Depression affects more than thirty million people in the United States and is a common and persistent mental disorder. It affects many mental and physical symptoms, including sadness, decreased interest, irritability, loss of appetite, fatigue, lethargy, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness. People who have experienced depression usually don’t know that they have the disorder because it goes undiagnosed.
Some people experience depression that is worse than a major depressive episode is thought to be one episode that lasts for at least two weeks. A major depressive episode is characterized by a depressed mood and persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, or worthlessness.
People who are suffering from depression have different ways of dealing with the disorder. They may attempt to self-medicate, seeking out counseling or medication. Others seek medical treatment from physicians and psychiatrists, who may then treat them in a hospital setting or refer them to a support group.
Depression treatment is something that should be discussed with a primary care physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, and should be discussed in a confidential manner. Sometimes medications are prescribed to treat the symptoms, but sometimes psychotherapy is used instead.
Most antidepressants have no side effects and can be safely used to treat depression without prescription medication. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) like amitriptyline, nortriptyline, and phenelzine can be used to treat mild to moderate depression. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram, and sertraline, which are all SSRIs, are some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) work to decrease the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work on the same principle as SSRIs but can cause muscle tension and tremor. An atypical antipsychotic drug can also be used to treat depression.
The third type of medication that has been found to be a successful treatment for depression is the serotonin and norepinephrine antagonist known as fluvoxamine. This medication can be used to treat moderate to severe depression. Withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, agitation, dizziness, and dry mouth. More severe withdrawal symptoms can include hallucinations, tremors, increased heart rate, seizures, and coma.
New antidepressant medications come out on the market on a monthly basis. Each month the companies that make these medications release new prescription medications that they hope will be the next blockbuster drug that will sell millions of prescriptions a year. Drug companies spend millions of dollars on advertising, which means that if a new drug sells, the pharmaceutical company will make a lot of money.
As with most diseases, depression is not diagnosed properly, and people experience the symptoms without being aware that they are suffering from the disease. Often time depression is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms of depression are so varied. Many people experience many of the same symptoms that others do.
In addition to physical symptoms, people who are suffering from depression have feelings of sadness and despair. One of the most important questions asked by medical professionals about depression is “how do you feel right now?” Depression is a serious mental illness that needs to be properly diagnosed and treated.
Depression affects almost everyone in some way, so when symptoms begin to appear, seek help immediately. The symptoms are annoying, but they will soon pass.