Depression is a mental disorder that affects the mind and can have noticeable affects on physical and social wellness. According to an article on depression by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression remains one of the main causes of death and illness in the U.S. and is linked to inability to function socially, reduced quality of life and disability.
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Types of Depression
Certain types of depression vary in gravity and have links to specific events and individuals. Seasonal affective disorder is due to changes in season and may result from a lack of sunlight. Postpartum depression occurs in women who have recently had a baby. The Mayo Clinic cites lifestyle influences, emotional factors and physical changes as reasons for postpartum depression. Other types of depression are more serious such as major depression, which can affect the body and mind in an often negative way.
Symptoms of depression aren’t always easy to recognize. Many people can exhibit certain symptoms of depression but are in fact, not depressed. An article on depression by the Mayo Clinic reports that some symptoms of depression include a noticeable change in weight loss. This change occurs because most depressed people tend to lose their appetite. Other symptoms include, slowed body movement or thinking, fatigue, feelings of hopelessness and guilt.
Causes of depression can vary but most result from traumatic events that take place in someone’s life. A passing of a loved one can often ignite feelings of despair, loss and sadness that linger and evolve into depression. A major failure in life such as work or an important competition may also cause depression. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that other causes of depression may have links to social isolation and prolonged pain due to major illness.
Complications of depression can arise when treatment does not prove effective or does not address the underlying issue of the disorder. Depression can cause people to neglect their health and appearance. This may lead to malnutrition or other nutrition related disorders. When people who become depressed do not eat enough, the immune system may suffer which may make it easier for them to get sick. A more serious complication of depression includes attempting to commit suicide or having thoughts of not wanting to live. People who are depressed must be monitored for behavior that suggests they may have thought or could be considering suicide.
Treatment of depression depends on the severity of the disorder. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, home remedies such as getting enough rest, following a healthy diet, exercise and spending more time with loved ones can help treat depression. For individuals that become so severely depressed they cannot function, or who feel suicidal and are unable to be safely cared for in their community, hospitalization may proves necessary.