Depression – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment options
Depression is characterized by a wide range of psychological and physical symptoms. The most noticeable sign is frequently a low mood or sorrow. A lower degree of activity in areas of the brain is a typical feature of these symptoms.
THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Depression may give one or more of these symptoms:
-Sadness or a low mood.
-A lack of enjoyment or interest in formerly enjoyable activities.
-A sense of remorse about something without any justification.
-Thoughts of inferiority.
-Processing of thinking is slow.
-Difficulty understanding sensory inputs.
-Slow digestion or other internal physical processes, as well as symptoms resulting from this sluggishness, such as a bloated stomach, constipation, or urinary issues.
-Physical responses that are slow.
Depression can range from a moderate illness that only causes little inconvenience in everyday life to a severe illness that renders a person unable to work or engage in social activities. Suicide risk is increased in people who suffer from depression to some degree.
Depression affects people of all ages. Depression in teens can manifest itself as a loss of interest in schoolwork, retreat from social life, and a gloomy attitude.
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL CHANGES THAT PRODUCE THE SYMPTOMS
Depression causes a decrease in neurotransmitters in parts of the central nervous system, primarily serotonin deficiency, but also noradrenaline deficiency, acetylcholine deficiency, dopamine deficiency, or gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) deficiency, or nerve cells that do not respond properly to neurotransmitter stimulation. A neurotransmitter is a signaling molecule that delivers nerve signals between nerve cells through junctions.
Nerve cells send signals to other nerve cells when serotonin and noradrenaline are present, increasing brain activity. Slowness in areas of the brain is caused by a deficiency of these compounds, which leads to depressive symptoms.
GABA’s function is the polar opposite: it slows down some nerve impulses, primarily those that cause anxiety and panic. GABA deficiency causes anxiety to rise and panic attacks to become more frequent. However, it appears that a deficiency of this transmitter causes depressive symptoms as well.
There are several factors that contribute to this.
There are many causes and subtypes of depression with different physiological mechanisms involved.
TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION
Antidepressant medication is commonly used to treat serious or long-term depression. Antidepressant medications may raise the number of neurotransmitters like serotonin in the central nervous system or mimic neurotransmitters.
The most often prescribed drugs raise serotonin levels by reducing serotonin clearance from the area around nerve cells. Fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), escitalopram (Lexapro, Celexa), and sertraline are examples of this pharmaceutical class (Zoloft).
Heavy tranquilizers (neuroleptics) are used to halt the manic symptoms in bipolar disorder in the manic face. Lithium salts are occasionally used to stabilize bipolar illness and prevent future outbreaks of depressed or manic symptoms.
Depression patients may benefit from psychotherapy, which is frequently used in conjunction with medication.
Electroconvulsive treatment, which involves delivering an electric shock to the brain, is sometimes used to treat severe depression. The shock causes an epileptic explosion of nerve impulses in the brain, resulting in cramping all throughout the body. Before the electroshock, an anesthetic is used to relieve or halt the cramping. This therapy is divisive since it has been linked to memory loss and is suspected of causing brain damage. Most psychiatrists, on the other hand, dismiss the notion of brain injury.
Light therapy may be beneficial for seasonal depression.
When depression or depressive symptoms occur, a change in lifestyle should always be explored. Depressive symptoms can sometimes be treated with lifestyle changes before a significant depression develops. Adjustments to one’s lifestyle might include:
– To reduce the amount of labor or activities in a hectic existence.
– Enough sleep and rest.
– A well-balanced diet that includes all of the essential elements.
– Some physical activity
– Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, lecithin, amino acids, and necessary fatty acids supplementation
– In moderation, stimulants such as coffee or tea might aid with depressing emotions. If you are a strong user of these stimulants, however, you should reduce your intake.
In the market, there are nutritional items that can aid with depressive symptoms. Amino acids and lecithin, for example, are nutrients that the brain uses as building blocks for neurotransmitters. They also frequently include vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, that the brain needs as tools to build neurotransmitters.
Supplements may also contain botanical extracts that stimulate brain activity in the same way as antidepressants do, but with fewer negative effects.