Depression Explained: From symptoms, diagnosis, to treatment, how one can overcome and live life to the fullest

Researchers have been going on developing blood tests or brain scans to ascertain depression symptoms. However, researchers have detected altered metabolite levels and blood flow patterns using sophisticated brain scans, Sonawalla told IE.

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Depression is perhaps the most ignored disorder in our society as we often choose to remain silent about it. However, with more people staying indoors during the coronavirus pandemic, many including celebrities have started to pen down and share about their traumatic experience and encounter with Depression.

There are primarily two factors behind depression. One is psycho-social and another biological. While Biological factors involve “neurochemical disturbances and genetics” psycho-social factors include trauma and “stressful life events”. It has also been observed that depression can coexist with physical illnesses like hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), and medication side effects, psychiatrist Dr. Shamsah Sonawalla told Indian Express.

Untrained individuals can’t always detect signs and symptoms of depression. Researchers have been going on developing blood tests or brain scans to ascertain depression symptoms. However, researchers have detected altered metabolite levels and blood flow patterns using sophisticated brain scans, Sonawalla told IE.

The two prominent symptoms of Depression are diminished interest and depressed mood. Apart from these two, others are changes in appetite, changes in sleep pattern, sudden loss or gain weight, constant fatigue, feeling excessively guilty, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness, concentration and memory impairments, and suicidal thoughts, Sonawalla told IE.

Often we wonder how someone who is looking happy could be depressed. One reason is symptoms of depression tend to be present differently in different people. Another reason is that certain people suffering from depression might make the effort to put on a smiling face, Sonawalla told IE.

There is an uncanny relationship between depression and suicide. Around two-thirds of individuals having depression experience suicidal thoughts. However, this can be abated with treatment in most cases. However, those with ‘untreated severe depressive disorder’, have a lifetime risk of suicide, Sonawalla told IE.