Monday, June 30, 2008


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Depression - Presence of five symptoms lasting for two weeks or more.

Criteria of Depression

1. depressed mood
2. worthlessness-hopelessness
3. loss of interest/pleasure in daily activities
4. weight loss/weight gain
5.Excessive guilt
9. thoughts of suicide/suicidal attempts of suicide.

Types of depression

Unipolar- symptoms lasting for more than two weeks.

Bipolar depression that includes cycles of mania

Dysthymia- long term, chronic depression

Atypical depression- chronic depression with other symptoms such as excessive fatigue, oversleeping and overeating

Seasonal depression -Onset is associated with a certain time of the year or insufficient sunlight.

Psychotic depression- severe depression accompanied by delusions or hallucinations, requiring immediate psychiatric care.

Hormonal depressions - premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- depression that can occur after exposure to traumatic life-threatening experience.

Depression Signs and Symptoms

Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there's nothing you can do to improve your situation.

Loss of interest in dailly activities
No interest in or ability to enjoy former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex.

Appetite or weight changes
Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.

Sleep changes
Either insomnia or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).

Psychomotor agitation or retardation
Either feeling "keyed up" and restless or sluggish and physically slowed down.

Loss of energy
Feeling fatigued and physically drained. Even small tasks are exhausting or take longer.

Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Harsh criticism of perceived faults and mistakes.

Concentration problems
Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.

Easily annoyed or frustrated. Lashing out in anger or snapping at others.

Aches and pains
New or worse physical symptoms, including headaches, backaches, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, and aching joints.


Psychotherapy - studies shows that psychotherapy is very useful in preventing relapse or recurrence of major depression in women who have been successfully treated with anti-depressant.

Antidepressant Medications- they work by helping the brain do what it was designed to do or more efficiently. They help in increasing neurotransmitters in the brain which becomes depleted when depressed.

What you can do to help overcome depression?

a. Acknowledge your struggle with depression
b. Be honest and open with God in prayer
c. Share your struggles with someone who will be supportive and empathetic.
d. Set small goals and take small steps. Don't try to do it all.
e. Remember , growing and changing happens one day at a time.

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