Depression: The Silent Stalker

Depression: The Silent Stalker

Depression is believed to be the number one cause of disability in the world. In the United States alone, more than 17% of the population will experience varying degrees of depression at some point in their lives.

Some of the symptoms for depression are:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism
  • Guilt, feelings of worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, including sports, recreation and sex
  • Constant fatigue, decreased stamina
  • Difficulty in concentrating, downward trend in memory
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, oversleeping
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts
  • Constant restlessness
  • Irritability, anxiety
  • persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

There are various kinds of depression as well:

Major Depression: it is manifested by a combination of the above symptoms. It interferes with your ability to enjoy everyday activities. Chronic major depression might require treatment to continue indefinitely.

Dysthymia: This involves long-lasting symptoms that do not disable in any way, but prevent one from functioning at an optimal level or feeling good about oneself. Many people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes during their lives.

Bipolar Disorder: This condition is characterized by cycling mood changes. The victim experiences highs and lows, with periods of normal mood in between.

Treatment for depression can vary. Antidepressants are most commonly used. The major types of antidepressants are SSRIs (that alter the amount of serotonin in the brain), SNRIs (that alter both serotonin and norepinephrine), TCAs (that perform the same function as SNRIs, but are stronger) and MAOIs (these are the strongest antidepressants that are legally used).

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