What is major depression?
Depression is a serious medical illness that lasts around 14 days or more and hinders with a person’s ability to perform daily tasks and enjoy those activities that previously looked pleasing.
Depression a serious disease. Is it?
Yes. According to the United States National Institute of Mental Health “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.” As a matter of fact, depression results in pain and suffering not only to the patient, but also to their loved ones. Depression is considered a lethal disease leading to an overwhelming death rate of more than 1 million deaths per year from suicide. Besides being a huge economic burden, depression is a leading cause of disease burden and disability worldwide. By the year 2030, depression can be the main cause of disease burden around the globe as the researchers estimate.
What are the symptoms of depression?
WHO’s International Classification of Diseases maintains that when a person experiences a depressed mood, a loss of interest or enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to diminished activity, depression is diagnosed. Other common depression symptoms include:
- Reduced level of concentration or attention
- Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Ideas of guilt and unworthiness
- Bleak & pessimistic view of the future
- Experiencing disturbed sleep
- Less or diminished appetite
- Suicidal thoughts or ideas of self-harm
If you experience any of the above depression symptoms, contact your physician and inquire about your different depression treatment options.
Is there a cure for depression?
There is no known cure for depression. Having said this, many patients can lead normal lives and remain symptom free by choosing the correct and effective treatment option.
Are there any approved treatments for depression?
In order to treat depression, both the non-medicine as well as drug therapies are available. Initial treatment for depression is done with the help of psychotherapy (talk therapy) and antidepressant medication administered together. Although antidepressants might be effective for a few patients, they do not suit everyone. Additionally, antidepressants often ends up in unwanted side effects. Many patients don’t receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medication and/or may not tolerate the side effects caused by them. For these patients, there are alternative treatments available that involve the use of a medical device. These treatments include most importantly transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).