Head | General Practice | Depression (Disease)


Depression is characterized as an abnormal emotional state characterized by exagerated feelings of sadness, melancholy, dejection, wothlessness, emptiness, and hopelessness that are inappropriate and out of proportion to reality.

Depression is different than normal sadness because it prevents the patient from functioning normally in their daily life. Other signs of depression include a lack of energy or initiative (psychomotor retardation), agitation, withdrawal from social contact, insomnia, decreased appetite and/or a vegetative state. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable; experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions. The symptoms can become severe enough to cause self harm or suicide.

Patients suffering from the following symptoms may have depression: excessive sadness, problems falling asleep, sleeping too much, problems concentrating, uncontrollable negative thoughts, no appetite, short tempered, feeling helpless, increase in drinking alcohol, increase reckless behavior, increased fatigue, thoughts life isnt worth living.

Causes and Risk factors

Depressed mood is not necessarily a psychiatric disorder. It is a normal reaction to certain life events, a symptom of some medical conditions, and a side effect of some medical treatments. Depressed mood is also a primary or associated feature of certain psychiatric syndromes such as clinical depression.

Depression involves a set of symptoms that can last for months and sometimes years. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with depression cannot merely pull themselves together and get better.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Physical and history exams are usually performed. Other tests such brain CT scan, thyroid function tests or electrolytes may also be undertaken.

Regarding the treatment, antidepressants and psychotherapy are usually recommended. Sometimes, psychiatric hospitalizations may be needed for severe symptoms and for persons with suicidal thoughts. Patiens that do not respond to medications and psychotherapy, electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) may be another option. ...