Depression Treatment With Generic & Brand Drugs
What is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that influences every aspect of daily life. This illness affects all segments of the population in every socio-economic group: children, adults, the elderly. Depression influences every aspect of daily life. This powerful disease controls the body, mind, behavior, emotional state and can even determine the ability to maintain relationships. Profound sadness, irritability, rapid weight gain or loss or inability to lose weight, indecisiveness, insomnia or constant fatigue, memory loss, and feelings of worthlessness can plague the sufferer who often times can not explain "why". Ranging from mild to severe forms, depression symptoms leave a wake of dysfunction that cannot be willed away nor ignored. Contrary to popular belief, depressive disorders have biochemical origins that, in most cases, readily respond to clinically proven herbal remedies and natural remedies. However, if left untreated, symptoms can endure for weeks, months, or years.
Depression suffers are not alone:
- 10 million Americans are struck by depression each year
- One out of five women and out of 15 men will battle major depression at some time in his/her life.
- If major depression hits, there is a 50% chance you'll have a recurrence of depression at least once or twice a year.
- Millions of people go undiagnosed or treated for depression.
- Without treatment, major depression may linger for 6 months to a year, with increased frequency and severity.
- Our society pays an estimated $44 billion each year for depression related losses; lowered productivity and absenteeism costs $24.2 billion and medical and psychiatric care accounts for $12.3 billion.
- Suicide caused by depression, in whole or in part, claims more than 18,000 people each year and costs us $7.5 billion.
- Depression is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses. Obvious symptoms of depression are treated, such as loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and headaches are treated, but the root of the problem is commonly not addressed. However, there is hope. Proper treatment can relieve depression symptoms and enable sufferers to lead more satisfying and productive lives.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression range from the obvious low mood to the seemingly unrelated tell tale sign of memory loss. The severity and types of symptoms vary with individuals and vary over time. Since depression manifests itself with such a wide array of experiences, it may difficult to diagnose and often goes untreated. Recognizing the symptoms, however, is the most important step in successful treatment of depression. These symptoms include:
- Persistent sad or "empty" mood
- Unexplained crying
- Fatigue or unexplained loss of energy
- Loss of enthusiasm
- Memory loss
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Feelings of being in "slow motion"
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of pessimism
- Feelings of guilt
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Feelings of helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities once enjoyed
- Decreased interest in sex
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
- Thoughts of death or suicide or attempted suicide
Types of Depression
Depressive disorders come in different forms, just as is the case with other illnesses such as heart disease. This pamphlet briefly describes three of the most common types of depressive disorders. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.
Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms (see symptom list) that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Such a disabling episode of depression may occur only once but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime.
A less severe type of depression, dysthymia, involves long-term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good. Many people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives.
Another type of depression is bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness. Not nearly as prevalent as other forms of depressive disorders, bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression). Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often they are gradual. When in the depressed cycle, an individual can have any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. When in the manic cycle, the individual may be overactive, over-talkative, and have a great deal of energy. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, the individual in a manic phase may feel elated, full of grand schemes that might range from unwise business decisions to romantic sprees. Mania, left untreated, may worsen to a psychotic state.
What causes depression?
Depression has no single cause, it varies from person to person. The list below identifies some of the factors that play a part in the onset of depression:
- Past experiences
- Traumatic life event or series of events
- Lifestyle - poor diet, poor physical fitness
- Disease and illness:
Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, hypercalcaemia, hyponatraemia, diabetes mellitus.
- Neurological disorder:
Stroke, subtotal haematoma, multiple sclerosis, brain tumours (especially frontal), Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, uncontrolled epilepsy, syphilis, dementias.
- Nutritional disorder:
Vitamin B12 deficiency, pellagra.
Viral infection, carcinoma.
- Use of recreational drugs e.g. sedative-hypnotics, cocaine.
- Prescribed medications e.g. beta-blockers, alpha-methyldopa, levodopa, and oestrogens.
- Changes to the neurotransmitters in the brain - although there is uncertainty as to whether this is a cause of depression or a result of depression.
Suicide and Depression
Depression is a common cause of suicide and most people who commit suicide do so usually because of feelings of the condition. If you are having suicidal thoughts, depression may be the cause and needs to be addressed before acting on suicidal thoughts.
Depression has commonly been linked with suicide as this condition is one of the main causes of suicide. Once a person goes through a major depression and does not seek help they find themselves consumed by the illness which can lead to thoughts of death.
Depression is related to suicide because this the condition is known to be life-threatening mood disorder that affects thousands of people every year. Even if their depression does lead to suicide, they usually develop illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. this condition is a chain reaction. If you allow it to take over your mind, emotions and body without treatment, it may lead to suicide.
Signs of Suicide
Another reason depression has been linked to suicide is many people who are depressed usually do not seek treatment, which leads to feelings of pain and suffering and it can destroy families and work dynamics as well. A person who is depressed and does not seek treatment will most likely shy away from people who are close to them causing feelings of isolation, sadness, loneliness, pain and self-pity. It is very dangerous to leave a person with depression unchecked as it could lead to suicide.
Depression can be treated. However, it is always best that if you went through a hard situation in your life and sadness and loneliness creeps in, there is a chance that you will become depressed and it is best that you seek the help of a medical expert who can help you with your condition or thoughts of death. Normally, the doctor will assess how you are coping with this condition and may prescribe you anti-depressants to help you get through your thoughts of killing ones self.
Suicide and helping yourself
If you are having feelings of mild depression, there are many options available for you to help yourself. Think of positive thoughts and interactions, distract yourself in order to fight the feelings of suicide and depression. It is always best that you surround yourself with happy and positive people. Try activities you have not tried before, this may aid you in combating feelings of suicide and depression. It is all about helping yourself and reaching out for help if needed. You must take control once feelings of suicide or depression occur.
Depression can be either hereditary or circumstantial but is equally harmful both ways if not treated effectively. However, through proper counseling, medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, you can successfully treat the condition.
Depression can be inherited from predecessors in the family or can be due to circumstances beyond an individuals control. Manic depression particularly is seen in individuals with a family history and detailed research has shown that it is genetic. The stress factor for this condition is also important and a person who is constantly exposed to stress at work or home is most likely to develop depression.
From the neurology point of view, depression can occur if there are changes in brain structures or neurological functions of the patient. If one is suffering from low self-esteem and is perpetually pessimistic about life and is hypersensitive to stress, a person is most likely to turn depressive. Prolonged suffering from physical disease leading to permanent disability can also trigger signs of the condition.
Depression and other diseases
Certain diseases of the human central nervous system such as Parkinsons disease or Alzheimers disease and hormonal disorders can be responsible for causing the onset of depression. In the case of women, gynecological causes such as the onset of menopause or drastic changes in menstrual cycles may cause depression. Postpartum depression is commonly found in women.
In the case of men, it is often found that chances of having a coronary attack are more once depression sets in. This occurs more so as men are reluctant to admit that they have a depressive condition and are unwilling to undergo counseling and treatment. The right measure to be taken to tackle the problem is to first face the fact that the individual is actually depressed. Once realized, effective counseling or medication can be used to overcome the problem of depression.
Therapy is more effective with elderly people. Homeopathy in this regard has proved to be fruitful to a large extent against allopathic drugs that are readily available in the market and which are known to only suppress depression symptoms. However, with homeopathy, the time taken will be longer and the progress may be slower.
Depression can occur of the blue without warning, mainly due to unforeseen and unexpected circumstances in life to which an individual is unable to adapt. Once a person shows signs of the condition, such as overeating, perpetual fatigue resulting in oversleeping or becomes generally uncommunicative, chances are that he is suffering from early stages of depression. If depression is not treated properly through medication and counseling, the results can be disastrous and lead to extreme behavior like attempting suicide.