Couple Counselling / Depression
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What is major depression?
Depression is a serious medical illness that lasts two weeks or more and interferes with a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks and enjoy activities that previously brought pleasure.
Is depression a serious disease?
Yes. The United States National Institute of Mental Health maintains that, “Depression is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally.” Depression causes pain and suffering not only to those who have the disorder, but to those who care about them. Depression can be a lethal disease leading to more than 1 million deaths from suicide each year. Along with being a huge economic burden, depression is a leading cause of disease burden and disability around the world. Researchers estimate that by the year 2030, depression will be the leading cause of disease burden worldwide.
What are the symptoms of depression?
According to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, depression is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing a depressed mood, a loss of interest or enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to diminished activity. Other common depression symptoms include:
- Reduced concentration or attention
- Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Ideas of guilt and unworthiness
- Bleak and pessimistic view of the future
- Disturbed sleep
- Diminished appetite
- Ideas of self-harm or suicide
If you feel you are experiencing any of these depression symptoms, contact your doctor and ask about your depression treatment options.
Is there a cure for depression?
There is no known cure for depression. However, with effective treatment, many patients can remain symptom free and can lead normal lives.
What are the current approved treatments for depression?
There are non-drug and drug therapies available to treat depression. Depression is often initially treated with psychotherapy (talk therapy) and antidepressant medication administered together. Although antidepressants can be effective for some patients, they do not work for everybody. Additionally, antidepressants often result in unwanted side effects.Many patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medication and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. For these patients, alternative treatments that involve the use of a medical device are available. These treatments include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).