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Friday 7 November 2014

Beating Depression

Winston Churchill referred to his continuous bouts of depression "the black dog." President Abraham Lincoln, who battled with depression his entire adult life, once stated, "I am now probably the most miserable man living." Until very recently, our understanding and methods of treatment of the various types of depression almost always very poor; and most people are usually reluctant to admit that they had problems with depression even once they understood that they had it.

Thanks to a lot of research that has been done in more recent years, A lot of new types of medications for treating depression, and a much deeper understanding of exactly how depression works, the days of misunderstanding are long gone. Prior to a few years ago, most celebrities and public figures have gone public with their own experiences with depression. Amongst them are people such the famous newsman Mike Wallace and humorist Art Buchwald, actresses Brooke Shields and Lorraine Bracco, Tipper Gore and Alanis Morrisette, as well as many others. Their stories about their problems with depression has really helped Americans understand depression in a totally different light than we used to.

In her book which is titled "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression", Shields(the author) discusses her battle with depression. "I just felt as though I would never be happy again, and as if I had fallen into a big black hole." But Shields and as well as many others have gotten help in various different forms, and they know that depression can be treated using modern medicine.

"There's nothing, repeat, nothing to be ashamed of when you're going through a depression," says 60 Minutes' newsman Mike Wallace, whom has been in many different public service bulletins about depression for CBS. "If you get help, the chances of your licking it are really good. But, you have to get yourself onto a safe path."

"There's help. It's treatable," writes Lorraine Bracco in her book-On the Couch. "Getting treatment for depression was the best decision I ever made; going public about it was the second best." However many people who live even in our present day still go through a battle with this baffling condition that often leaves people feeling unhappy, worthless, and uninterested in any of their day to day activities. Different symptoms can include sleeplessness or oversleeping, loss of energy, weight increases as well as loss, and even thoughts of suicide.

The Nationwide Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is on the forefront of research on the several types of depression, the ways to treat each of them, and on methods to help the American public understand that they are not alone and that there is treatment available for depression. Step one, say NIMH researchers, is to understand that there are several kinds of depression and to understand what treatments are available. You need to talk to a mental health professional- or even your doctor.

Symptoms of Depression

Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences the same symptoms. It is important to remember that you will likely not experience *that* many of the symptoms on this list. The severity of symptoms can also vary among individuals and the severity of the symptoms can also change dramatically over time.

* Persistent sadness, anxiety, or just "empty" feeling.
* Emotions of hopelessness or pessimism.
* Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.
* Loss of interest in hobbies and actions that you once found pleasurable, including sex.
* Decrease in energy or feeling fatigued all the time
* Difficulty making decisions, remembering everyday things, or even concentrating.
* Unusual trouble sleeping, you may wake early in the morning or oversleep often
* Noticeable changes in weight or appetite.
* Thoughts of death or suicide, or attempting to commit suicide.
* Restlessness or irritability.
* Persistent physical symptoms such as digestive problems and chronic pains that don't respond to regular treatments

Types of depression

Depression can come in completely different forms. Each of these also have a variety of symptoms, severity, and persistence.

* Major depression can have a mix of symptoms that include problems thinking, sleeping, eating, and taking part in previously pleasurable activities. Major depression doesn't have to be persistent, a major depressive episode can happen only once; however sometimes, several episodes ca happen through the course of someones life.
* Dysthymia, a less extreme kind of depression, usually is associated with longlasting, continual symptoms that don't significantly disable the person, but keep you from functioning properly or feeling good.
* Bipolar disorder, which is also called manic depressive disorder, is characterized by cycling mood adjustments: extreme highs, known as mania, as well as lows, depression, usually with periods of more normal moods in between.
* Postpartum depression can make new mothers really feel restless, anxious, fatigued, and worthless. Some new mothers fear they will harm themselves or their babies. In contrast to the "baby blues," postpartum depression doesn't necessarily go away quickly. Most researchers assume that modifications to a girl's hormone levels during and after pregnancy may lead to postpartum depression.
* Seasonal affective disorder, which is sometimes called SAD, has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain prompted by daylight hours that don't last as long and a lack of daylight in winter. Some individuals might sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods.

Beating Depression With Medication

There are a number of types of medicines used to deal with depression. These include newer antidepressant medicines-which are mostly referred to as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)-and older ones, called tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. In addition to medicines, a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy can also assist relieve depression. Sometimes, a health care provider will try a large selection of antidepressants in order to find the most effective medication or mixture of medications for the each individual.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs):

* citalopram (brand title: Celexa)
* escitalopram (brand name: Lexapro)
* fluoxetine (brand name: Prozac)
* paroxetine (brand names: Paxil, Pexeva)
* sertraline (brand name: Zoloft)


* amitriptyline (brand name: Elavil)
* desipramine (brand name: Norpramin)
* imipramine (brand name: Tofranil)
* nortriptyline (brand name: Aventyl, Pamelor)

Article originally published on InfoBarrel  by Jeckyll, May 30th 2010.

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