Also referred to as Clinical Depression “Major Depressive disorder” is a significant medical condition that can affect many areas of your life. It effects the daily functioning of the person; it affects his behavior, the way he eats as well as his sleep. Major depressive disorder is marked by a depressed mood most of the day, sometimes particularly in the morning, and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships. These symptoms are common for anyone to last a day or two, but for major depressive disorder these symptoms last at least for two weeks.
Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder:
These are some of the common symptoms present when a person has a major depressive disorder. The person need not have all the symptoms. Lack of energy, feeling of sadness, changes in sleeping pattern, change in appetite, feelings of hopelessness or despair, not able to concentrate, not able to do the daily activities, not wanting to have friends. Suicidal thoughts or self harm. It is very important to call the suicide help immediately when you notice that a person is having suicidal thoughts.
Causes of Major Depressive Disorder:
Major Depressive disorder can have many causes. One is chemical imbalance in the brain. A chemical imbalance is either deficient or excess chemicals in the brain. These chemicals help to transmit signals from one neuron to another. When the chemicals are not balanced the chemicals do not send the correct signals. This could contribute to depression. Stressful events in life are cause for some people. Each of us face stressful events but for some constant stress can lead to depression. Heredity is another factor. If your siblings or parents have depression there is a possibility that you may also get it. Child bearing is a cause for depression in women. Some get it before the delivery of the child and there are some who get it after the delivery of the child. Misuse of drugs and alcohol causes depression in some. Chorionic or life threatening illness may be a cause for some. Loneliness is another cause.
Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder:
The more common treatments of Major Depressive Disorder are Medications, Psychotherapy, Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The medications are decided by the psychiatrists. They decide the medication and dosage depending on the severity of the problem. They will vary the dosage or change the medication based on the response. It is very important to be very regular with the medication. Counselors provide psychotherapy services. The counselor will talk to you and suggest the best way to overcome your problem. In ECT, electrical currents are passed through the brain. ECT helps to relieve depression. ECT is usually used for people who do not respond to medications, or those who cannot take medications for health reasons. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a relatively new form of therapy (TMS). In TMS, magnets are used to stimulate the brain. It particularly useful for those who did not respond to others forms of treatment.
Looking after someone with depression:
If you are taking care of someone with depression the first thing you need to do is try and understand about depression. Know what kind of a depression it is. The next thing is, be willing to listen. Let your loved one know that you want to understand how he or she feels. Listening is a powerful healing tool for those with depression. Just listen to what the person has to say. Another help you can do for the person with depression is to make appoint with the doctors. Help in taking the medications regularly. See that stress is reduced on the person with depression. Try and give positive reinforcement at all times. Being patient with the person with depression is important, the person cannot easily make decisions, cannot do simple tasks due to lack of energy, cancels plans in the last moment. In all these situations one must be very patient.
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