all the necessary creature comforts.

Modern Amenities

Kitchen and dining hall, laundry facilities, indoor games area, yoga and meditation hall, outdoor games area for cricket, badminton, Round the clock psychiatrist and counsellor support, 24×7 ambulance on demand.

Healthy Cuisine

Our everyday menu is curated by Dieticians aimed at providing healthy and nutritious and tasty meals to satisfy everyone’s palate.

Entertainment Options

Recreation facilities such as TV, sports, gym, picnics and outings and more.

Depression is a co-existing problem with many medical problems and unless depression is treated, the medical problems continue to get complicated

Depression is perhaps the most misunderstood disease which is beginning to become the largest killer amongst psychiatric illnesses. What makes depression so paradoxical? It’s perhaps the ability or inability to understand the meaning of clinical Depression.The presence of some of these symptoms requires the attention of mental health professionals   for diagnosis and depression treatment perhaps in a residential depression treatment centre. Click to read about the causes of depression.

Depression treatment in India is not as widely spread because of lack of mental health professionals in terms of geographical spread. But depression treatment has been recognised as a world problem when the Mental Health Day on the 10th of October in the year 2012 was termed as a global crisis. This has led to the recognition that all depression treatment does not require residential treatment but can be treated by out patient intervention. But the attention of a mental health professional for diagnosis and depression treatment is the need of the hour.

The prognosis and beyond is based on recovery oriented programs both residential and OPD. The initial assessment is done by a qualified clinical psychologist who in the one hour spent initially focuses on case history of the patient. Factors like genetic loading, immediate problems and issues of stress, social participation, usage of addictive substances and such like issues are looked into with the presence of the family members preferably.

After the meeting is over for the depression treatment, our team of psychiatrists are consulted to identify whether medication is required or not. For depression treatment, a large number of antidepressants formulations are available in the market on presentation of a valid prescription.

A new treatment method for depression treatment is NeurofeedbackBiofeedback. The basic philosophy of this method in depression treatment is to monitor the negative brain impacts on the bodily functions during the episode. Once this is documented, the patient is taught to control and temperate these negative symptoms under the guidance of a psychologist so that he is able to control them to manageable laid out parameters. Two non-medicinal approaches to depression treatment are supported employment and supported living. They are unique to depression treatment centres such as the Cadabams Group of Residential Treatment Centres. They are as the word supported signifies are intended to control the social isolation of the patient and tap his latent potential to bring him on the path of self growth. The patient is put in working environment where he comes into contact with customers and is taken away from his negative thought environment and propels him into a world of self-belief, self-esteem and self-growth..

Supported Living is a concept of getting functional residents to live together away from the main campus with increased freedom and responsibility. This is to prepare them to live in reintegrated and inclusive environment with their family post discharge. It is no coincidence that the all residents living in supported living conditions are also working in supported employment conditions.

Depression is a pernicious disease and may require short to long term treatment in Depression treatment centre like Cadabam’s which is unique in depression treatment centres in India.  Not only does it consider to be a psychiatric condition but also an addiction cause and effect syndrome, which is treated differently in its De-addiction unit. How do you treat special children who require depression treatment Cadabam’s has an answer to this also. What do you do to clients who require non invasive rTMS treatment? The answer is go to the Cadabams neuropsychiatry multi specialty hospital in the city.

To conclude, depression is a problem reaching global dimensions but the positive side is that there are residential units with a battery of therapeutic interventions, as is the condition with Cadabams, that not only offer hope but a curative and treatable option.

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