What is depression
Depression is a type of mood disorder that can affect a person’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, leading to various emotional and physical problems. In this disorder, individuals struggle with performing their normal daily activities and sometimes feel that life is not worth living.
Many people experience mild sadness or depression as a natural response to loss or life challenges. However, when intense sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness persist for several days or weeks and prevent a person from engaging in life, it may be more than ordinary grief. In such cases, the individual may be experiencing clinical depression and should seek treatment for their depression with the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression may vary among individuals, and the degree and severity can also differ. However, in general, the symptoms of depression may include the following:
1-Persistent sadness and depression: Individuals with depression may experience daily sadness, grief, and depression. These feelings may be without any specific reason and can persist for long.
2-Decreased energy and fatigue: People with depression may feel tired and have decreased energy. Daily activities such as waking up from sleep, focusing, performing routine tasks, and even talking can be challenging and exhausting for them.
3- Loss of interest in usual activities: Individuals with depression may lose interest and enthusiasm for activities they used to enjoy. For example, they may lose interest in socializing with friends, participating in enjoyable activities, sports, or any other form of entertainment.
4- Changes in sleep and appetite patterns: People with depression may experience problems such as early morning awakening, insomnia, or excessive sleep. Additionally, changes in appetite can be observed, such as an increase or decrease in appetite and weight.
5-Feelings of worthlessness and suicidal thoughts: Individuals with depression may feel worthless and hopeless. Suicidal thoughts and a tendency to harm oneself may also occur in their minds.
6-Problems with concentration and memory: People with depression may experience difficulties with concentration and memory. Forgetfulness, inability to focus on subjects and tasks, and declining work and academic performance may occur.
7-Changes in body weight: Some individuals with depression may experience unintended changes in their body weight. These changes can include weight gain or weight loss.
8-Irritability and anger: People with depression may be consistently irritable and angry. They may even become easily angered and display irritability in everyday situations.
9-Difficulty in decision-making: Individuals with depression may have difficulties in making decisions. This can be due to decreased concentration and complex choices.
10-Lack of interest in social interactions: People with depression may be less interested in social relationships. They may involuntarily avoid social interactions and feel isolated and aversion towards others.
11-Physical symptoms: Depression can accompany physical symptoms such as body aches, headaches, digestive problems, shortness of breath, and cardiovascular issues. These symptoms may be unexplained without any physical cause.
It is important to note that these symptoms may indicate depression. Still, for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, seeking help from a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist is necessary.
Types of Depression
1-Major Depression: This type of depression is diagnosed as a severe mental disorder and may be accompanied by symptoms such as deep sadness, feelings of worthlessness, negative thoughts, and suicidal ideation.
2-Perinatal Depression: This type of depression occurs in women during pregnancy and after childbirth. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, fatigue, negative thoughts about oneself and the baby, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite.
3- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): This type of depression typically occurs during the winter season and is characterized by decreased energy, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and increased appetite.
4-Bipolar Depression: This type of depression occurs in individuals with bipolar disorder. In addition to periods of severe depression, individuals may experience periods of mania and hypomania.
5- Postpartum Depression: This type of depression occurs in women after giving birth and may be accompanied by severe depression, anxiety, fatigue, negative thoughts about oneself and the baby, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite.
6- Persistent Depressive Disorder: This type of depression is diagnosed as chronic depression and may persist continuously for two years or more. Symptoms include observed depression throughout the day, decreased energy, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite.
7-Neurotic Depression: This type of depression is a neurotic reaction to life events and problems. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite.
8- Psychotic Depression: This type of depression is characterized by severe depressive symptoms and may be accompanied by negative thoughts, hallucinations (sensory experiences that are not real), and cognitive impairments.
9- Spiritual Depression: This type of depression reacts to spiritual and religious issues. Symptoms include depression, feelings of meaninglessness in life, loss of faith, and a sense of disconnection from God.
10-Substance-Induced Depression: This type of depression occurs due to drugs, alcohol, or specific medications. Symptoms may include depression, anxiety, mood changes, and sleep disturbances.
11-Depression due to Medical Condition: Some medical conditions can cause depression, such as heart disease, neurological disorders, etc. In this case, in addition to physical symptoms of the illness, depressive symptoms are also observed.
These are just some types of depression; each type may present with different symptoms and severity.
Causes of Depression
1-Genetic factors: The presence of a family history of depression indicates the role of genetics in this disorder.
2- Brain chemical changes: Alterations in the levels of brain chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine can contribute to the onset of depression.
3-Psychological factors: Experiencing traumatic events, chronic stress, relationship problems, social and economic pressures, feelings of loneliness, and lack of social support can be psychological factors that lead to depression.
4- Physical illnesses: Certain physical illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, thyroid disorders, and side effects of medications can be factors contributing to depression.
5- Substance abuse: Chronic use of substances such as alcohol or illicit drugs can be a factor in depression.
6-Individual factors: Personality traits, thinking patterns, attitude towards life, inappropriate self-regulation, and lack of coping skills can play a role in the development of depression.
Types of Depression in Men
Depression in men can also be categorized into various types. Below, I mention some common types of depression in men:
1-Major depression: This type of depression occurs without any specific external cause and may be chronic. Genetic factors, chemical changes in the brain, and psychological pressures can play a role in the onset of depression.
2-Depression following stress: Men may become depressed after experiencing stressful events such as job loss, divorce, the death of loved ones, etc. This type of depression usually lasts longer and improves with lifestyle changes and coping with stressors.
3- Depression related to illness: Certain physical illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, hormonal disorders, etc., can contribute to depression in men. In addition to the physical effects of the disease, a negative outlook on the illness and changes in daily life can exacerbate this type of depression.
4- Substance-induced depression: Substance abuse, such as alcohol or illicit drugs, can lead to depression in men. This type of depression may be chronic and requires specific treatment.
Types of Depression in Women
1-Postpartum depression: This type of depression occurs after childbirth and may be accompanied by symptoms such as severe depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and thoughts of suicide.
2- Major depression: This type of depression occurs without any specific cause and may be chronic and persistent. Individuals suffering from major depression may experience symptoms such as depression, decreased energy and interest, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite.
3-Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): This type of depression is more commonly observed during the colder seasons and is characterized by symptoms such as depression, decreased energy, negative thoughts, and sleep disturbances.
4-Depression after miscarriage: This type of depression occurs after experiencing a miscarriage and may be accompanied by symptoms such as severe depression, anxiety, insomnia, and thoughts of suicide.
5- Depression after menopause: This type of depression occurs after entering menopause in women and may be accompanied by symptoms such as depression, changes in headaches, sleep disturbances, and mood swings.
6- Postpartum depression with psychiatric features: In some women, instead of the typical postpartum depression, more severe psychiatric symptoms such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety may be present.
7-Paranoid depression: In some women, depression may be accompanied by paranoid symptoms, such as the belief in conspiracies and threats against oneself or loved ones.
8-Depression influenced by hormonal changes: In some women, hormonal changes, such as during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause, can exacerbate depression.
Depression Diagnostic Tests
Mental health professionals and psychologists typically make the diagnosis of depression. They use various tests and tools to assess the signs and symptoms of depression. Below are some standard tests used for diagnosing depression:
1-Beck Depression Inventory (BDI): This questionnaire consists of 21 questions that help you evaluate your level of depression. Each question has four options, and based on your answers, a score is calculated for each question. The overall score indicates the severity of your depression.
2-Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D): This questionnaire is used by physicians and psychiatric specialists. They calculate an overall score by examining 17 questions about your depressive symptoms. This questionnaire helps in diagnosing and monitoring depression treatment.
3- Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) – Scalated Version: This version of the Hamilton questionnaire is used to assess the severity of depression. It consists of 21 questions, each rated from 0 to 4. The overall score indicates the severity of depression.
4- Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI): This questionnaire consists of 21 questions that help you evaluate your level of depression. Each question has four options, and based on your answers, a score is calculated for each question. The overall score indicates the severity of your depression.
It is important to note that the diagnosis of depression cannot solely rely on one test, and it requires a comprehensive evaluation by a professional in psychiatry or psychology.
Online Depression Tests
The availability of websites may change over time, but at the time of writing this response, several websites are available for taking depression tests. Here are a few examples of these websites:
1-Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA): https://www.dbsalliance.org/
2-Mental Health America: https://www.mhanational.org/
3- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): https://www.nimh.nih.gov/
4- Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): https://adaa.org/
5-Psych Central: https://psychcentral.com/
Please note that these websites are provided as general informational resources, and a professional diagnosis of depression is necessary by a healthcare professional. If you or someone you care for is experiencing persistent depression, it is best to consult a mental health specialist.
Effects of Depression
1- Mood changes: Depression can cause a decrease in energy, feelings of fatigue, loss of appetite or increased appetite, insomnia or excessive sleep, difficulty concentrating, and a lack of interest in daily activities.
2- Impact on work and academic performance: Depression can lead to decreased concentration, poor memory, decreased job or academic performance, and difficulties carrying out daily tasks.
3- Influence on social relationships: Depression can result in isolation, reduced interest in social activities, and difficulties establishing and maintaining personal and family relationships.
4- Impact on physical health: Depression can lead to a weakened immune system, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, sleep problems, headaches, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal issues.
5-Increased risk of suicide: Depression can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please seek immediate help from a doctor or mental health specialist.
Why Depression Should Be Taken Seriously
1- Impact on quality of life: Depression can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. People with depression may refrain from enjoying daily activities, experience overall fatigue and lack of motivation, and have their personal and social relationships affected.
2-Physical risks: Depression can increase physical risks. Some physical symptoms of depression include irregular sleep patterns, weight gain or loss, body aches, and gastrointestinal issues. Depression can also weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of other illnesses.
3- Psychological risks: Depression can also pose severe psychological risks. Individuals with depression may have suicidal thoughts and experience feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. Depression can also lead to eating disorders, anxiety, and an increased risk of substance abuse.
4-Treatability: Depression is manageable and treatable with appropriate interventions. Various treatment options are available for depression, including psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. By taking depression seriously and seeking professional help, individuals with depression can experience significant improvement.
Considering these reasons, it is important to take depression seriously and seek medical or psychological help if experiencing its symptoms.
Who Is More Prone to Depression
Depression is a mental disorder that can affect anyone, but certain factors and conditions can increase the risk of developing depression. Below are some factors that may contribute to an increased risk of depression:
1- Genetic factors: Having a family history of depression can increase the risk of developing depression.
2-Biological factors: Chemical changes in the brain, impaired brain function, hormonal imbalances, and physical health problems can be associated with depression.
3- Psychological factors: Experiencing traumatic events, chronic stress, severe anxiety, low self-esteem, and negative thinking patterns can contribute to depression.
4- Social factors: Social isolation, lack of social support, problems in family or romantic relationships, economic deprivation, and unemployment can increase the risk of depression.
It is important to note that each individual may be at risk of developing depression based on different circumstances and factors. If you or someone you know experiences persistent sadness, deep depression, or other symptoms of depression, it is recommended to seek help from a mental health professional or a doctor to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Which Part of the Brain Does Depression Affect
1-Hippocampus: The hippocampus is a part of the brain that plays a role in memory and cognitive processes. In individuals with depression, the hippocampus may shrink, and its functioning may be affected.
2- Prefrontal cortex: The prefrontal cortex is a part of the brain involved in decision-making, planning, and emotion regulation. In individuals with depression, activity in the prefrontal cortex decreases, leading to decision-making and emotion regulation difficulties.
3-Limbic system: The limbic system includes various regions, such as the hypothalamus, amygdala, and the reward pathway, which regulate emotions and rewards. In individuals with depression, activity in these regions decreases, resulting in a reduced ability to experience pleasure from everyday activities and decreased motivation.
4- Serotonergic system: Serotonin is a chemical messenger that plays a role in mood regulation. In individuals with depression, serotonin levels decrease, which can contribute to the development of depressive symptoms.
It is important to note that depression is a complex disorder, and its impact on the brain is much broader than the mentioned areas. Additionally, the causes of depression involve genetic, chemical, psychological, and environmental factors, which have intricate effects on the brain and the nervous system.
1- Psychotherapy (often recommended in conjunction with medication): Psychotherapy with the help of a skilled psychologist can help you better understand the factors contributing to your depression and learn coping strategies.
2- Medication: In some cases, antidepressant medications (such as antidepressants) may be prescribed by a specialized psychiatrist. These medications help improve the levels of brain chemicals that are decreased in depression and alleviate symptoms.
3- Lifestyle Changes: Engaging in physical activities, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and establishing wholesome daily routines can contribute to the improvement of depressive symptoms.
4- Social Support: Support from family, friends, and loved ones can effectively manage and improve depression. Sharing experiences and emotions with others can lead to better understanding and empathy for your difficulties and happiness.
5- Other Methods: Techniques such as meditation, aromatherapy, neurofeedback, and light therapy.
6- Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is a professional-based treatment method for depression. This approach involves various psychological techniques and methods such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Analytical Psychotherapy, Group Therapy, etc. These methods help you identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and change them into positive patterns.
7- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): Electroconvulsive therapy is used in severe cases of depression and when other treatments have not been effective. This method applies controlled electric current to the brain, which can induce changes in brain functioning and reduce depressive symptoms.
8- Complementary Therapies: Complementary methods such as aromatherapy, massage, breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation can also effectively manage depression. These approaches often promote improved sleep, reduced stress, and increased mood and relaxation.
Best Antidepressant Medications
There are approximately 30 types of antidepressant medications available worldwide, which are classified into five different groups based on their mechanism of action. These medication groups include:
1- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs):
This category of medications reduces the intensity of emotions experienced by individuals by blocking the reuptake mechanism of serotonin in the brain. On the other hand, SNRIs are responsible for increasing the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, leading to improved mood. Some commonly prescribed medications in this group include fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, venlafaxine, duloxetine, and desvenlafaxine.
2- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs):
These medications inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme in the brain that is believed to play a role in developing and improving depression. Medicines in this category include selegiline, isocarboxazid, moclobemide, and phenelzine.
3- Serotonergic Medications:
These antidepressant medications not only reduce the symptoms of depression but also help in treating disorders associated with depression. They are also used to treat anxiety disorders. Mirtazapine and mianserin are among the most commonly prescribed medications in this category.
4- Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs):
This group of medications is produced with specific chemical compounds with a three-ring structure. For this reason, they are also referred to as tricyclic medications. Amitriptyline, doxepin, protriptyline, clomipramine, dosulepin, and trimipramine are examples of medicines in this category. Tricyclic antidepressants can also help alleviate pain but should not be mistaken for analgesics.
This category of medications is the newest class of antidepressants approved in 2019. These medications are produced in nasal spray form and should be used with another complementary antidepressant. Esketamine is a medication in this category. Due to various side effects, this medication is rare.
Please note that the choice of antidepressant medication depends on individual factors and should be determined by a qualified healthcare professional.
Risks of suddenly stopping depression medication
Sudden discontinuation of antidepressant medications can lead to serious and unintended side effects. These side effects are commonly known as “discontinuation symptoms” and may result in experiencing the most severe symptoms of depression, which may be referred to as a “depressive relapse” or “recurrence of depressive symptoms.” Some risks of abrupt discontinuation of antidepressant medications include:
1-Physical and mental symptoms: Abrupt discontinuation of antidepressant medications can cause unintended physical and mental symptoms. These may include headaches, nausea, anxiety, insomnia, excessive sleepiness, nausea, seizures, mood changes, and suicidal thoughts.
2-Confusion and impaired concentration: Sudden discontinuation of antidepressant medications can lead to confusion, impaired concentration, and a decrease in occupational and academic performance.
3-Physical side effects: Abrupt discontinuation of certain antidepressant medications may be accompanied by physical side effects such as dizziness, sweating, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, gastrointestinal disturbances, and changes in blood pressure.
4- Suicide risk: Some antidepressant medications, especially in the early stages of treatment, can increase the risk of suicide, particularly if abruptly discontinued. This risk is due to sudden changes in brain chemistry and their impact on your mood and mental state.
To prevent the risks associated with the abrupt discontinuation of antidepressant medications, it is important to always consult with your doctor before making any decisions regarding discontinuation or changes in medications. Your doctor may guide you on how to gradually taper off the medications or prescribe a gradual discontinuation plan. This approach helps your body and brain adjust slowly to the pre-medication conditions and reduces the risks of abrupt discontinuation.
Additionally, it is crucial never to discontinue antidepressant medications without consulting your doctor. If you are currently taking medication and considering discontinuation, be sure to consult with your doctor and keep them informed about any changes and side effects during the process.
Finally, if you experience any adverse effects or unintended symptoms after discontinuing antidepressant medications, it is important to promptly contact your doctor and keep them informed. Your doctor may decide to restart the medications or prescribe an alternative approach to mitigate the side effects and risks.
Lifestyle review in the treatment of depression
Lifestyle modifications can help you make progress in treating depression. These actions can accelerate your mental and emotional well-being and be used as a complement to medication. Some lifestyle changes you can incorporate into your life include:
1-Physical activity: Regular exercise and physical activity can have a positive impact on your mood and increase your energy levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. You can engage in activities such as walking, running, swimming, hiking, or any other physical activity that brings you joy.
2- Sleep and rest: Sufficient and quality sleep is crucial for improving your mental and physical state. Strive to maintain a regular sleep pattern, create a conducive sleep environment, and incorporate relaxation exercises before bedtime.
3-Healthy nutrition: Taking care of your diet by consuming nutritious and balanced meals can significantly affect your mood. Try to include foods rich in vitamins, nutrients, and iron while avoiding foods high in fats and simple sugars.
4- Stress management: Learning stress management techniques can help you cope with daily pressures and distressing events. Psychological exercises such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can assist you in finding calmness and managing stress. Additionally, maintaining work-life balance and allocating time for enjoyable activities and relaxation is essential.
5- Social connections: Maintaining social relationships and connecting with family, friends, and the community can have a positive impact on your mental well-being. Make an effort to seize social opportunities and participate in social activities.
6- Goals and structure: Setting goals and planning for your life can provide you with a sense of structure and guidance. Strive to establish short-term and long-term goals and consistently work towards achieving them.
7-Engaging in pleasurable activities: Participating in activities that bring you joy and happiness can contribute to improving your mood. This may include reading, playing music, painting, spending time in nature, or any other activity that you find enjoyable.
8- Self-care: Take care of yourself and attend to your needs and desires. This includes self-care practices, allowing yourself time for rest and rejuvenation, and respecting your boundaries and limitations.
9-Time management: Effective planning and time management can help you avoid wasting time and prevent stress caused by delays and time pressures. Strive to have a regular schedule and prioritize your tasks.
10- Emotional skills training: Acquiring emotional management skills can assist you in better coping with negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and anger. You can utilize techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, concentration exercises, and relaxation exercises.
11- Changing thinking patterns: Negative and self-critical thinking patterns can have a detrimental effect on your mood. Try to adopt positive and constructive thinking and distance yourself from negative thoughts and self-blame.
12- Cultivating a connection with nature: Connecting with nature and engaging in outdoor activities can bring you joy and tranquility. Spend time outdoors in natural settings and participate in activities such as hiking, camping, or gardening.
1- Take care of your physical health: Maintaining good physical health through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can help improve your mental well-being. Engaging in physical activities such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports classes can increase the production of happiness hormones in the body.
2-Manage stress: Learning stress management techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga can help you better cope with daily pressures and prevent their negative effects on your mood.
3-Maintain social connections: Being present in social environments, having meaningful relationships, and receiving support from family and friends can strengthen your sense of belonging and social connection, preventing depression.
4-Change negative patterns: Identifying negative patterns in your behaviors and thoughts and trying to change them can help improve your mental state. You may need professional help through counseling or psychiatric therapy.
5- Self-care: Take time to be kind to yourself and engage in activities that bring you joy. This could include reading a book, listening to music, having tea or coffee with friends, or any other activity that makes you happy and satisfied.
6- Avoid drug and alcohol use.
7- Engage in creative activities: Participating in creative activities such as painting, writing, music, or any other form of art can help you experience more satisfaction and happiness, preventing depression.
8- Take care of your sleep: Sufficient and quality sleep is crucial for mental health. Try to establish a regular sleep pattern and optimize your sleep environment.
9-Consume healthy foods: Proper nutrition and consuming healthy foods can have a significant impact on mental health. Prefer foods rich in nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and whole grains.
10- Seek professional support if needed: If you feel that your depression is beyond your coping abilities, it is better to seek professional support. Psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment can help you diagnose and treat depression.
When should you seek medical help for depression
If you experience persistent and severe feelings of depression that negatively impact your daily life, it is important to seek medical help. Additionally, if the symptoms of depression include physical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, decreased energy levels, and changes in appetite and weight, you should not delay and should consult your treating physician. Furthermore, if you have suicidal thoughts or engage in self-harming behaviors, you should immediately contact your doctor or local emergency helpline numbers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has depression existed in the past?
Yes, depression is a mental illness that has existed throughout history. Depression has been identified in different ages and various cultures and societies. However, its naming and recognition as a mental illness in its current sense occurred in the 20th century. Before that, mental and psychological problems were known as “melancholia,” “infantile depression,” or “nervous exhaustion.”
Is depression genetic?
Depression is a mental illness that various factors, including genetic factors, can influence. Research has shown that the presence of a predisposition to depression in some individuals can be attributed to genetic factors. However, this does not mean that depression is purely genetic. Environmental factors, life experiences, psychological conditions, and daily activities can also play a role in the onset and severity of depression.
Is the prevalence of depression increasing?
Yes, some evidence suggests that the prevalence of depression is increasing in various societies. According to statistics, the number of individuals affected by depression has significantly increased in recent years. Multiple factors may contribute to this trend, including everyday life pressures, financial and economic concerns, cultural and social changes, work-life imbalance, excessive use of social media and digital technologies, and more.
Due to the gap in researchers’ opinions regarding the precise causes and factors contributing to the relative growth of mental disorders, there is still no definitive answer to questions about the exact reasons for the increase in psychological disorders. However, paying attention to mental health and raising awareness about the symptoms and treatments related to depression is crucial.
Does depression resolve on its own?
Depression does not resolve on its own. Depression is a mental disorder that requires proper diagnosis and treatment. While depression may be temporary and improve on its own, in many cases, it requires professional intervention.
The treatment of depression typically involves a combination of different approaches, including psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
Psychotherapy can help you cope with the factors contributing to depression and find effective ways to manage negative emotions. Medication treatment may also be necessary in some cases, but the final decision regarding appropriate treatment should be based on the diagnosis made by your healthcare provider.
Can depression be treated with antidepressant medications?
Antidepressant medications can be used as one of the treatment options for depression. Still, it is important to note that not all mental and emotional problems can be solved solely by taking antidepressants. The treatment of depression is usually multifaceted, and in addition to medications, psychological counseling, and lifestyle changes play a significant role in improving the condition of depression.
Some antidepressant medications, such as SSRIs (e.g., sertraline), SNRIs (e.g., venlafaxine), and TCAs (e.g., amitriptyline), are used to balance the brain’s chemical levels. These medications help reduce depressive symptoms, elevate mood, improve sleep, and enhance focus and mental exercises.
However, every individual and situation is different, and the results of treatment with antidepressant medications may vary for each person. Some individuals respond positively to antidepressant medicines, and their symptoms improve, while others may not experience significant results. Additionally, if you are using antidepressant medicines, it is important to be supervised by a doctor and follow their instructions and guidance.
Is depression related to anxiety?
Yes, depression and anxiety can be related to each other. In fact, many individuals who experience depression also exhibit anxiety symptoms, and vice versa. For example, a person who is depressed may share excessive worries and irrational fears. Similarly, someone with anxiety may often experience sadness and general discomfort associated with depression. As a result, treatment guidelines for depression and anxiety are often analyzed together, and healthcare professionals and psychologists commonly recommend a comprehensive treatment approach.
Why does depression worsen in the morning?
There are several reasons why depression may worsen in the morning. Below, we explore some common factors that can contribute to increased severity of depression in the morning:
1- Sleep disturbances: You may have had insufficient or poor-quality sleep the night before. This can lead to a worsening of depression symptoms in the morning.
2-Hormonal changes: Hormone levels in the body fluctuate throughout the day. In some individuals, groups of mood-regulating hormones such as serotonin may decrease in the morning, which can contribute to increased depression.
3-Morning stressors: Some individuals face daily stressors in the morning, such as heavy traffic, work pressure, or poor time management. These stressors can intensify depression in the morning.
4- Lack of enthusiasm for the new day: In some cases, individuals experience morning depression because they do not anticipate the new day and lack sufficient motivation to start their day.
5- Negative thinking patterns: Individuals trapped in negative thinking patterns may engage in excessive self-reflection and dwell on negative and distressing thoughts in the mornings, which can exacerbate depression.
If your morning depression is persistent and disruptive, it is recommended to consult with a mental health professional or physician to investigate the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment guidance.