What is depression?
Depression is defined as a mental state characterized by loss of interest in things that give pleasure and satisfaction such as food,sex,family,friends etc...
Depression affects more women than men.
We all are affected by sadness at one time or other which may lead to depression due to bereavement,break up of relationships...etc,but for those who suffer from depression ,the situation overwhelms them and they can not get past them.
When you are depressed,the chemical messengers called neurotransmitters(dopamine,serotonin,norepinephrine) that carry messages between the brain cells called neurons, become disorganized and the transmission of messages between neurons is affected.
Depression should not be confused with a down mood.When you are depressed,your feelings control you and you feel as though it is the end of the road.
What are the types of depression?
The types of depression are
This is caused by physical illness and emotional factors such as strained relationship or bereavement.We all undergo this condition at one time or other in our lives and overcome it within a day or two without treatment.
This type is occurs without any cause,family history being the main reason.This is a more serious condition than the previous one and may last weeks even months and need treatment.
What are the causes of depression?
3.Emotional factors such as strained relationship or bereavement.
What are the signs of depression?
The main signs of all types of depression are
3.Loss interest in sex.
4.A persistent feeling of weakness
6.loss of concentration.
If the above symptoms persist for more than two weeks you are sure to have depression.
What is depression remedy?
Depression is unique to each person and so treatment differs from person to person.The following treatments help.
3.Combination of both.
Depending upon the severity of the individual case,suitable combination of psychotherapy and drugs is found to work better. Consult your doctor to know what is best for you.
What are the helpful tips?
1.Consult your doctor to devise an exercise plan and stick to it.Regular exercise is found to induce sleep and improve your condition.Exercise is found to help in the production of mood improving chemical 'endorphins'.
3.Yoga and meditation will help.
4.Become spiritual by becoming active in your religious activities which is found to lessen depression.
6.Adopt a pet if you do not have one since it is found to lift the mood when you feel responsible for the welfare of the pet.
7.Join support group to get advice and support.
click here to learn how to banish depression quickly without using harmful anti-depressants
Are you suffering from depression?
Life is full of ups and downs. But when the down times last for weeks or months at a time or keep you from living "normal," you may be suffering from depression. Depression is a medical illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things.
It is different from feeling "blue" or down for a few hours or a couple of days. It is not a condition that can be willed or wished away.
What causes depression?
There is no single cause of depression. There are many reasons why a woman may become depressed:
* Hormonal factors - menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, postpartum period, perimenopause, and menopause * Stress - at work and home, single parenthood, caring for children and for aging parents * Family history - inherited (it's in your genes); it can also occur in people with no family history * Medical illness - stroke, heart attack, cancer * Chemical imbalance - changes in the brain chemistry
What are the signs of depression?
Not all people with depression have the same symptoms. Some people might only have a few, and others a lot. If you have one or more of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks or months at a time, see your doctor.
* Feeling sad, anxious, or "empty" * Feeling hopeless * Loss of interest in hobbies and activities that you once enjoyed * Decreased energy * Difficulty staying focused, remembering, making decisions * Sleeplessness, early morning awakening, or oversleeping and not wanting to get up * No desire to eat and weight loss or eating to "feel better" and weight gain * Thoughts of hurting yourself * Thoughts of death or suicide * Easily annoyed, bothered, or angered * Constant physical symptoms that do not get better with treatment, such as headaches, upset stomach, and pain that doesn't go away.
What if I have thoughts of hurting myself?
Depression can make you think about hurting yourself or suicide. You may hurt yourself to:
* Take away emotional pain and distress * Avoid, distract from, or hold back strong feelings * Try to feel better * Stop a painful memory or thought * Punish yourself * Release or express anger that you're afraid to express to others
Yet, hurting yourself does just that -- it hurts you. At first, it may make you feel better; but it ends up making things worse. If you are thinking about hurting or even killing yourself, PLEASE ASK FOR HELP! Call 911, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 1-800-SUICIDE, or check in your phone book for the number of a suicide crisis center. The centers offer experts who can help callers talk through their problems and develop a plan of action. These hotlines can also tell you where to go for more help in person. You also can talk with a family member you trust, a clergy person or a doctor. There is nothing wrong with asking for help -- everyone needs help sometimes.
You might feel like your pain is too overwhelming to cope with, but those times don't last forever. People do make it through suicidal thoughts. If you can't find someone to talk with, write down your thoughts. Try to remember and write down the things you are grateful for. List the people who are your friends and family, and care for you. Write about your hopes for the future. Read what you have written when you need to remind yourself that your life is IMPORTANT!
How is depression treated?
Most people with depression get better when they get treatment.
Once identified, depression almost always can be treated either by therapy, medicine called antidepressants, or both. Some people with milder forms of depression do well with therapy alone. Others with moderate to severe depression might benefit from antidepressants. It may take a few weeks or months before you begin to feel a change in your mood. Some people do best with combined treatment -- therapy and antidepressants.[Return to Top]Should I stop taking my antidepressant while I am pregnant?
The decision whether or not to stay on medications is a complicated one that should be discussed with your doctor. Medication taken during pregnancy does reach the fetus. In rare cases, some antidepressants have been associated with breathing and heart problems in newborns, as well as jitteriness after delivery. However, moms who stop medications can be at increased risk for a relapse of their depression. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking antidepressants during pregnancy. Your doctor can help you decide what is best for you and your baby.[Return to Top]Should I stop taking my antidepressant while breastfeeding?
If you stopped taking your medication during pregnancy, after delivery you may need to begin taking it again. Be aware that because your medication can be passed into your breast milk, breastfeeding may pose some risk for a nursing infant.However, a number of research studies indicate that certain antidepressants, such as some of the SSRIs (a class of antidepressants for treating depression and anxiety disorders that includes medications like Zoloft), have been used relatively safely during breastfeeding. You should discuss with your doctor whether breastfeeding is an option or whether you should plan to feed your baby formula. Although breastfeeding has some advantages for your baby, most importantly, as a mother, you need to stay healthy so you can take care of your baby.
How can I get help for my depression?
Below are some people and places that can help you get treatment.
* Family doctor * Counselors or social workers * Family service, social service agencies, or clergy person * Employee assistance programs (EAP) * Psychologists and psychiatrists
If you are unsure where to go for help, check the Yellow Pages under "mental health," "health," "social services," "suicide prevention," "crisis intervention services," "hotlines," "hospitals," or "physicians" for phone numbers and addresses.
Depression during and after pregnancy:
What is depression?
Depression is more than just feeling “blue” or “down in the dumps” for a few days. It’s a serious illness that involves the brain. With depression, sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings don’t go away and interfere with day-to-day life and routines. These feelings can be mild to severe. The good news is that most people with depression get better with treatment.
How common is depression during and after pregnancy?
Depression is a common problem during and after pregnancy. About 13 percent of pregnant women and new mothers have depression.
How do I know if I have depression?
When you are pregnant or after you have a baby, you may be depressed and not know it. Some normal changes during and after pregnancy can cause symptoms similar to those of depression. But if you have any of the following symptoms of depression for more than 2 weeks, call your doctor:
* Feeling restless or moody * Feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed * Crying a lot * Having no energy or motivation * Eating too little or too much * Sleeping too little or too much * Having trouble focusing or making decisions * Having memory problems * Feeling worthless and guilty * Losing interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy * Withdrawing from friends and family * Having headaches, aches and pains, or stomach problems that don’t go away
Your doctor can figure out if your symptoms are caused by depression or something else.[Return to Top]What causes depression? What about postpartum depression?
There is no single cause. Rather, depression likely results from a combination of factors:
* Depression is a mental illness that tends to run in families. Women with a family history of depression are more likely to have depression. * Changes in brain chemistry or structure are believed to play a big role in depression. * Stressful life events, such as death of a loved one, caring for an aging family member, abuse, and poverty, can trigger depression. * Hormonal factors unique to women may contribute to depression in some women. We know that hormones directly affect the brain chemistry that controls emotions and mood. We also know that women are at greater risk of depression at certain times in their lives, such as puberty, during and after pregnancy, and during perimenopause. Some women also have depressive symptoms right before their period.
Depression after childbirth is called postpartum depression. Hormonal changes may trigger symptoms of postpartum depression. When you are pregnant, levels of the female hormones estrogen (ESS-truh-jen) and progesterone (proh-JESS-tur-ohn) increase greatly. In the first 24 hours after childbirth, hormone levels quickly return to normal. Researchers think the big change in hormone levels may lead to depression. This is much like the way smaller hormone changes can affect a woman’s moods before she gets her period.
Levels of thyroid hormones may also drop after giving birth. The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that helps regulate how your body uses and stores energy from food. Low levels of thyroid hormones can cause symptoms of depression. A simple blood test can tell if this condition is causing your symptoms. If so, your doctor can prescribe thyroid medicine.
Other factors may play a role in postpartum depression. You may feel:
* Tired after delivery * Tired from a lack of sleep or broken sleep * Overwhelmed with a new baby * Doubts about your ability to be a good mother * Stress from changes in work and home routines * An unrealistic need to be a perfect mom * Loss of who you were before having the baby * Less attractive * A lack of free time
Are some women more at risk for depression during and after pregnancy?
Certain factors may increase your risk of depression during and after pregnancy:
* A personal history of depression or another mental illness * A family history of depression or another mental illness * A lack of support from family and friends * Anxiety or negative feelings about the pregnancy * Problems with a previous pregnancy or birth * Marriage or money problems * Stressful life events * Young age * Substance abuse
Women who are depressed during pregnancy have a greater risk of depression after giving birth.If you take medicine for depression, stopping your medicine when you become pregnant can cause your depression to come back. Do not stop any prescribed medicines without first talking to your doctor. Not using medicine that you need may be harmful to you or your baby.
What is the difference between “baby blues,” postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis?
Many women have the baby blues in the days after childbirth. If you have the baby blues, you may:
* Have mood swings * Feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed * Have crying spells * Lose your appetite * Have trouble sleeping
The baby blues most often go away within a few days or a week. The symptoms are not severe and do not need treatment.
The symptoms of postpartum depression last longer and are more severe. Postpartum depression can begin anytime within the first year after childbirth. If you have postpartum depression, you may have any of the symptoms of depression listed above. Symptoms may also include:
* Thoughts of hurting the baby * Thoughts of hurting yourself * Not having any interest in the baby
Postpartum depression needs to be treated by a doctor.
Postpartum psychosis (seye-KOH-suhss) is rare. It occurs in about 1 to 4 out of every 1,000 births. It usually begins in the first 2 weeks after childbirth. Women who have bipolar disorder or another mental health problem called schizoaffective (SKIT-soh-uh-FEK-tiv) disorder have a higher risk for postpartum psychosis. Symptoms may include:
* Seeing things that aren’t there * Feeling confused * Having rapid mood swings * Trying to hurt yourself or your baby
What should I do if I have symptoms of depression during or after pregnancy?
Call your doctor if:
* Your baby blues don’t go away after 2 weeks * Symptoms of depression get more and more intense * Symptoms of depression begin any time after delivery, even many months later * It is hard for you to perform tasks at work or at home * You cannot care for yourself or your baby * You have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
Your doctor can ask you questions to test for depression. Your doctor can also refer you to a mental health professional who specializes in treating depression.
Some women don’t tell anyone about their symptoms. They feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about feeling depressed when they are supposed to be happy. They worry they will be viewed as unfit parents.
Any woman may become depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby. It doesn’t mean you are a bad or “not together” mom. You and your baby don’t have to suffer. There is help.
Here are some other helpful tips:
* Rest as much as you can. Sleep when the baby is sleeping. * Don’t try to do too much or try to be perfect. * Ask your partner, family, and friends for help. * Make time to go out, visit friends, or spend time alone with your partner. * Discuss your feelings with your partner, family, and friends. * Talk with other mothers so you can learn from their experiences. * Join a support group. Ask your doctor about groups in your area. * Don’t make any major life changes during pregnancy or right after giving birth. Major changes can cause unneeded stress. Sometimes big changes can’t be avoided. When that happens, try to arrange support and help in your new situation ahead of time.
How is depression treated?
The two common types of treatment for depression are:
* Talk therapy. This involves talking to a therapist, psychologist, or social worker to learn to change how depression makes you think, feel, and act. * Medicine. Your doctor can prescribe an antidepressant medicine. These medicines can help relieve symptoms of depression.
These treatment methods can be used alone or together. If you are depressed, your depression can affect your baby. Getting treatment is important for you and your baby. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking medicine to treat depression when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What can happen if depression is not treated?
Untreated depression can hurt you and your baby. Some women with depression have a hard time caring for themselves during pregnancy. They may:
* Eat poorly * Not gain enough weight * Have trouble sleeping * Miss prenatal visits * Not follow medical instructions * Use harmful substances, like tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs
Depression during pregnancy can raise the risk of:
* Problems during pregnancy or delivery * Having a low-birth-weight baby * Premature birth
Untreated postpartum depression can affect your ability to parent. You may:
* Lack energy * Have trouble focusing * Feel moody * Not be able to meet your child’s needs
As a result, you may feel guilty and lose confidence in yourself as a mother. These feelings can make your depression worse.
Researchers believe postpartum depression in a mother can affect her baby. It can cause the baby to have:
* Delays in language development * Problems with mother-child bonding * Behavior problems * Increased crying
It helps if your partner or another caregiver can help meet the baby’s needs while you are depressed.
All children deserve the chance to have a healthy mom. And all moms deserve the chance to enjoy their life and their children. If you are feeling depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby, don’t suffer alone. Please tell a loved one and call your doctor right away.
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