What is Depression
Everyone will at some point feel sad or "down", but typically these
feelings are fleeting and resolved within minutes, hours or days. Depression is commonplace, but that should not be mistaken for being inconsequential or non-serious. Most people with a depressive illness never seek treatment, but the majority, even those with the most severe cases of depression, can get better with treatment.
Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression, and Pain MD Houston specializes in interventional methods to treat pain which includes depression. There are several forms of depressive disorders.
Major depression are severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but often, a person has several episodes within periods of their lives.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (depressed mood that lasts for at least 2 years) is a diagnosis that entails episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms (2 years or longer).
Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances. They include:
Psychotic depression: Occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false beliefs or a break with reality (delusions), or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations).
Postpartum depression: Much more serious than the “baby blues” that many women experience after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. It is estimated that 10% to 15% of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer. SAD may be effectively treated with light therapy, but nearly half of those with SAD do not get better with light therapy alone. Antidepressant medication and psychotherapy can reduce SAD symptoms, either alone or in combination with light therapy.
Bipolar depression (also called manic-depressive illness): is not as common as major depression or persistent depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes from extreme highs (e.g., mania) to extreme lows (e.g., depression).
Most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain. Brain-imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have shown that the brains of people who have depression look different than those of people without depression. The parts of the brain involved in mood, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior appear different. But these images do not reveal why the depression has occurred. They also cannot be used to diagnose depression.
Some types of depression tend to run in families. However, depression can occur in people without family histories of depression too. Scientists are studying certain genes that may make some people more prone to depression. Some genetics research indicates that risk for depression results from the influence of several genes acting together with environmental or other factors. In addition, trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Other depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.