Published Date: 6/17/2023 6:05:36 AM

  • Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
  • Possible causes include a combination of biological, psychological, and social sources of distress. Increasingly, research suggests that these factors may cause changes in brain function, including the altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain.
  • The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide.
  • The mainstay of treatment is usually medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two. Increasingly, research suggests that these treatments may normalize brain changes associated with depression.

Depression causes:

  • There are several possible causes of depression. They can range from biological to circumstantial.

Common causes include:

  • Family history: You're at a higher risk for developing depression if you have a family history of depression or another mood disorder.
  • Early childhood trauma: Some events affect the way your body reacts to fear and stressful situations.
  • Brain structure: There’s a greater risk for depression if the frontal lobe of your brain is less active. However, scientists don’t know if this happens before or after the onset of depressive symptoms.
  • Medical conditions: Certain conditions may put you at higher risk, such as chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Drug use: A history of drug or alcohol misuse can affect your risk.
Depression symptoms:
  • Depression can be more than a constant state of sadness or feeling "blue".
  • Major depression can cause a variety of symptoms. Some affect your mood, and others affect your body. Symptoms may also be ongoing or come and go.
  • The symptoms of depression can be experienced differently among men, women, and children differently.

Men may experience symptoms related to their:

  • Mood, such as anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness.
  • Emotional well-being, such as feeling empty, sad, hopeless.
  • Behavior, such as loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicide, drinking excessively, using drugs, engaging in high-risk activities.
  • Sexual interest, such as reduced sexual desire, lack of sexual performance.
  • Cognitive abilities, such as inability to concentrate, difficulty completing tasks, delayed responses during conversations.
  • Sleep patterns, such as insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness, not sleeping through the night.
  • Physical well-being, such as fatigue, pains, headache, digestive problems.

Women may experience symptoms related to their:

  • Mood, such as irritability.
  • Emotional well-being, such as feeling sad or empty, anxious or hopeless.
  • Behavior, such as loss of interest in activities, withdrawing from social engagements, thoughts of suicide.
  • Cognitive abilities, such as thinking or talking more slowly.
  • Sleep patterns, such as difficulty sleeping through the night, waking early, sleeping too much.
  • Physical well-being, such as decreased energy, greater fatigue, changes in appetite, weight changes, aches, pain, headaches, increased cramps.

Children may experience symptoms related to their:

  • Mood, such as irritability, anger, mood swings, crying.
  • Emotional well-being, such as feelings of incompetence (e.g. “I can’t do anything right”) or despair, crying, intense sadness.
  • Behavior, such as getting into trouble at school or refusing to go to school, avoiding friends or siblings, thoughts of death, or suicide.
  • Cognitive abilities, such as difficulty concentrating, the decline in school performance, changes in grades.
  • Sleep patterns, such as difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Physical well-being, such as loss of energy, digestive problems, changes in appetite, weight loss, or gain.

The symptoms can extend beyond your mind.

Types of depression:
  • Depression can be broken into categories depending on the severity of symptoms. Some people experience mild and temporary episodes, while others experience severe and ongoing depressive episodes.
  • There are two main types: major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder.

Major depressive disorder:

  • Major depressive disorder is the more severe form of depression. It’s characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that don’t go away on their own.

In order to be diagnosed with clinical depression, you must experience 5 or more of the following symptoms over a 2-week period:

  • feeling depressed most of the day
  • loss of interest in most regular activities
  • significant weight loss or gain
  • sleeping a lot or not being able to sleep
  • slowed thinking or movement
  • fatigue or low energy most days
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • loss of concentration or indecisiveness
  • recurring thoughts of death or suicide

There are different subtypes of major depressive disorder, which the American Psychiatric Association refers to as “specifiers.”

These include:

  • atypical features 
  • anxious distress
  • mixed features
  • peripartum onset, during pregnancy or right after giving birth
  • seasonal patterns
  • melancholic features
  • psychotic features
  • catatonia

Persistent depressive disorder:

  • Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) used to be called dysthymia. It’s a milder, but chronic, form of depression.
  • In order for the diagnosis to be made, symptoms must last for at least 2 years. PDD can affect your life more than major depression because it lasts for a longer period.

It’s common for people with PDD to:

  • lose interest in normal daily activities
  • feel hopeless
  • lack productivity
  • have low self-esteem

Depression can be treated successfully, but it’s important to stick to your treatment plan.

Treatment for depression:
  • Living with depression can be difficult, but treatment can help improve your quality of life. Talk to your healthcare provider about possible options.
  • You may successfully manage symptoms with one form of treatment, or you may find that a combination of treatments works best.
  • It’s common to combine medical treatments and lifestyle therapies, including the following:


Your healthcare provider may prescribe:

  • antidepressants
  • antianxiety
  • antipsychotic medications


  • Speaking with a therapist can help you learn skills to cope with negative feelings. You may also benefit from family or group therapy sessions.

Light therapy:

  • Exposure to doses of white light can help regulate your mood and improve symptoms of depression. Light therapy is commonly used in seasonal affective disorder, which is now called major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns.

Alternative therapies:

  • Ask your healthcare provider about acupuncture or meditation. Some herbal supplements are also used to treat depression, like St. John’s wort, SAMe, and fish oil.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider before taking a supplement or combining a supplement with prescription medication because some supplements can react with certain medications. Some supplements may also worsen depression or reduce the effectiveness of the medication.


  • Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity 3 to 5 days a week. Exercise can increase your body’s production of endorphins, which are hormones that improve your mood.

Avoid alcohol and drugs:

  • Drinking or misusing drugs may make you feel better for a little bit. But in the long run, these substances can make depression and anxiety symptoms worse.

Learn how to say no:

  • Feeling overwhelmed can worsen anxiety and depression symptoms. Setting boundaries in your professional and personal life can help you feel better.

Take care of yourself:

  • You can also improve symptoms of depression by taking care of yourself. This includes getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, avoiding negative people, and participating in enjoyable activities.
  • Sometimes depression doesn’t respond to medication. Your healthcare provider may recommend other treatment options if your symptoms don’t improve.
Preventing depression:
  • Depression isn’t generally considered to be preventable. It’s hard to recognize what causes it, which means preventing it is more difficult.
  • But once you’ve experienced a depressive episode, you may be better prepared to prevent a future episode by learning which lifestyle changes and treatments are helpful.

Techniques that may help include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Maintaining treatments
  • Reducing stress
  • Building strong relationships with others

Other techniques and ideas may also help you prevent depression.

Mudra Therapy For Depression:




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