what is a depression?


what is a depression?

is a mood disorder that can affect a person’s daily or whole life and happiness. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger.It can also be considered as a common mental health problem that involves a low mood and a loss of interest in activities and sometimes life.

Types of depression

There are several types known in the clinical fraternity but we will talk about the common types such as:

  1. Persistent depressive disorder: Also known as Dysthymia which refers to a type of chronic depression present for more days than not for at least two years. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. This is also characterized by sadness,feeling guilt,low self esteem and many others.
  2. Major depressive disorder: This is also known as clinical depression which is a mood disorder that is characterized by features such as lack of interest in normal activities,moody,weight change,changes in sleep fatigue and many others.
  3. Bipolar disorder :Bipolar disorder is know to be a mood disorder characterized by periods of abnormally elevated mood known as mania. Common feature also include lethargy,fatigue,insomnia,anxiety and many others
  4. Premenstrual Dysphoric disorder:This is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and occurs before menstruation of a female which comes with common symptoms such as

    Among the most common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are irritability, fatigue, anxiety, moodiness, bloating, increased appetite, food cravings, aches, and breast tenderness.

  5. Postpartum Disorder : This is the type of depression which occurs during pregnancy is likely to bring about significant hormonal shifts that can often affect a woman’s moods. It is characterized by Low mood, feelings of sadness,Severe mood swings,Social withdrawal, Trouble bonding with your baby
  6. Seasonal affective disorder : This is the type of depression that poses a person to experience sleepiness, and weight gain during the winter months but feel perfectly fine in spring.Prevalence rates for SAD can be difficult to pinpoint because the condition often goes undiagnosed and unreported. It is more common in areas further from the equator
  7. Normal or typical disorder : This is where a patient experience signs of depression (such as overeating, sleeping too much, or extreme sensitivity to rejection) but find his or herself suddenly perking up in face of a positive event

How depression is diagnosed?

We’ve become used to doctors using specialized blood tests or other extensive laboratory tests to aid them make a conclusive diagnosis. However, most laboratory doctors are not very helpful when it comes to diagnosing depression. In fact, talking with the patient may be the most important diagnostic tool the doctor has. The recommendation is that doctors routinely screen all individuals for depression.

Your doctor may determine a diagnosis of depression based on:

  1. Physical exam: Your doctor may do a physical exam and ask questions about your health
  2. Lab tests : your doctor may also do a blood test called a complete blood count or test your thyroid to make sure it’s functioning properly
  3. Psychiatric evaluation : Your mental health professional asks about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns normally through a questionnaire.
  4. DSM-5 : Your mental health professional may use the criteria for depression listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)


medication for depression

  • Depression is a serious condition that often can be effectively treated with available therapies.The newer classes of antidepressants are tolerated better and are associated with fewer drug interactions than the older types of antidepressants.
  • antidepressants help balance the levels of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals responsible for communications between neurons in the brain.
  • The type of drug prescribed will depend on your symptoms, the presence of other medical conditions, other medicines you are currently taking, the cost of the prescribed treatments, and potential side effects.

List of the types of antidepressants


  1. citalopram (Celexa)
  2. escitalopram (Lexapro)
  3. fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra, Prozac Weekly)
  4. fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  5. paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
  6. sertraline (Zoloft)
  7. vortioxetine (Trintellix, formerly known as Brintellix)
  8. vilazodone (Viibryd)


Can depression cause weight gain

To hit the nail on the head, Yes depression is likely to cause weight gain in some patient.In 2009, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham reported that depressed people tend to gain weight faster than people who aren’t depressed.

The Bulk of the extra pounds is concentrated around the patients waist which is not good. Most people who are obese are likely to gain their weight on the large portion from depression.

Causes of Depression

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.

            depression drawings

A depressed face filled with tears and sadness

Life is not always easy. Sometimes it’s crushing, dark and sad. various artists try to represent depression in a drawing such as the one above. A patient face is moody and filled with sadness, and sometimes guilt with low self esteem.




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