4 types of depression medications and treatment options
What is depression?
Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities.
It’s also fairly common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source estimates that 8.1 percent of American adults ages 20 and over had depression in any given 2-week period from 2013 to 2016.
People experience depression in different ways. It may interfere with your daily work, resulting in lost time and lower productivity. It can also influence relationships and some chronic health conditions.
Conditions that can get worse due to depression include:
Depression can be more than a constant state of sadness or feeling “blue.”
Major depression can cause a variety of symptoms. Some affect your mood, and others affect your body. Symptoms may also be ongoing, or come and go.
The symptoms of depression can be experienced differently among men, women, and children differently.
Men may experience symptoms related to their:
mood, such as anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness
emotional well-being, such as feeling empty, sad, hopeless
behavior, such as loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicide, drinking excessively, using drugs, engaging in high-risk activities
sexual interest, such as reduced sexual desire, lack of sexual performance
cognitive abilities, such as inability to concentrate, difficulty completing tasks, delayed responses during conversations
sleep patterns, such as insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness, not sleeping through the night
physical well-being, such as fatigue, pains, headache, digestive problems
Women may experience symptoms related to their:
mood, such as irritability
emotional well-being, such as feeling sad or empty, anxious or hopeless
behavior, such as loss of interest in activities, withdrawing from social engagements, thoughts of suicide
cognitive abilities, such as thinking or talking more slowly
sleep patterns, such as difficulty sleeping through the night, waking early, sleeping too much
physical well-being, such as decreased energy, greater fatigue, changes in appetite, weight changes, aches, pain, headaches, increased cramps
There are several possible causes of depression. They can range from biological to circumstantial.
Common causes include:
Family history. You’re at a higher risk for developing depression if you have a family history of depression or another mood disorder.
Early childhood trauma. Some events affect the way your body reacts to fear and stressful situations.
Brain structure. There’s a greater risk for depression if the frontal lobe of your brain is less active. However, scientists don’t know if this happens before or after the onset of depressive symptoms.
Medical conditions. Certain conditions may put you at higher risk, such as chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Drug use. A history of drug or alcohol misuse can affect your risk.
About 21 percent of people who have a substance use problem also experience depression. In addition to these causes, other risk factors for depression include:
low self-esteem or being self-critical
personal history of mental illness
stressful events, such as loss of a loved one, economic problems, or a divorce
Many factors can influence feelings of depression, as well as who develops the condition and who doesn’t.
The causes of depression are often tied to other elements of your health.
However, in many cases, healthcare providers are unable to determine what’s causing depression.
There isn’t a single test to diagnose depression. But your healthcare provider can make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and a psychological evaluation.
In most cases, they’ll ask a series of questions about your:
Because depression can be linked to other health problems, your healthcare provider may also conduct a physical examination and order blood work. Sometimes thyroid problems or a vitamin D deficiency can trigger symptoms of depression.
Treatment for depression
Avoid alcohol and drugsb
Learn how to say no
Take care of yourself
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