It is normal to feel sad or blue when it lasts within a couple of days. However, if it lasts longer than two weeks, it may be a depression. In addition, depression commonly disrupts daily life and causes pain for the sufferer and someone surrounding. Indeed, depression is common, but it is a serious illness because when it is untreated, it is also linked to suicide or any attempts to suicide. Because depression seems to be a private illness, many people don’t seek treatment. But in fact, many people with severe mental depression get better with certain treatment.
What Causes Clinical Depression
There are some factors leading to severe mental depression. They can be genetics, biology, environment and psychology. The source of this mental disorder is on the brain. The current brain imaging technologies, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) shows the difference between the brain of normal people and one of people suffering from depression. There are some parts of the brain with the differences, including the mood, sleep, thinking, behavior and appetite. However, this imaging system can’t clearly show why depression happened and the systems can’t be used in diagnosing depression.
There are some types of depression that are believed caused by genetics. They run in family, but they can also happen to people without depression heredity. Some studies indicate that there are several genes that are linked to depression, but they don’t stand by themselves as they also triggered by some environmental factors. Some other factors such as loss of someone or something, trauma, stressful situation may cause depression.
Who Is at Risk
Depression may happen to everyone. Men, women, teen, and older adults may suffer from depression. A US based statistic shows that the most common type of depression in US is major depressive disorder. Every year, approx 6.7% adults are with this type of depression. Women have 70% higher risk of depression than men. Non Hispanic blacks have 40% lower risk of depression than non Hispanic whites. The average age of people with depression is 32 years old. In addition, 3.3% of teens around 13 to 18 years olds have experienced depression.
Depression Symptoms and Treatment
There are several depression symptoms. Everyone with depression may have different signs and symptoms. They may differ in frequency, duration and severity.
- Helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism, worthlessness feelings
- Loss of interest in joyful and pleasure
- Body weight, appetite and sleep changes
- Irritability or anger
- Loss of energy
- Problems in concentration
- Unexplained pains and aches
After diagnosing the severe mental depression, one should have the right treatment. Typically, the treatment is in the form of medication and psychotherapy. For the medication, sufferer may have antidepressants for the first treatment. It is believed that antidepressants can regulate mood, although there is no certainty in getting rid of depression.
There are two most common psychotherapies, i.e. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and IPT (Interpersonal Therapy). Psychotherapy is the best option to cure mild to moderate depression, but it does not work well for severe depression. Thus, for the severe depression, it is recommended to take the combination of psychotherapy and medication.