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Sadness,having a loss of pleasure or interest, and feeling low are symptomsfamiliar to everybody in daily activities. However, if these symptomspersist and affect our lives significantly, it may be depression. is mood illness characterized by loss of interest andfeeling of sadness (MacGill, 2016). It interferes with a motivationof people, concentration, and other everyday functioning aspects. is a complex illness where many body systems are involved,such as the immune system, either as an effect or cause. Itinterferes with appetite, disrupts sleep, and sometimes causes weightgain or weight loss. is a persistent problem with anaverage length of six to eight months. It differs from normalfluctuations of mood, and thus, short-term emotional responses tolife challenges do not establish depression. This paper discusses thecauses, symptoms, and treatment of depression.

Thecauses of depression.

is not caused by a single source, but rather result from acombination of factors, including biochemical, genetic, psychologicaland environmental factors (MacGill, 2016). There are various riskfactors for depression. For example, life events such bereavement,poverty, and divorce can expose one to depression. Also, people withpersonality issues such having less successful strategies of copingare at high risk of getting depression. Genetic factors cancontribute to depression where the relatives of depressed patientshave high chances of getting depressed. A past injury of the head andchildhood trauma can also contribute to depression. Besides, someprescription drugs such interferon, bet-blocker, and reserpine canlead to the disorder. People who abuse recreational drugs such asamphetamines and alcohol are also at high risk of getting depressed.Moreover, the individuals who have experienced a traumatic event havehigh chances of getting the illness.

Brain-imagingtechnologies research show that people with depression have brainsthat appear different as compared with those without depression. Thebrain parts that regulate thinking, mood, sleep, behavior, andappetite seems to function abnormally. Besides, the chemical cells ofthe brain that is used as a neurotransmitter to communicate, may alsobe affected by the disorder.

Symptomsof depression

Peoplewith depression experience different symptoms. The symptoms may bemuch for some people and few for others. Symptom severity varies overtime and also differ among individuals. There are various symptoms ofdepression, including depressed mood, low appetite and unintentionalweight loss, loss of energy or fatigue as well feeling of guilt andworthlessness (MacGill, 2016). Also, a person with depression mayhave reduced pleasure or interest in activities he or she enjoyedpreviously such as loss of desire for sex. Insomnia is anothersymptom of depression that is characterized by difficulty sleeping orexcessive sleeping which is referred as hypersomnia. A depressedperson may also experience psychomotor agitation such as pacing downand up, restlessness or psychomotor retardation such as slow speechand movement. Besides, depression is characterized by worseningability to concentrate, think or make decisions as well as recurrentthoughts of suicide or death or suicide attempts.

Friends,relatives or doctors may note other features such as appearingmiserable, furrowed brows, tearful eyes and slumped posture. Suchperson may also avoid facial expression and eye contact with otherpeople. Also, they may note the change in the speech of the affectedindividual, such as the use of monosyllabic words and soft voice aswell as little body movement (Petrow, 2016). The depressed person mayalso appear humorless, pessimistic, introverted, passive, complainingand hypercritical of others and self.


is treatable, even that of most severe cases. It is similar to otherillness where earlier treatment of the disorder is more effective andis likely to prevent recurrence of the illness (“”,2017). The first step of treatment begins with a physician’sphysical examination (MacGill, 2016). The doctors asks about drug andalcohol use, and if the patient has been thinking about suicide ordeath. Some medical conditions, including thyroid disorder and viralinfections as well as certain medications can have similar symptomslike depression and are canceled out.

Oncea person has been diagnosed with depression, many ways can be used totreat him or her. Psychotherapy and medication are commonly usedtreatments. There are various psychotherapy types, includinginterpersonal psychotherapy, problem-solving treatment, andcognitive-behavioral therapy.Psychotherapies are used as the firstoption for treatment in the case of mild depression. However, insevere and moderate cases, psychotherapies are used alongside othertreatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a most preferred treatmentin combination with drug therapy or can be used alone (Petrow, 2016).Psychotherapy deal with patterns of thinking that precipitatedepression and research indicates that it prevent recurrence.Usually, drug therapy assists in relieving symptoms to enable peopleto participate in meaningful psychotherapy.

Physicalexercise can also be used to combat depression. It is helpful forfriends and family members to take depressed patients for walksbecause people are usually demotivated by depression (“”,2017). Besides, social contact can be used as a way of combatingisolation feelings that trouble the depressed individual.

Therefore,depression is mainly characterized by loss of interest and feeling ofsadness. It is caused by a combination of factors, includingbiochemical, genetic, psychological and environmental. Psychotherapyand drugs are common ways used to treat depression. The illnessshould be diagnosed and treated earlier to prevent recurrence.


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