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Symptoms of Depression• Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions• Fatigue and decreased energy• Feeling of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness• Insomnia, early morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping• Irritability, restlessness• Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex• Overeating or appetite loss• Persistent aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease with treatment• Persistent sad, anxious, or empty feeling• Thoughts of suicide and/or suicide attempts
Warning Signs of Suicide with Depression• A Sudden switch from being very happy to being very calm or appearing to be happy• Always talking or thinking about death• Clinical depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping, and eating) that gets worse• Having a death wish, tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, like driving thru red lights• Losing interests in things that one used to care about• Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, and worthless• Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will• Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”• Talking about suicide (kills ones self)• Visiting or calling people one cares about
The Brain…Depression strikes allover the brain, involvingthe cerebeal cortex,amygdala, hippocampus,hypothalamus, and otherregions.Major Depression alsoaffect the frontal lobes,lowering the ability toreason while ratcheting upemotional limbic system.In depressed people theturnoff switch by whichthinking controls emotionsisn’t working properly.
Depression can strike anyone!Children as young as 5or 6 can experience symptoms that resemble depression in adults.The onset of true depression increases sharply during the teenage years, then gradually rises to peak around age 40.Average onset age is 30 with treatment beginning usually about 3 years later.
HereditaryHeredity plays a role in the likelihood ofdeveloping depression. Say if one twinin a pair of identical twins is diagnosedwith clinical depression the other has a70% chance of also having depression.
Gender and DepressionWomen are more than twice as likely to become depressed as men.Men are also more likely to hide depression from themselves and others by self medicating with alcohol or drugs or working excessive long hours.
Medications for depression Depression arises from imbalances of neurotransmitters. Many antidepressants increase the amount of the serotonin in the synapses. After 2 or 3 weeks the release of serotonin causes the receiving neuron to become more sensitive to its presence.
Sweeney, Michael S. BRAIN The Complete Mind.National Geographic Washington, D.C. Print 2009Mondimore, Francis Mark. Depression, the Mood Disease.Baltimore, MD, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.Ainsworth, Patricia. Understanding Depression.Jackson, MS, USA: University Press of Mississippi, 2000.Paolucci, Susan L., MD; Paolucci, Stephen J., MD; Buckley, Sandra A..Depression FAQs.Hamilton, ON, CAN: B.C. Decker, 2007.