Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living.
More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn't a weakness and you can't simply "snap out" of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don't get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychological counseling or both.
It's not known exactly what causes depression. As with many mental disorders, a variety of factors may be involved, such as:
People with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain, but may eventually help pinpoint causes.
Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that likely play a role in depression. Recent research indicates that changes in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters and how they interact with neurocircuits involved in maintaining mood stability may play a significant role in depression and its treatment.
Changes in the body's balance of hormones may be involved in causing or triggering depression. Hormone changes can result with pregnancy and during the weeks or months after delivery (postpartum) and from thyroid problems, menopause or a number of other conditions.
Depression is more common in people whose blood relatives also have this condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing depression.
Although depression may occur only one time during your life, usually people have multiple episodes of depression. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that aren't your responsibility
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Other people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences.
- In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.
- In teens, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can demonstrate irritability without sadness or loss of interest. However, major depression can occur with ADHD.
Depression is not a normal part of growing older, and it should never be taken lightly. Unfortunately, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated in older adults, and they may feel reluctant to seek help. Symptoms of depression may be different or less obvious in older adults, such as:
- Memory difficulties or personality changes
- Physical aches or pain
- Fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems, aches or loss of interest in sex — not caused by a medical condition or medication
- Often wanting to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things
- Suicidal thinking or feelings, especially in older men
-Arsenicum album is one of the top remedies for depression. Arsenic patient express sadness, restlessness and fear. Anxious , insecure and perfectionistic people who need this remedy may set high standards for themselves and others and become depressed it their expectations are not met. Depression on account of a hidden feeling or guilt. Worry about material security sometimes borders on despair. When feeling ill , these people can be demanding and dependent, even suspicious of others , fearing their conditions could be serious.Arsenic patients thinks that it is useless to take medicines for his depression.
- Aurum met. Is another effective remedy for depression.Aurum metallicum patients are very serious people, strongly focussed on work and achievement, who become depressed if they feel they have failed in some way. Nervous breakdown. Thinks of committing suicide but fears death greatly. Disgusted of life and thoughts. Profound despondency. Peevish. Rapid and constant questioning without waiting for answers. Oversensitive to noise.Discouragement, self – reproach, humiliation and anger can lead to feelings of emptiness and worthlessness. The person may feel worse at night with nightmares or insomnia.
A dependable , industrious person who becomes overwhelmed from too much worry, work or physical illness may benefit from this remedy.Anxiety , fatigue, confusion, discouragement, self – pity , and a dread of disaster may develop. A person who needs this remedy often feels chilly and sluggish and easily tires on exertion.
-Conium mac. persons are depressed during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Excitement causes mental depression . Timid. Weak memory. Afraid of being alone.
A person who feels depressed because of grief and loss either recent or over time, may benefit from this remedy. Frequent crying or a feeling of mental dullness and forgetfulness with anxious checking to see if the door is locked, if the stove is off, etc. are other indications.They are often deeply sympathetic towards others and having a strong sense of justice , can be deeply discouraged or angry about the world.
A person who needs this remedy can be energetic and talkative when feeling well, but upset and gloomy when depressed- with exaggerated fears of insanity, of being attacked, of disaster. Along with this painful menstrual periods and headaches that involve the neck are seen.
- Depression in women during puberty. When menses have not started or are suppressed. Sensation of depression. General muscular weakness. Sinking sensation, worse at 4-8 pm. Mania of a melancholic type. Frequent sighing .
Depression. Sadness and mood swings. Feeling of exhaustion. Feeling that everything involves too much trouble. Does not want to get up in the morning. Feels as if an icy cold hand was touching his head. Feels as if lifted high in the air. Anxiety. Brain seems compressed and head feels longer .
-Depression in teenages. Depression due to grief and worry. Sensitive people who suffer grief and disappointment and try to keep the hurt inside may benefit from this remedy. Wanting not to cry or appear too vulnerable to others , they may seem guarded, defensive and moody. They may also burst out laughing or in to tears, for no apparent reason. A feeling of a lump in the throat and heaviness in the chest with frequent sighing or yawning are leading indications of this remedy.Insomnia or excessive sleeping , headaches and cramping pains in the abdomen and back are also often seen.Ignatia is also effective for seasonal affective depression.
-Mental and physical depression caused by excitement , overwork, worry and insomnia. If a person feels depression after working too hard, being physically ill , or going through prolonged emotional stress or excitement this remedy can be helpful. Exausted, nervous and jumpy, they may have difficulty working or concentrating and become discouraged and lose confidence . Headaches from mental effort, easy perspiration , sensitivity to cold , anemia, insomnia and digestion are often seen when this remedy is needed.
Lachesis is a very effective remedy for depression occurs during menopause.Lachesis is the appropriate remedy when depression is caused by suspicion, jealously, or repressed feelings. It is also prescribed for people who dislike commitment or confinement. The person may be worrisome, very talkative, and experience menopausal depression.
Individuals who need this remedy are usually mild, gentle, and selfless—making an effort to be cheerful and helpful, and avoiding conflict whenever possible. After being hurt or disappointed, they can become depressed, but keep their feelings to themselves. Even when feeling lonely, they withdraw to rest or listen to sad music, which can isolate them even more. Nervous and physically sensitive (to sun, to weather changes, and to many foods, especially milk), they may also get depressed when feeling weak or ill.
People who need this remedy seem reserved, responsible, and private—yet have strong inner feelings (grief, romantic attachment, anger, or fear of misfortune) that they rarely show. Even though they want other people to feel for them, they can act affronted or angry if someone tries to console them, and need to be alone to cry. Anxiety, brooding about past grievances, migraines, back pain, and insomnia can also be experienced when the person is depressed. A craving for salt and tiredness from sun exposure are other indications for this remedy. Depression due to hunger.
NATRUM SULPH 200-Natrum Sulph is an important medicine for the treatment of major depression where psychotic symptoms of suicidal thoughts are in a greater magnitude, where the patient has to be physically refrained from committing such an act.Dislikes to speak , to to be spoken to.
Phosphoric acid is the best remedy for depression when the person who is dull, indifferent, and apathetic. Other symptoms include loss of appetite and often feeling overwhelmed from overwork, grief, studying, or heartbreak. They also desire juices, often speak in short phrases, and experience night sweats. Depressive episodes often are worse from sleeping.
Depression due to hormonal changes. People who needs this remedy have a childlike softness and sensitivity—and can also be whiny, jealous, and moody. When depressed, they are sad and tearful, wanting a lot of attention and comforting. Crying, fresh air, and gentle exercise usually improve their mood. Getting too warm or being in a stuffy room can increase anxiety. Depression around the time of hormonal changes (puberty, menstrual periods, or menopause) can often be helped with Pulsatilla
Sepia is the best remedy when a person is overwhelmed from loved ones and family members. They will also often want to be alone and they may become angry when bothered. They may feel better after crying and they prefer not to be consoled. There is a feeling of bearing down sensation in the pelvic region. Depression during menopause
Staphysagria is the best homeopathic remedy for depression when a person who is sensitive, quiet, and emotional. The person may be addicted to work and have a problem standing up to others. The depression can be caused by shame, resentment, suppressed emotions, and hurt feelings. When under too much pressure, they may experience fits of rage. They may also have a high sex drive and experience insomnia, headaches, toothaches, stomachaches, and stress-related bladder infections.