7 Facts You Should Know About Depression

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Depression

7 Facts You Should Know About Depression

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En español | We've all had moments in our lives when we feel sad or down in the dumps. But if weeks go by and those feelings linger, it may be depression. More than mere sadness, depression can suck the joy life and leave you feeling overwhelmed — in some cases, unable to function.

The good news: Depression is very treatable. Before taking action, here are some things to know about this common condition.

Depression can hurt. Literally

Sadness is a symptom we're all familiar with, but depression symptoms aren't limited to the mind. “In older people, depression tends to manifest itself more often with physical symptomology than in younger people. ‘I hurt more.

I just don't feel right physically,'” says Bruce Sutor, M.D., a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. Common symptoms: headaches, joint pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite and gastrointestinal issues.

And if left untreated — which happens all too often when doctors are trying to get to the bottom of aches and pains and not asking about possible emotional issues — it can have dire consequences. The combination of mental and physical pain can be debilitating.

In fact, clinical depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Says Sutor: “We tell our primary care colleagues, ‘If you've got people coming in with different physical complaints that you just can't get to the bottom of, start thinking depression.'”

Women are particularly prone to depression

Women are almost twice as ly to be diagnosed than men, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some suspect this is due to hormonal fluctuations, particularly during menopause. Others believe that women may be more prone to chronic stress — say, the kind that might come from taking care of an elderly parent — which can take a toll and lead to depression.

But it may also be that depression simply shows up differently in men, who often appear angry or irritable, rather than sad, says Brian P. Cole, an assistant professor of counseling psychology at the University of Kansas.

He notes that this tendency can be traced back to boyhood, a time when many men are socialized to believe that it is unacceptable to show vulnerability.

“It is important that we normalize the fact that men get depressed and that it is acceptable to seek help from family, friends and professionals,” says Cole.

Symptoms of depression can look different when we're older

Some of us are genetically predisposed to developing depression. (If you have depression, your first-degree relatives — parents, full siblings, offspring — have a two-to-three times greater chance of having it as well.

) But long-term stressful life situations and the challenges of aging — such as chronic illness or increasing disability, isolation, the death of a spouse or struggling to adapt to retirement — can also increase someone's risk of developing depression.

Unfortunately, the disorder often goes untreated in older adults, in part because their depression can be challenging to diagnose. Their symptoms are often different than those of younger adults, says Ipsit Vahia, M.D.

, medical director, geriatric psychiatry outpatient programs, at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Rather than the “classic” symptoms of sadness, fearfulness or hopelessness, they tend to display symptoms such as irritability, a lack of motivation or energy, or a disruption in sleep patterns or appetite. “There's also a tendency to start withdrawing,” says John F. Greden, M.D.

, founder and executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center. “That's what families notice first.” Many older adults — and even many clinicians — don't recognize these symptoms as depression, especially because they often overlap with symptoms of other health conditions. Depression and dementia are especially easy to confuse, says Vahia.

Depression can affect your heart

«It's been fairly clear for the last 20 or so years that there is a link between depression and heart disease, and the evidence continues to accumulate,” says Robert Carney, professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Indeed, research appearing on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website states that adults with a depressive disorder or symptoms have a 64 percent greater risk of developing coronary artery disease, compared to those without depression.

“Depression doesn't hold the same risk as, say, high cholesterol,” says Carney, “but it's close.”

There are a number of possible explanations. Among them: People who are depressed and those who develop heart disease seem to share certain inflammatory markers. Also, says Carney, “Depressed people tend to have less heart rate variability.

Their heart is not as responsive to changes in activity levels, and they tend to have higher heart rates overall, than people who are not depressed. These are factors that can lead to a cardiac event.” Finally, there are the behavioral aspects of the disorder.

Depressed people are more ly to be more sedentary, more ly to be smokers, and less ly to follow the recommended dietary guidelines — all things that can lead to ticker trouble down the road.

But according to a 2014 study from Indiana University, early treatment for depression — before the onset of cardiovascular disease — may slice the risk of heart attacks (and stroke) by almost half.

Antidepressants combined with therapy seems to be the most effective treatment

Antidepressant use among all ages jumped an eye-opening 400 percent between 1988 and 2008, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. “But medication isn't always warranted,” says Sutor.

“With mild to moderate depression, there's good evidence that people can respond to certain types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy.

” (CBT, as it's known, teaches new ways of thinking and behaving, and offers help in changing habits that may be contributing to depression.)

«For managing major depressive disorder, antidepressants in combination with psychotherapy seem to work more effectively than either form of treatment by itself,” says Vahia.

In a 2020 review of several studies on antidepressant success rates, the NIH reported that when patients are treated without antidepressants, about 20 to 40 100 people who took a placebo saw their symptoms improve within six to eight weeks.

For those treated with antidepressants, about 40 to 60 100 people noticed an improvement in the same time period. Prescribing antidepressants isn't a precise science. Similar to treating high blood pressure, it takes time to figure out the right medication.

“About 35 percent of people will respond to the first antidepressant they're put on,” says Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., chair of psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and president of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “By the third trial, about 65 percent will respond.»

Источник: https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/depression-facts.html

Surprising Facts About Depression

7 Facts You Should Know About Depression

Depression is often misunderstood as just feeling sad. But it’s a complex medical condition thought to be caused by a combination of factors, including genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental triggers, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

While it’s not yet clear exactly what causes depression, researchers have made great progress in learning more about how to manage and treat this common mental health disorder. Here are some facts about depression, depression symptoms, and depression management that might surprise you.

What Is Depression?

Doctors diagnose major depression (also called major depressive disorder) criteria in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, or DSM-V. A depression diagnosis is made when at least five of the following symptoms occur nearly every day for at least two weeks:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of pleasure in all or most activities
  • Significant weight change or change in appetite
  • Change in sleep
  • Change in activity
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Diminished concentration
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Thoughts of suicide

To diagnose major depression, either depressed mood or loss of pleasure in activities must be one of the symptoms.

12 Things You Might Not Know About Depression

While the definition of major depression may seem simple enough, depression has profound and varying impacts. Here are some facts about depression that everyone may not know.

  1. Depression has different triggers. People have a higher risk of depression if they’ve recently been through a stressful life event; if they’ve had depression in the past; or if a close family member has been depressed. Sometimes depression develops without any obvious cause.
  2. Genes provide some (but not all) of the answers. The genetic predisposition to depression is becoming better understood and might explain why one person becomes depressed and another doesn’t, says Ole Thienhaus, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. A family history of depression matters, but it’s not always the only factor. For example, the heritability rate — the percentage of a trait that may be due to genes — of depression is only about 37 percent, according to a study published in July 2018 in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.
  3. Depression affects the body. Headache, stomach problems, headaches, and general aches and pains without a clear physical cause can all be symptoms of depression, according to the NIMH.
  4. Depression might be a “gut feeling.” A study published in August 2020 in the journal Cureus found a strong connection between gut health and mental well-being, noting that depression is strongly associated with gut imbalance. A varied diet including probiotics and prebiotics may play a role in managing depression, although more research is needed.
  5. Depressed brains may look different. Some people with major depressive disorder have changes in the brain that can be seen in imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, according to a review published in December 2019 in the journal Translational Psychiatry that evaluated studies examining the use of MRI scans to diagnose and treat major depressive disorder. (That said, the paper also notes that major depression is a biologically complex disorder that causes different changes in the brain in some people, and that MRI scans alone are not useful in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder; the researchers therefore state the importance of new imaging techniques and ways of analyzing that information to help diagnose depression.)
  6. Depression is linked to other health problems. People with depression are also at higher risk of chronic inflammatory or autoimmune conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or irritable bowel disease. It’s unclear if depression causes inflammation or vice versa, according to a study published in July 2019 in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
  7. Depressed people might not look depressed. “Depression is a hidden illness,” says Jeremy Coplan, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. Some people can seem upbeat and cheerful, but inside they’re struggling with the symptoms of depression.
  8. Exercise can help manage depression. “Exercise improves mood state,” says Dr. Thienhaus, who explains that exercise helps stimulate natural compounds in the body that can make you feel better. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days. “We typically recommend that people with depression exercise, develop a healthy diet, and go to bed at a regular time.” A study published in October 2017 in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that even one hour of physical activity each week was associated with a 12 percent lower incidence of depression.
  9. It’s common to need to try more than one antidepressant. Many people with depression don’t get relief from the first antidepressant they try. That is expected because for unknown reasons, different people benefit from different medications, and some don’t find any benefit from medications we currently have available. According to Diane Solomon, PhD, a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Portland, Oregon, people may sometimes need to try several medication before they find an antidepressant that works well for them.
  10. Therapy is usually needed, too. For mild to moderate depression, therapy and lifestyle changes are considered first-line; however, for moderate to severe depression, a combination of therapy and medication is often helpful. Sometimes antidepressant medications will be used first to alleviate depression enough for therapy to be helpful, Dr. Coplan says. But psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or other therapeutic strategies, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, are also needed for effective depression treatment.
  11. Depression is often experienced with coexisting anxiety. Many people who have one mental health disorder, such as depression, may experience another, such as anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. “Anxiety can be as debilitating as depression, but people may have lived with it so long, they don’t realize they actually have anxiety,” says Dr. Solomon, who adds that women are especially vulnerable to anxiety disorders.
  12. Depression profoundly affects people throughout the world. A February 2017 report from the World Health Organization stated that depression is the leading cause of disability in the world, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide. It also showed an 18 percent increase between 2005 and 2015 in the number of people living with depression, the majority of whom are young people, elderly people, and women.

Depression Resources

Many organizations also have online resources for depression, including:

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, go to your nearest emergency room or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK).

For help finding a therapist, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA)’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for a free, confidential referral for treatment.

Additional reporting by Erica Patino

Источник: https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/major-depression-health-well-being/surprising-depression-facts/

Depression and Anxiety

7 Facts You Should Know About Depression

Depression is more than just feeling down or having a bad day. When a sad mood lasts for a long time and interferes with normal, everyday functioning, you may be depressed. Symptoms of depression include:1

  • Feeling sad or anxious often or all the time
  • Not wanting to do activities that used to be fun
  • Feeling irritable‚ easily frustrated‚ or restless
  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Waking up too early or sleeping too much
  • Eating more or less than usual or having no appetite
  • Experiencing aches, pains, headaches, or stomach problems that do not improve with treatment
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
  • Feeling tired‚ even after sleeping well
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Thinking about suicide or hurting yourself

The following information is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis of major depression and cannot take the place of seeing a mental health professional. If you think you are depressed‚ talk with your doctor or a mental health professional immediately. This is especially important if your symptoms are getting worse or affecting your daily activities.

What Causes Depression?

The exact cause of depression is unknown. It may be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.2 Everyone is different‚ but the following factors may increase a person’s chances of becoming depressed:1

  • Having blood relatives who have had depression
  • Experiencing traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death of a loved one, or financial problems
  • Going through a major life change‚ even if it was planned
  • Having a medical problem, such as cancer, stroke, or chronic pain
  • Taking certain medications. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about whether your medications might be making you feel depressed.
  • Using alcohol or drugs

Who Gets Depression?

In general‚ about 1 every 6 adults will have depression at some time in their life.3 Depression affects about 16 million American adults every year.4 Anyone can get depressed, and depression can happen at any age and in any type of person.

Many people who experience depression also have other mental health conditions.1,5 Anxiety disorders often go hand in hand with depression. People who have anxiety disorders struggle with intense and uncontrollable feelings of anxiety, fear, worry, and/or panic.1 These feelings can interfere with daily activities and may last for a long time.

Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.

6 Why smokers are more ly than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause‚ smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety.

Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.

What Are the Treatments for Depression?

Many helpful treatments for depression are available. Treatment for depression can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long the depression lasts. Treatment can include getting therapy and/or taking medications. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help you determine what treatment is best for you.

  • Therapy. Many people benefit from psychotherapy—also called therapy or counseling.7,8 Most therapy lasts for a short time and focuses on thoughts‚ feelings‚ and issues that are happening in your life now. In some cases‚ understanding your past can help‚ but finding ways to address what is happening in your life now can help you cope and prepare you for challenges in the future.With therapy, you’ll work with your therapist to learn skills to help you cope with life, change behaviors that are causing problems‚ and find solutions. Do not feel shy or embarrassed about talking openly and honestly about your feelings and concerns. This is an important part of getting better.Some common goals of therapy include:
    • Getting healthier
    • Quitting smoking and stopping drug and alcohol use
    • Overcoming fears or insecurities
    • Coping with stress
    • Making sense of past painful events
    • Identifying things that worsen your depression
    • Having better relationships with family and friends
    • Understanding why something bothers you and creating a plan to deal with it
  • Medication. Many people with depression find that taking prescribed medications called antidepressants can help improve their mood and coping skills. Talk to your doctor about whether they are right for you. If your doctor writes you a prescription for an antidepressant‚ ask exactly how you should take the medication. If you are already using nicotine replacement therapy or another medication to help you quit smoking, be sure to let your doctor know. Several antidepressant medications are available‚ so you and your doctor have options to choose from. Sometimes it takes several tries to find the best medication and the right dose for you, so be patient. Also be aware of the following important information:
    • When taking these medications‚ it is important to follow the instructions on how much to take. Some people start to feel better a few days after starting the medication‚ but it can take up to 4 weeks to feel the most benefit. Antidepressants work well and are safe for most people‚ but it is still important to talk with your doctor if you have side effects. Side effects usually do not get in the way of daily life‚ and they often go away as your body adjusts to the medication.
    • Don’t stop taking an antidepressant without first talking to your doctor. Stopping your medicine suddenly can cause symptoms or worsen depression. Work with your doctor to safely adjust how much you take.
    • Some antidepressants may cause risks during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or might be pregnant, or if you are planning to become pregnant.
    • Antidepressants cannot solve all of your problems. If you notice that your mood is getting worse or if you have thoughts about hurting yourself‚ it is important to call your doctor right away.

Quitting smoking will not interfere with your mental health treatment or make your depression worse. In fact, research shows that quitting smoking can actually improve your mental health in the long run.9,10,11

Depression and Suicide: Getting Help in a Crisis

Some people who are depressed may think about hurting themselves or committing suicide (taking their own life). If you or someone you know is having thoughts about hurting themselves or committing suicide‚ please seek immediate help. The following resources can help:

Additional Resources

If you are a smoker and dealing with depression or anxiety, consider the following resources:


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  3. Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replicationexternal icon. Archives of General Psychiatry 2005;62(6):593-602 [accessed 2018 Mar 22].
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

    Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings pdf icon[PDF – 2.37MB]external icon. Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, 2014 [accessed 2018 Mar 22].

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    Age Differences in the Prevalence and Co-Morbidity of DSM-IV Major Depressive Episodes: Results From the WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiativeexternal icon. Depression and Anxiety 2010;27(4):351–64 [accessed 2018 Mar 22].

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged ≥ 18 Years with Mental Illness—United States, 2009–2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2013;62(05):81–7 [accessed 2018 Mar 22].

  7. American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients With Major Depressive Disorder, Third Edition pdf icon[PDF – 1.

    64MB]external icon. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2010 [accessed 2018 Mar 22].

  8. Davidson JRT. Major Depressive Disorder Treatment Guidelines in America and Europeexternal icon. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2010;71(Suppl E1):e04 [accessed 2018 Mar 22].
  9. Tidey JW, Miller ME.

    Smoking Cessation and Reduction in People With Chronic Mental Illnessexternal icon. BMJ 2015; doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4065 [accessed 2018 Mar 22].

  10. Evins AE, Cather C, Laffer A. Treatment of Tobacco Use Disorders in Smokers With Serious Mental Illness: Toward Clinical Best Practicesexternal icon.

    Harvard Review of Psychiatry 2015;23(2):90–8 [accessed 2018 Mar 22].

  11. Hitsman B, Moss TG, Montoya ID, George TP. Treatment of Tobacco Dependence in Mental Health and Addictive Disordersexternal icon. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 2009;54(6):368–78 [accessed 2018 Mar 22].

Источник: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/depression-anxiety.html

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