What is depression and what are its symptoms?
What is depression?
From time to time, everyone goes through periods of feeling emotionally and psychologically unwell. These periods usually last for a certain period of time, depending on the intensity of the distress and sadness you are experiencing. However, if the bad periods you experience last longer than two to three weeks and prevent you from doing many of the things you can do in daily life properly; this condition is called depression (major depressive disorder).
What Causes Depression?
Disruption of the chemical balance in the brain plays a major role in the onset of this illness. Damage to the frontal lobe, which has important functions in the brain in terms of your emotional state, judgments, goals and solutions, as a result of traumatic events can cause you to become depressed. For example, the likelihood of depression increases as a result of events such as the end of a long-standing relationship, giving birth, the death of a loved one, unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction, etc. that will wear us down and leave an impact on your brain.
Depression can also be passed on from person to person through genetic transmission. Individuals with a family history of depression or other psychological disorders are more likely to have depression.
What are the symptoms of depression?
- People who are depressed do not want to do many things that they normally do with love and pleasure, and even if they do, they do not enjoy them.
- They may not be able to do many things that they could do easily before because of depression-related distraction. Forgetfulness and difficulty in learning new things occur.
- They are constantly in a pessimistic and hopeless mood towards life. They have a pessimistic view of the future and have no goals and aspirations for the future. They think that they will never feel good again.
- They feel lonely. Sometimes they isolate themselves because of their depression. They don’t want to go out or meet their friends.
- People lack self-confidence. People with depression feel worthless, unloved and unwanted by others and start to dislike themselves.
- They start to think about self-harm and death.
- Some people have trouble falling asleep, while others have longer periods of sleep and want to sleep all the time.
- Serious weight loss can occur, as well as a fondness for food and the desire to make unhappy moods better through food.
What are the Types of Depression
Major Depression: Major depression is the most severe form of depression. People feel intensely sad, unhappy and worthless. For someone to be diagnosed with major depression, at least five symptoms of depression must be present and last for more than two weeks. There are subtypes of major depression.
- Depression after childbirth,
- Seasonal affective disorder,
- Depressive disorder with atypical features,
- Depressive disorder with catatonic features,
- Depressive disorder with psychotic features,
- Depressive disorder with melancholic features.
Dysthymic disorder (persistent) depression: Dysthymic disorder is a type of depression that affects people’s lives more negatively because it persists for at least two years, although it presents with fewer symptoms than major depression.
How is Depression Treated?
Depression is a disorder that affects the lives of individuals with this disorder very negatively and needs to be treated. There are various psychotherapy methods for the treatment of depression.
The most common of these is cognitive behavioral therapy. In this treatment method, the psychotherapist examines the factors that cause depression with the cooperation of the client. It focuses on how the client feels today, right now. The aim of the therapy is to change the structure of negative thoughts and beliefs and replace them with more positive ones.
Another highly effective method in the treatment of depression is EMDR therapy. Especially in trauma-induced depressions, positive changes in the emotional state of the person are observed with the EMDR technique. EMDR aims to explore the past negative memories underlying depression and the triggering events that led to its onset. In the therapy with EMDR technique, the negative thoughts on the memories that the person has experienced in the past are replaced with positive ones. While the treatment of depression takes a long time in many therapy methods, it is possible to shorten this process in EMDR therapy.
At the same time, methods such as meditation and yoga, which help to keep emotions in balance and think more positively, can also be effective in treating depression.
In some cases, depression is resistant to therapies and people may start medication with a psychiatrist.