You’re sad and you feel helpless? It’s possible you have major depressive disorder. People suffering from major depression have the constant deep feeling of helplessness and despair.
With the appearance of the symptoms of clinical depression it becomes difficult to work, study, sleep, eat and enjoy time spent with the friends. Some people have a major depression episode once in a lifetime, but the rest of the people have it a few times.
What is Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression?
Every person, in certain circumstances, feels sad. But the condition of the major depression is characterized by depressive mood all day long, especially in the morning. In addition there are other symptoms:
- Exhaustion almost every day and loss of vital energy
- Feeling of helplessness and guilt almost every day
- Troubles in focusing and indecision
- Insomnia almost every day or increased drowsiness
- Anhedonia (loss of interest to the prior enjoyable activities)
- Psychomotor arousal or retardation
- Repetitive thoughts of suicidal or death
- Considerable weight loss or weight gain (5% of the body weight during a month)
In order to recognize the major depression it is necessary the presence of such symptoms like depressive mood and loss of interest. They also must manifest themselves during the big part of the day, or every day 2 weeks in a row.
Who is most prone to clinical depression?
According to statistics provided by the National Institute of mental health, more than 6.7% of the total population of the United States after the age of 18 years suffers from major depression. In general, about 25 percent of the population is experiencing an episode of major depression in life.
Who is more susceptible to the disease: women or men?
Women are more susceptible than men to this disease. Statistics show that women suffer from it twice more often than men. It is considered that the reason is the hormonal imbalance present in such stages of woman’s life like puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, abortion and menopause.
Other reason of clinical depression is the constant feeling of responsibility at work and at home. By combining the education of the child, career, money obligations and looking after ill parents, the woman exposes herself to the risk of having major depression. At risk are also single mothers.
What are the signs of Major Depressive Disorder in men?
Depression in men, although is common, is poorly known. If the man is suffering from severe depression, it is most likely that he will not seek the help of a specialist and will not be able to openly admit he has this disease.
The signs of depression in men most often include irritability, anger or abuse of alcohol or drugs. Suppression of feelings can cause severe behavior both towards him and towards others. It can also lead to complications of chronic illnesses, suicide or murder.
What causes major depression?
Not everyone is susceptible to this disorder, but the most common causes of acute depression are the following factors:
- Grief caused by the loss of the loved one due to death, separation or divorce
- Lack of communication that leads to self-isolation from the society and feeling of exile
- Important events in life like graduating school or university, moving to another city or country, change of job, retirement
- Constant conflicts in personal relationship
- Physical, sexual or emotional violence
- Genetic factor may also be a triggering element
How major depression is diagnosed?
The family doctor or the psychologist will conduct a thorough examination. He’ll mandatory ask about the psychic diseases in your family. Also, he may ask you to fill a depression test.
There are no special blood tests, x-ray or other laboratory tests that can accurately diagnose major depression. Nonetheless, your doctor may order a blood test to rule out all the possible options for other diseases with similar symptoms such as depression. For example, reduced thyroid function is similar to the symptoms of depression.
How major depression is treated?
Although major or clinical depression is a complex disease, it still can be cured. Most likely, the doctor will prescribe you antidepressants. He can also advise you to hold multiple sessions of psychotherapy. Sometimes, to increase the effect of antidepressants, additional medicine is used.
The selection of drugs in each case is strictly individual. It is very important to choose the medicine with your doctor. Perhaps your doctor will prescribe some medication options to see which one is most effective. Unfortunately, there is no other way to determine what drug suits you best.
Is it possible to prevent clinical depression?
If at least once in your life you have experienced an episode of clinical depression, then there is a high risk that the disease will come back again. The best way to prevent a repeated episode is to know the main causes of its occurrence and always keep an eye on them. It is also important to know all the symptoms of severe depression and at their occurrence, contact a physician.