Psychiatrist Ahmedabad

Depression


Occasional sadness is part of our daily life. These feelings are short-lived and pass within few days. When somebody is affected by depression, it interferes with personal, social and occupational aspects of life. Depression is a serious medical condition which requires treatment to avoid suffering to the person and related significant others.

Though depression is a common illness, percentage of people receiving treatment is extremely low. Stigma related to mental health issues and lack of awareness about depression are the most common causes for this. Many people do not even know that emotional problems can be a part of a disorder and treatment is possible for the same.


Common symptoms in depression:

  • Sadness of mood

  • Decreased interest in activities that were previously pleasurable

  • Easy irritability

  • Lack of energy or lethargy and easily getting tired

  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness

  • Difficulty in concentration

  • Difficulty in making decisions

  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Pain such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain     which is often unexplained or   out of proportion to the physical component
  •  Death wish or ideas of ending one's life

Types

There are several forms of depression. Unipolar depression and Bipolar depression are the two most prominent differentiation. Apart from this, following are various disorders related to depression.

Major depressive disorder

Major depressive disorder, also known as MDD is the severe form of depression. The symptoms are constant, ranging from moderate to severe and the duration should be at least for 14 days which causes significant impairment in person’s personal, social and occupational life. 

Psychotic depression

It is also a severe form of depression in which depressive symptoms are accompanied by psychotic symptoms like suspiciousness, fearfulness,hearing of voices and other psychotic symptoms.Often individuals with psychotic depression are misdiagnosed as a schizophrenics.

Mixed anxiety depressive disorder

When person has symptoms of depression as well as symptoms of an anxiety disorder it is called Mixed anxiety depressive disorder.

Post partum depression

Baby blues is comparatively milder form of post partum depression which is short lived and not severe. Some women suffer from a severe form of the “baby blues". Postpartum depression is a longer lasting and more serious depression which is  associated with hormonal changes during pregnancy and delivery. Postpartum depression usually develops soon after delivery,but it may develop within 6 months of delivery.It usually clears before baby’s first birthday but when severe and untreated may affect mother’s health as well as her capacity to take care of her baby. With depressive symptoms, excessive worry regarding baby ‘s health is the key hallmark of post partum depression.

Agitated depression

Mostly an illness of geriatric (elderly) age group in which restlessness and aggression are prominent with other symptoms of depression.Person is easily irritable, shouting and may be pacing around frequently.

Medications induced depression

Many drugs also can cause depression.Drugs like methyldopa, betablockers, clonidine,thiazide diuretics,typical antipsychotics,digitalis,anticancer drugs, baclofen,domperidone, metoclopramide,certain antibiotics like ethambutol sulfonamides,steroids,oral contraceptive pills may be the cause of depression in some cases.

Depression due to general medical condition

Depression symptoms are found in 12 to 36 % of people with a general medical condition and vary according to the medical condition. Ongoing depression with any medical condition may affect a person’s ability to deal with that condition and ultimately the outcome.

Dysthymia

Dysthymia is a chronic low-grade depression.Person feel mildly or moderately depressed, although there are brief periods of normal mood. The symptoms of dysthymia are not as severe as the symptoms of major depression, but they last at least for two years.When somebody experiences major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia, the condition is known as “Double depression.” People suffering from dysthymia may feel like they  have always been depressed  Or may think that their continuous low mood is “just the way they are.” Dysthymia is  also a treatable condition even if symptoms are there for very longer period of time.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Some people have a tendency to get depressed in   a particular season or  months of the year,for  example,in winter or in monsoon.This type of depression is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Seasonal affective disorder is more common in cold climates than hot climates.Seasonal affective disorder is treatable. Light therapy, a treatment that involves exposure to bright artificial light,is also a good adjunctive treatment option for SAD.Many experts believe that SAD is actually a variant of bipolar mood disorder and mood stabilizers like lithium are better drugs for long term maintenance of seasonal affective disorder.