Depression Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Depression is a “Whole-body illness involving the mind, mood, and thoughts. Clinical depression is so widespread that it has been called the common cold of psychiatry. At any given point of time, 15 -20% of adults suffer significant levels of depressive symptomatology. At least 12% experience depression severe enough to require treatment at some time in their lives.  

I general, Majority of the who require medication for their depression respond to treatment for their depression respond to treatment better when pshychotheraphy, especially CBT is provided in addition to medication. Medication treats the symptoms; it is essential to treat the psychological problems that cause depression.

In most cases, depression is time limited. Untreated episodes usually resolve within 3-6 months. However, relapse is common. For this reason, treatment must aim not only to speed recovery from the current episode but also aim to maintain improvement and if possible to reduce the likelihood of recurrence.

It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. The symptoms may vary from person to person, and also depend on the severity of depression. Depression causes changes in the following:-

  • Change in thinking
  • Change in feeling
  • Changed expressions in behavior
  • Change in physical well-being.

Change in thinking: A person may experience a problem with attention and concentration and decision making. Whereas, some people report difficulty with short-term memory. Negative and pessimistic thoughts are characteristic of depression.  Perssimism, poor self-esteem, excessive guilt and self-criticism are common. Some people have self-destructive thoughts during more severe depreation.

Change in Feeling: A person may feel sad for reason at all people report that they no longer enjoy the things/activities that they once found pleasurable. A person may lack mention and become apathetic. Feeling “ slowed down”, tired and drained al the time are also common. They experience difficulty in controlling their temper, feel irritable, helplessness or hopelessness may also be present.

Changes in behaviour:  Change in behavior are reflective of negative emotions. Some people do not feel comfortable with other people and social withdrawal is common. There may be changes in appetite. Either more or less. Because of the chronic sadness crying is common. Sexual desire may reduce or disappear leading to a lack of sexual activity. In extreme people may neglect their personal appearance and care even neglect basic hygiene.

Change in physical well being: Chronic fatigue resulting in excessive sleeping is common. Some people can’t sleep; other are not able to have a sound sleep. Loss of appetite may lead to weight loss. Tension headaches and other body aches and pains may also be reported by people. Other people may be restless and find it difficult to sit still.


Diagnostic criteria  As per the ICD-10 diagnostic classifications a depressive episode can either be mild moderate or sever. In a typical depressive treatment episode the individual usually suffers from – (i) depressed mood, (ii) loss of interest and enjoyment in pleasurable activities and (iii) reduced energy

Treatments: Medication and formed psychotherapy are open combined in practice. There are basicall three way to develop a combined treatment :

  1. Initiate the combination as acute-phase treatement.
  2. Add formal psychotherapy to medication that has elicited a partial response
  3. Add medication after a partial response to psychotherapy alone

Article Credit : Dr. Divya Srivastava ( Clinical Psychologist )

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