Depression is permanent in adulthood
Nonspecific depressive episode
What is a nonspecific depressive episode?
A depressive episode describes a period of time that is characterized by a bad mood or depressed feelings. Affected people feel at least sad or depressed, without energy or motivation.
Depression affects women more often than men and typically affects those of middle or late adulthood. A depressive episode can either be a single event or develop into recurrent or persistent depression. In the case of persistent depression, the symptoms persist for more than two years.
The diagnosis of depression is made by a doctor based on symptoms. Some blood tests may be done to rule out conditions that may be causing depressed mood.
Treatment depends on the severity of the depression and may include counseling, psychotherapy, and drug treatment with antidepressants. Most people recover from a depressive episode well, but in some cases symptoms may persist. Depressive episodes can also be the first signs of bipolar affective disorder. However, this occurs rarely.
What are the causes of a depressive episode?
Depression is a little more common in women than in men. In addition, younger and older adults are more often affected. About one in six people will go through an episode of depression in their lifetime.
What are the symptoms of a depressive episode?
People who have had a depressive episode may feel sad or down abnormally often. They have difficulty motivating themselves, tire quickly, and cannot enjoy life as much as they used to.
Many affected feel negative feelings how:
- Void or
Depressive phases will also occur often from physical complaints how:
- Sleep disorders,
- Loss of appetite,
- A headache,
- Difficulty concentrating and
- Accompanied by fatigue.
If you are unsure whether these symptoms apply to you, start a symptom analysis.
Diagnosis of depression
A diagnosis of depression is made based on the symptoms the person is experiencing. A doctor should rule out other causes of the symptoms, such as certain medications, infections, or hormonal imbalances, before making a diagnosis. Some blood tests can help rule out these other causes. To make the diagnosis, it can be helpful to keep a diary of your mood, sleep, energy, and thoughts.
How is a depressive phase treated?
Treatment for depression depends on the severity of the depression and the circumstances of the individual. Common methods of treatment are counseling, medication with antidepressants, and psychotherapy. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary at the start of therapy or to protect the depressed person. Other methods, such as exercise, light therapy, or support groups, can also be helpful.
What is the prognosis?
With treatment and good support, many people feel better three to four months after starting treatment. Although depressive episodes can recur or persist, half of all people who have gone through a depressive episode never experience another. All in all, the prognosis after a depressive episode is good.
Can you prevent depression?
While it is not always possible to prevent depression, it has been shown that there are some helpful circumstances or measures that can protect against the onset of depression or major depression. These include good social relationships, reducing stress and doing sports.
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