According to the World Health Organization, the estimated number of people around the world affected by depression are around 350 million. It is the most common illness worldwide and is a leading cause of disability. WHO states that it is a common mental disorder that is characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that a person usually enjoys, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities for at least two full weeks.
What causes depression?
While the cause of depression is not fully understood, it is likely to be a complex combination of genetic, environmental, and biological and psychosocial factors. Also, while depression can affect people of all ages from all walks of life, poverty, unemployment, life events like the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, physical illness, and problems caused by alcohol and drug use are likely to increase the risk.
The symptoms involve losing interest in doing things that one would usually enjoy, change in appetite and sleep patterns, and feeling sad for at least 2 weeks.
Approaches to treat depression
If the symptoms persist for more than two weeks, patients are advised to get professional help from a therapist who can evaluate the symptoms and recommend the right approach for treatment. It is a condition that can be treated by therapy, medication, or both, and the treatment approaches vary depending on the type of depression. Here are some psychotherapy approaches to know about:
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
This approach focuses on the past and present social roles and interpersonal interactions of the patient and attempts to help them find better ways to deal with their current problems.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
It focuses on helping patients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behavior. Additionally, this approach helps patients identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that affect them negatively.
- Problem solving therapy
This approach helps patients address problem orientation, define their problems, brainstorm and evaluate solutions, and then take action. It focuses on helping patients cope with difficulties and proactively seek solutions and implement them.
Apart from psychotherapy, patients might need medication to help them recover from this disorder. Here are some of the common medications to know more about:
Used to treat depression, it is also taken to prevent seasonal affective disorder, which is a type of depression that occurs each year at the same time, like during winters. It improves mood and feelings of well-being, and it may also work to restore the balance of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.
- Abilify Mycite
This is a combination of aripiprazole and a patch. Aripiprazole may be used in combination with other medicines to treat depression, and it is also known as an antipsychotic drug that helps restore the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.
It is a medication used as a patch on the skin. Its common name is selegiline, which is an antidepressant, monoamine oxidase inhibitor, that treats depression by restoring the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Its common name is brexpiprazole, and it belongs to the atypical antipsychotic class of medicines. This medication helps improve mood, sleep, energy levels, and appetite.
Its common name is esketamine, which is an antidepressant, and this medicine improves mood and restores interest in living.
Its common name is isocarboxazid, and it is an antidepressant. It restores the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain and helps improve mood and feelings of well-being.
These medications should be taken only with a prescription, so it is important to consult a professional psychiatrist to diagnose the condition and prescribe medication accordingly. Remember that help is always available, and you are not alone. Reach out.