What Is Depression?
It is a condition or illness that affects the brain chemistry, causing mental instabilities. Depression can be defined as a feeling of sadness and lack of motivation for life. While such feelings are typical in human life, when they are sudden, severe, and persistent, it could indicate a depressive state of mind.
Patients with depression may not start with the onset of depressive symptoms. In many cases, depression begins with stress and anxiety that continues for a prolonged period.
Common Types of Depression
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – is a seasonal type of depression affecting people in two seasons of the year. It manifests as a response to a reduction in daylight during the fall and winter.
- Postpartum depression – is a type of depression that affects women after giving birth. It may last for a few months or take years.
- Psychotic depression – some patients with depression experience psychosis that may feature persistent false beliefs, hallucinations, and other psychotic symptoms.
- Dysthymia – is also called a persistent depressive disorder. Patients may exhibit symptoms of major or mild depression that persists for at least two years.
What Causes Depression?
The thing about this condition is that it comes in many forms. Ideally, clinical depression is dissimilar to other types of depression, like postpartum depression. Unless you visit a walk-in clinic for diagnosis, you can never truly realize the type or underlying cause of your depression. So far, medical experts and researchers have not conclusively found the cause of depression. There are only factors that increase the risk of depression in some patients. The common risk factors of depression are:
- A sudden change of life events – when things change abruptly, it can be too overwhelming for you to handle. Such depression arises after death, childbirth, losing a job, to mention a few.
- Genetic factors – if other people in your family have had depression, you are two to three times likely to get it than the average person.
- Mental disorders – like bipolar or some types of autism can increase your risk of depression.
- Terminal illness – if you have to battle a chronic health problem for the rest of your life, the reality of the situation can cause you to be depressed.
How to Know You Have Depression
Unfortunately, it has taken long for people to acknowledge depression as a serious mental problem that requires treatment in Houston urgent care centers like NeuMed Modern Urgent Care.
Many patients suffering from depression do not realize it usually until it is too late and then need immediate urgent care for depression. Some indicators that you may have depression are:
- Insomnia or difficulties sleeping well at night
- Difficulty concentrating
- Prolonged feelings of anxiety
- Sudden mood swings
- False beliefs and increased detachment from reality.
- Significantly reduced interest in pleasurable activities and hobbies.
- Excess sleepiness
- Suicidal thoughts and inclinations
- A feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness
- Sudden weight gains or weight loss
- Appetite changes – some patients may eat a lot, while others struggle with taking two meals a day.
- Loss of sexual drive or desire.
- Fatigue, body weakness, and loss of energy and morale.
- Ruminating – persistently dwelling on negative thoughts.
- Excessively working to avoid other matters of life like social interactions.
Can Depression Be Treated?
Depression is a continuous struggle for many people. It may persist for a few months or years. Doctors in urgent care near you may only offer treatment alternatives to help manage your mental health and get out of a depressive state. Some treatment options include:
- Medication – antidepressants work well, especially for patients with mental illnesses like bipolar disorder.
- Psychotherapy – involves one-on-one sessions with a therapist for counseling that can help you unpack your emotions and thought patterns.
- Brain stimulation therapies – the treatment is necessary for patients with major depression. The magnetic pulses from repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation go to the brain to help treat depression.
- Light therapy – is particularly a treatment option for patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder.