Depression Symptoms and Causes
Many people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Depression symptoms can range widely, but there is a common pattern among these conditions. Symptoms include disinterest in once favorite activities and an overwhelming sense of melancholy. These symptoms are classified into different types according to specific defining characteristics. Your health care provider can diagnose and offer treatment options for depression. In addition to a doctor’s diagnosis, your health care provider may also administer the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) to determine the type of depression you may be suffering from.
Researchers have linked depression to an increased risk of heart disease. A study at the St. Louis VA Medical Center studied the health histories of 350,000 Veterans and found that having any of these mental disorders increased their risk of a heart attack by 40%. While this increase is not conclusive, the researchers are still exploring whether treating these mental disorders will reduce the risk of heart disease. If so, the results will help physicians determine which treatments are best for patients. A combination of treatments will be most effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Early identification of depression is vital for managing symptoms. Many people develop depression before the age of thirty. Women are more likely than men to experience it. The elderly are also at high risk, with loneliness, lack of social support, and aging contributing factors. Symptoms of depression vary greatly from person to person. Some people experience symptoms like chronic fatigue, irritability, and a lack of interest in daily tasks. Drug abuse and alcohol abuse may also co-occur.
A depressive episode can occur for a variety of reasons, including poor health habits and lifestyle factors. Unmanaged stress can cause high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, and a weakened immune system. Researchers have also found that depression increases the level of platelet reactivity and C-reactive protein in blood samples from depressed patients. These conditions increase the risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease. But the causes of depression vary greatly.
A medical professional will be able to diagnose and treat any symptoms of depression that you are experiencing. A doctor can also diagnose and treat underlying causes of depression, including physical illness and prolonged unemployment. Although there is no proven cure for depression, there are effective treatments that can help you get well and stay healthy. You may experience mild symptoms at first and then develop more serious symptoms after a few months or years. When you have been diagnosed with depression, it is important to seek medical attention for the best treatment options.
If you feel suicidal thoughts, you should consult your doctor or psychiatrist for further evaluation. Often, depression is a result of other psychological problems, such as a life crisis. As with any mental illness, treatment can improve the quality of a person’s life and ease their symptoms. If you are suffering from depression, call a suicide hotline and speak to someone who can help you get the help you need. You should never attempt suicide – it is always better to seek help.