Major depression is a clinical concept that is treated with psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. How to overcome this disorder and consequences.

Major depression is a psychiatric term that refers to depression where the patient feels depressed, unhappy and with a minimum low mood. This is a feeling that a greater or lesser degree, we all experience at some time or another. What distinguishes depressive disorder is its intensity and length in time that, in general, may be several weeks or even longer, requiring treatment with medication, psychotherapy or both. The concept of major depressive disorder is not intended to limit in what would be external or internal causes, and therefore encompassing problems of various kinds and degrees of severity.

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Causes of Major Depression

There is no single cause that induces a depressive disorder. Some researchers point to chemical changes that occur in the brain, which are due to certain genetic problems or that these changes could be triggered by stressful events. This is probably a combination of both. The hereditary component of depression should also be considered, since some types appear to be transmitted from parents to children, although many other types occur in people who have no family history with this disorder. In fact, any individual is at risk of depression, regardless of age.

Risk factors are made ​​as alcoholism or drug addiction. Some diseases associated with pain or are incurable can be triggers for depression. Some medications such as steroids, or sleep problems are other factors to consider. Stressful situations, such as family breakdowns, illness or death of a loved one, abuse, sexual abuse or problems at school, during childhood, social isolation, especially in old age, or stay on the dole, are some of events that can cause a depressive disorder.

Symptoms of major depression

Probably one of the most common symptoms of depression is the distortion that is closest personal environment, life in general and ourselves. Everything is viewed from a negative perspective and any situation seems disturbing, threatening, dangerous and creates an inability to deal with it and find some way to resolve it. The most common symptoms associated with major depression include:

¤Irritability and restlessness.
¤Changes in appetite accompanied by weight gain or loss.
¤Great difficulty concentrating.
¤Decreased energy, fatigue continued.
¤Feelings of guilt, anger, hopelessness and abandonment.
¤Isolation.
¤Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed it.
¤Suicidal ideation or death.
¤Sleep problems, either by excess or defect.

Major depression can be accompanied by other feelings, like anger, apathy, sadness or discouragement and, when severe, psychotic symptoms occur in nature, such as hallucinations or delusions.

Treatment of major depression

Roughly one can say that depression is treated with medications known as antidepressants and psychotherapy. When it comes to mild cases, usually suffice one of these treatments, while if severe, it is likely to require a combination of both. In extreme cases, especially when there is suicidal ideation, it is recommended that treatment takes place in a psychiatric hospital.

Among the most common medications are the SSRI (selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake), such as the fluoxetine , cetalopram, sertraline or paroxetine. Other medications are SNRIs (inhibitors of the reuptake of norepinephrine), such as venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine or duloxetine. Can also be used tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, bupropion, or in the case of delusions or hallucinations, antipsychotic medications. The herb St. John ‘s Wort is obtained without a prescription and can help in cases of mild depression. However, it may interfere with the use of other drugs, so if you intend to use it, should speak first to your doctor.

The other part of the treatment of major depression is psychotherapy. There are different types, including cognitive behavioral therapy , with which you will learn how to combat negative thoughts, becoming aware of the symptoms and triggers that can worsen depression, and acquire the skills necessary to tackle the problems. With psychotherapy also seeks to understand the causes that lie behind the negative thoughts and thus more effectively combat them. Join self-help groups with similar problems is another factor which is a great help to the affected.