Are you feeling down or sad occasionally? That’s a usual response to situations in life. But in contrast, in extreme depression, such feelings become persistent and affect everyday routine activities. Let help you !
The Severe Depression
Adult Depression is a common chronic health condition that negatively affects physical, emotional, and social health and significantly interferes with daily functioning. In addition, the potential economic consequences and public health burden of depression are substantial. As with many other health conditions, research supports a beneficial role of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of depressive disorders.
Mild and Severe Depression is more common than one might expect. The severe depressive disorder also referred to as unipolar depression or extreme depression, is the most common psychiatric disorder. Worldwide, 400 million people suffer from all kind of depression. Estimates suggest that approximately 7 percent of adults report a severe depressive episode in the past year, and one in five adults has a mood disorder over the course of life, with the extreme mental disorder the most common.
Adult Depression is the leading cause of disability and global disease burden in industrialized nations. In addition to the tremendous impact of psychotic depression on individuals and families, the financial drain is immense. The economic costs of severe depression include medical costs such as increased frequency of medical visits, longer hospital stays, greater risk and severity of chronic health conditions, and premature death due to both suicide and poor medical outcomes, as well as workplace costs including absenteeism and reduced productivity while one is at work.
What Is a Severe Depression?
While everyone feels sad or down on occasion, someone with severe depression has persistent symptoms that interfere with daily functioning.
Extreme or severe depression symptoms include these:
- Depressed mood or feelings of sadness, anxious
- Loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
- Changes in appetite (increase or decrease) or body weight (loss or gain)
- Changes in sleeping habits (sleeping too much or problems falling or staying asleep)
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating or not being able to make decisions
- Agitation, restlessness, or slowed movements
- Thoughts of suicide or death;
- An extreme depressive disorder
To receive a diagnosis of severe depression, an individual must experience either low mood or loss of interest (first two items in the preceding list) and four or more of the remaining symptoms such as anxiety. In addition, these symptoms must be severe enough to affect daily activities, must persist for a period of two weeks or more, and must not be due to a physical illness or a substance, either drug of abuse or medication.
Other mood disorders include persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), bipolar disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (see Table: Types of Depressive Disorders for more information on each of these types). Additionally, the childbearing period is a high-risk time for mental depression in women, so it is important to watch for signs of peripartum depression (occurring during pregnancy or within four weeks of delivery) and postpartum depression. Severe depression also frequently co-occurs with many chronic medical illnesses. Because of mental disorder it may last for a long period of time and symptoms may be mistakenly attributed to stress or illness, it is important to talk to your doctor if you think you could be experiencing symptoms of depression.
While anyone can be affected by the mental state at any time, certain factors are associated with increased risk of developing severe mental disorder:
- Having a family history of mental disorder
- Having experienced a previous bout of extreme mental disorder
- Having low social support or social isolation
- Having a chronic health condition
- Experiencing stressful life events
- Low levels of physical activity
- Women are about twice as likely to suffer mental disorder and anxiety as men.
- People who have a family history of mental disorder are more likely to suffer extreme desolations themselves. In addition, someone who has had a prior episode of severe depression is significantly more likely than others to experience a subsequent episode.
- Other risk factors include stressful life events, social isolation, and having a chronic health condition.
- Finally, being physically inactive has been shown to increase the risk for depression, providing further support for the important role of physical activity in promoting mental as well as physical health. Having these risk factors does not mean that you will become depressed; however, if you are aware of the risk factors, you can be more alert to the signs and symptoms for yourself or loved ones.
Severe Depression and Health
As previously mentioned, chronic health conditions have been associated with a higher likelihood of developing adult depression.
People with chronic medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and pulmonary disease, commonly experience elevated symptoms of severe mental disorder; and extreme depression is also associated with increased risk for many chronic illnesses.
Mental Depression can interfere with glycemic control (i.e., maintaining normal glucose levels in the body), reduce immunity, and negatively affect the cardiovascular system. Because the symptoms of several chronic diseases may overlap with symptoms of adult depression, diagnosis can be problematic.
However, severe depression that is not treated can lead to worse medical outcomes due to both psychological and physiological factors. Taking medication properly, seeking medical care, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and getting adequate sleep are all more difficult if you are experiencing symptoms of severe depression. Individuals with a medical illness who may have symptoms of depression should speak with a doctor or a mental health professional to better understand the symptoms and how they might affect illness and treatment.
Severe Depression Treatment
There is a variety of extreme depression treatment, including antidepressant medications and psychotherapy. Antidepressants are not habit-forming drugs but work by correcting chemical imbalances in the brain. However, the exact mechanism of antidepressant medications is not fully known. Common antidepressant medications work to influence the brain in various ways. Some affect chemicals in the brain, including norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.
These medications include the older and now less commonly used monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants, as well as the newer, safer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Newer medications that have unique mechanisms of action (atypical antidepressants) or that combine different mechanisms of action (multimodal antidepressants) are commonly used. More recently, the use of antidepressant medications that target other brain chemicals, such as glutamate, or that target brain communication pathways related to depression has increased, with the hope of improving treatment outcomes.
Clinical and research experience has revealed that not every medication is effective for every person. Unfortunately, medication selection is often a “trial and error” approach, with challenges in matching individuals with the antidepressant medication that is most likely to benefit them. If you take an antidepressant medication, you may feel some improvement in the first couple of weeks, but the full benefits are not generally seen for a couple of months.
It may take several attempts or even a combination of medications for mental disorder treatment and find a prescription that fully relieves severe depression, so it is important to talk with your doctor about your medication and symptoms. Even after you get better, your doctor will want you to continue medication for a period of time to maintain improvement and protect against relapse.
In addition to potential difficulties of identifying the appropriate medication and dosage to relieve symptoms of depression disorder, side effects can be a frequent problem of medications, and they are often noticed before people feel the relief of mental depression symptoms. Commonly reported side effects of antidepressant medications include changes in weight or appetite, headache, dizziness, nausea, sexual dysfunction, and sleep disturbances, although the type and severity of these symptoms vary depending upon the type of medication.
Thus, if you are using a medication, it is important to have ongoing monitoring of the medication, side effects, and symptoms to ensure that successful remission is achieved and maintained. Routine and consistent monitoring of symptoms is recognized as very important in the management of other chronic diseases, and depression should be no exception. In what is referred to as “measurement-based care”, standardized scales are used to quantify the frequency and severity of symptoms, side effects, and adherence in order to aid in depression treatment.
Psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy, can also effectively treat depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on developing problem-solving skills and changing negative or unhelpful thinking and has been shown to be particularly effective as a psychological treatment for depression.
Interpersonal therapy assists individuals through life transitions, grief, and other difficulties. As with medication, it may take some time to see significant improvement, and ongoing maintenance sessions may be necessary. There are different options for counseling formats, and family or group counseling may be helpful in addition to individual sessions. Finding a well-trained, experienced therapist or counselor is an important factor in the effectiveness of psychotherapy.
For severe depression or when other treatments have not been adequate, electroconvulsive therapy may be indicated. This medical treatment involves stimulating the brain under anesthesia over a series of sessions and can be effective when other treatments have not been successful. Additional medical treatments involving specific stimulation of certain brain areas include vagus nerve stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and deep brain stimulation. It is important for individuals to partner with their mental health professional to select a treatment help that is appropriate for them and their individual situation.
Although more attention has been given to clinical depression in recent years, adequate treatment remains problematic. Barriers include difficulty in finding an effective treatment, help and full relief of depression symptoms, as well as the cost of health care visits, medication, or psychotherapy.
Thus, many avoid seeking real treatment or discontinue depression treatment before full remission. Despite a greater understanding of depression, social stigma and accessibility to treatment are other commonly reported barriers to seeking treatment. Even among those who seek and receive treatment, many do not achieve full relief of symptoms. Without full relief of symptoms (remission), the risk of future episodes is increased.
Therefore, the role of exercise in the prevention and treatment of severe depression is an important fighting depression tool for your health issue.