DEPRESSION: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENTS by Ogunbowale Olamide
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the most common illness worldwide and the leading cause of disability.
They estimated that over 350 million people are affected by depression, globally on annual basis .
Depression is a mental health disorder. It is a mood disorder characterized by persistently low mood and a feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is different from the fluctuations in mood that people experience as a part of normal life.
The causes of depression are not fully understood but are likely to be a complex combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. It may not be down to a single source because it is likely to be due to a complex combination of factors that include:
2. biological - changes in neurotransmitter levels
4. Psychological and social (psychosocial)
Symptoms include reduced interest in pleasurable activities and lower mood. Other symptoms include:
i) Depressed mood;
reduced interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed.
ii) Unintentional weight loss (without dieting) or low appetite.
iii) Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping).
iv) Fatigue or loss of energy.
v)Feelings of worthlessness or guilt,
worsened ability to think, concentrate or make decisions,
recurrent thoughts of death or suicide...
How do you treat depression?
Depression is a treatable mental illness. There are three components to the management of depression:
1. Support - ranging from discussing practical solutions and contributing stresses, to educating family members.
2. Psychotherapy - also known as talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
3. Drug treatment - antidepressants.
Also, diagnosis of depression starts with a consultation with a doctor or mental health specialist. It is important to seek the help of a health professional to rule out different causes of depression, ensure an accurate differential diagnosis, and secure safe and effective treatment.
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