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Causes and Treatment of

Geeta Mohan
Causes and treatment of Depression

• Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a

mental health condition marked by an overwhelming
feeling of sadness, isolation and despair that affects
how a person thinks, feels and functions.
• The condition may significantly interfere with a
person's daily life and may prompt thoughts of
• Depression can affect people of all ages, races and
socioeconomic classes, and can strike at any time.
The condition is found in twice as many women as
Causes and treatment of Depression

• People with depression may experience a variety of symptoms, but most
commonly, "a deep feeling of sadness or a marked loss of interest or
pleasure in daily activities," according to the American Psychiatric
Other symptoms of depression may include:
• Irritability, agitation or restlessness
• Lower sex drive
• Inability to focus, concentrate or make decisions
• Insomnia or sleeping too much
• Change in appetite and/or weight, eating too much or too little
• Tiredness and lack of energy
• Unexplainable crying spells
• Unexplainable physical symptoms such as headaches or body aches
• Feeling hopeless or worthless
• Withdrawal from social situations and normal activities
• Thoughts of death or suicide
Causes and treatment of Depression
Causes of Depression

• The causes of depression are not fully understood, but

scientists think that an imbalance in the brain's signaling
chemicals may be responsible for the condition in many
patients. However, there are several theories about what this
imbalance actually is and which signaling chemicals are
involved. Moreover, a variety of distressing life situations are
also associated, including early childhood trauma, a job loss,
the death of a loved one, financial troubles or a divorce.
• Most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic,
biological, environmental, and psychological factors
• Certain medical conditions may also trigger depression,
including an underactive thyroid gland, cancer, heart disease,
prolonged pain and other significant illnesses.
• Hormonally induced depression can arise after childbirth or at
menopause as well.
• Additionally, some sedatives, such as sleeping pills, and high
blood pressure medications are linked to depression
Diagnosis of Depression

A mental health assessment is a detailed and

comprehensive interview, including questions about
symptoms and their impact on work and
relationships, any previous episodes, drug and
alcohol use, medical conditions and family history. It
is important to assess the risk of suicide or self
Diagnosis of Depression

Again, the goal with a physical exam is usually to rule out a

physical cause for depression. When performing the physical
exam, the doctor may focus primarily on the neurological and
endocrine systems.
The doctor will try to identify any major health concerns that
may be contributing to symptoms of clinical depression. For
example, hypothyroidism -- caused by an
underactive thyroid gland.
Other endocrine disorders associated with depression
include hyperthyroidism caused by an overactive thyroid --
and Cushing's disease -- a disorder of the adrenal gland.
Certain medical conditions, drug and alcohol use and chronic
illness can mimic depression. The doctor will also do a
physical examination and may do investigations like blood
tests to exclude physical causes.
Treatment of Depression

There are three broad categories of treatment for

• psychological
• physical
• self-help and alternative therapies.
Often, a combination of treatments works best
Treatment of Depression

• Psychological treatments are sometimes called 'talking therapies' They can

help us change habits in the way we think, and help us cope better with
life's challenges. Some are based on one-on-one interactions, others are
• Psychological treatments provide either an alternative to medication, or
work alongside medication. They are also useful in helping us stay well
once we've recovered from depression.
There are a wide range of psychological treatments for depression:
• Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) - Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) aims
to show us how our thinking affects mood. CBT teaches us to think in a less
negative way about life and ourselves. It is based on the understanding that
thinking negatively is a habit. And, like other bad habits, it can be adjusted.
We can re-frame the way we think. CBT is generally delivered by a trained
• E-mental health programs (online therapies) e-Mental health programs (also
called e-therapies or online therapies) are therapies and support services
that you can access on the internet using your smartphone, tablet or
computer. -
• Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) - The goal of IPT is to help us understand
how our vulnerabilities can lead to current depression, or the risk of
developing depression in the future.
Treatment of Depression

Psychological treatments

• Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy - Mindfulness-based

cognitive therapy is an approach to treating depression,
adapted from Buddhist meditation principles. It is also useful
in preventing depression relapse, and for assisting with mood
• Positive psychology - Positive psychology is an area of
psychology that focuses on the conditions that contribute to
flourishing or optimal functioning.
• Psychotherapies - Psychotherapy is an extended treatment
(usually over months or years) where a relationship is built up
between the therapist and the patient
• Counselling - encompasses a broad set of approaches and
goals that are essentially aimed at helping us with solving
long-standing problems within the family or at work
• Narrative therapy -is a form of counselling based on
understanding the 'stories' that we use to describe their lives.
Causes and treatment of Depression

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