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Common symptoms include: Changes in sleep Changes in appetite Lack of concentration Loss of energy Lack of interest in activities Hopelessness or guilty thoughts Changes in movement less activity or agitation Physical aches and pains Suicidal thoughts Causes Depression does not have a single cause. Scientists believe several factors can contribute to depression: Trauma.


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When people experience trauma at an early age, it can cause long-term changes in how their brains respond to fear and stress. These changes may lead to depression. Mood disorders, such as depression, tend to run in families. Life circumstances. Marital status, relationship changes, financial standing and where a person lives influence whether a person develops depression. Brain changes. Imaging studies have shown that the frontal lobe of the brain becomes less active when a person is depressed. Depression is also associated with changes in how the pituitary gland and hypothalamus respond to hormone stimulation.

Other medical conditions. People who have a history of sleep disturbances, medical illness, chronic pain, anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD are more likely to develop depression. Some medical syndromes like hypothyroidism can mimic depressive disorder. Some medications can also cause symptoms of depression. Drug and alcohol misuse.

Diagnosis To be diagnosed with depressive disorder, a person must have experienced a depressive episode lasting longer than two weeks. Medications including antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications. Exercise can help with prevention and mild-to-moderate symptoms. These include electroconvulsive therapy ECT for depressive disorder with psychosis or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation rTMS for severe depression. Light therapy , which uses a light box to expose a person to full spectrum light in an effort to regulate the hormone melatonin.

Alternative approaches including acupuncture, meditation, faith and nutrition can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Depression (mood)

Reviewed August Donate Now. Keep up with NAMI news and events, or take the next step and become a member. Join NAMI. This includes getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, avoiding negative people, and participating in enjoyable activities. These include electroconvulsive therapy , or transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat depression and improve your mood. Traditional depression treatment uses a combination of prescription medication and counseling. But there are also alternative or complementary treatments you can try. Likewise, the U. Studies are mixed, but this natural treatment is used in Europe as an antidepressant medication.

This compound has shown in limited studies to possibly ease symptoms of depression. The effects were best seen in people taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs , a type of traditional antidepressant. Your body makes this chemical when you consume tryptophan, a protein building block. These essential fats are important to neurological development and brain health. Adding omega-3 supplements to your diet may help reduce depression symptoms. Essential oils are a popular natural remedy for many conditions, but research into their effects on depression is limited.

People with depression may find symptom relief with the following essential oils :.

What is depression? - Helen M. Farrell

Those oils may be beneficial during short-term use. Vitamins are important to many bodily functions. Research suggests two vitamins are especially useful for easing symptoms of depression:. Learn about the ones that have shown some promise, and ask your doctor if any are right for you. Other techniques and ideas may also help you prevent depression. Read the full list of 15 ways you can avoid depression. Bipolar depression occurs in certain types of bipolar disorder , when the person experiences a depressive episode. People with bipolar disorder may experience significant mood swings. Episodes in bipolar 2 , for instance, typically range from manic episodes of high energy to depressive episodes of low energy.

This depends on the type of bipolar disorder you have. A diagnosis of bipolar 1 only has to have the presence of manic episodes, not depression. If bipolar disorder is treated, many will experience fewer and less severe symptoms of depression, if they experience depressive episodes.

These 7 treatments may help ease symptoms of bipolar depression. Depression and anxiety can occur in one person at the same time. In fact, studies have shown that 70 percent of people with depressive disorders also have anxiety symptoms. These include irritability, difficulty with memory or concentration, and sleep problems.

What is depression?

The two conditions also share some common treatments. Both anxiety and depression can be treated with therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy , medication, or alternative therapies, including hypnotherapy. You can work with your doctor to identify coexisting symptoms of anxiety and depression and how they can be treated.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. It causes unwanted and repeated thoughts, urges, and fears obsessions.

Major depressive disorder

These fears cause you to act out repeated behaviors or rituals compulsions that you hope will ease the stress caused by the obsessions. People diagnosed with OCD frequently find themselves in a loop of obsessions and compulsions. If you have these behaviors, you may feel isolated because of them. This can lead to withdrawal from friends and social situations, which can increase your risk for depression.

Having one anxiety disorder can increase your odds for having another. Up to 80 percent of people with OCD also have major depression. This dual diagnosis is a concern with children, too. Their compulsive behaviors, which may be first developing at a young age, can make them feel unusual. Some individuals who have been diagnosed with major depression may also have symptoms of another mental disorder, psychosis.

National Helpline | SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

People with the condition may also experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and irritability. The combination of the two conditions is particularly dangerous. But treatment can successfully ease symptoms. Treatments include medications and electroconvulsive therapy. Understanding the risk factors and possible causes can help you be aware of early symptoms.

Pregnancy is often an exciting time for people. Symptoms of depression during pregnancy include:. Treatment for depression during pregnancy may focus entirely on talk therapy and other natural treatments. Your doctor may encourage you to try an alternative option until after the baby is delivered. Postpartum depression currently called major depressive disorder with peripartum onset is a serious concern for new mothers.

Recognizing the symptoms may help you spot a problem and seek help before it becomes overwhelming. Research has established a link between alcohol use and depression. People who have depression are more likely to misuse alcohol. Out of the According to a study, Drinking alcohol frequently can make symptoms of depression worse, and people who have depression are more likely to misuse alcohol or become dependent on it. Depression can be temporary, or it can be a long-term challenge.

But treatment often makes symptoms more manageable. Managing symptoms of depression involves finding the right combination of medications and therapies. Depression hurts. And while we often pair this mental illness with emotional pain like sadness, crying, and feelings of hopelessness, research shows…. My task was finding a way of making them…. Depression can make it hard to get out of bed in the morning, especially when it's kept you up all night or given you restless sleep.


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