February 1, 2017

Depression: The Most Common Illness in the World

The World Health Organization recognizes depression as the most common illness in the world and estimates that 350 million people are affected by depression globally [1].  Depression is a condition where the severity of the condition varies greatly from person to person.

Depression is a mental health disorder in which the patient faces sadness and loss of interest in various aspects of their life. These feelings often result in an unhealthy condition of the patient’s mood. It is common for people to confuse common fluctuations in the mood with depression. These fluctuations are part of a normal and healthy life; therefore depression cannot be classified by fluctuations in the mood over a very short period of time. The standard period of a depressive episode is usually 6-8 months to be classified as depression [2].

Since depression is a very complex disease, it is extremely difficult to narrow down a generalized cause. The condition varies patient to patient and a series of factors are observed in order to diagnose a patient. For instance, genetics and biological changes in neurotransmitter levels may cause depression. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain that affect chemical changes in the body which cause a change in mood. Also, a family history of depression elevates the chances for the condition, as it is a genetic condition. Looking into family history in cases of depression is a common procedure for family physicians. Furthermore, there are environmental and physiological factors that may contribute to depression. These factors are often determined by social and personal factors a person may face in everyday life.

These causes are often self-diagnosed, but it is vitally important that patients seek a medical professional’s attention in order to further classify the type of condition that they may be facing. Being in a bad mood doesn’t always signify depression, so it is best to get a professional opinion.

[1] Depression. World Health Organization. Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/

[2] Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments. MacGill, Markus. Medical News Today. Retrieved from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/kc/depression-causes-symptoms-treatments-8933

November 1, 2016

How Depression Medication Affects Your Body

Filed under: Depression,health,stress — Tags: , , , , , — drwatson @ 11:24 pm

Depression treatment and symptomsNeurotransmitters are chemicals in your brain that affect mood and emotions. If you suffer from depression, antidepressant pills are a common treatment option. These anti-depressants help with improving mood, sleeping better and increasing appetite. Improving these areas of a person’s life are all are helpful when coping with depression and to help construct a more positive outlook for the patient. It is important that patients are aware of the emotions and feelings they will exhibit when they are going through their depression treatment.

For each person who takes depression medication, the effects may take different amounts of time to manifest. It normally takes a minimum of three to four weeks before a person taking depression medication starts to notice a change in their mood [1].

Antidepressants, like many other medications, have noticeable side effects. These include headaches, drowsiness, weight gain and agitation. With a variety of antidepressants that can be prescribed, side effects will vary greatly and some side effects may be more common in some types of medication. For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibiters (SSRIs) tend to have fewer side effects. It is important to seek a medical professional is sought before finding an appropriate anti-depressant.

Lastly, the length of these side effects vary from person to person.  In many cases, these effects only last for a few days whereas in others it may take up to a number of weeks. The effects of a certain medication is variable, each person will react differently to a medication and it is important to keep consulting a medical professional to see if an antidepressant is appropriate for a person’s condition. Sometimes the time of day or type of medication may not be suited to a patient and a doctor can help with that diagnosis.

[1] How Your Depression Medication Can Affect Your Life? Greenlaw, Ellen. WebMd. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/antidepressant-effects#1

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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