Depression: Meaning, Symptomps, Causes, And Treatment

Depression is a mood disorder that causes feelings of sadness and loss of continuous interest. Depression affects your feelings, ways of thinking and behaving, and can make you have various emotional and physical problems.

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Depression or major depressive in medical terms disorder is a mood that can affect the mindset, feelings, and how to deal with daily activities.

When depressed a person will feel sad, hopeless, feel worthless, and lose interest with anything, or blame their self. It happens all day and lasts for at least 2 weeks. Depression is different from the temporary unhappiness. However, due to misconceptions and considered equal to the usual sadness, this disease is often considered trivial. In fact, depression is a serious illness that can encourage sufferers to commit suicide.

In its classification, in addition to major depressive disorder, there are several other forms of depression that differ slightly in terms of time, possible causes, or other accompanying symptoms:
Disruptive mood deregulation disorder.

Often referred to as bipolar disorder in children, because this disorder occurs in children (less than 18 years) with symptoms of rapid anger and often perform extreme acts out of control.

Persistent depressive disorder
It is a mild but chronic form of depression. It is said to be chronic because symptoms of depression can last for 2 years.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
The onset of symptoms of mood swings, irritability, and depression symptoms that occurred during the last week before menstruation and decreased during menstruation, then disappear after menstruation.

Perinatal depression
It is more serious form of baby blues experienced by women after childbirth. Perinatal depression may occur during pregnancy or after childbirth. This situation makes it difficult for the mother to do activities either for herself or for her child.

Depression accompanied by symptoms of psychosis.

Bipolar disorder
By 2015 the WHO estimates there are more than 300 million people worldwide suffering from depression, where women are more often than men, and more than 750,000 people die from suicide.


Symptoms of depression can be very complicated, not just a feeling sad happen anytime. It can also be experienced differently by each person, but in general a person who is depressed will experience feelings of sadness, loss of hope, and lost interest with anything.Symptoms of depression can be seen from 2 aspects, namely psychology and physical. The following are the symptoms of depression in terms of each aspect:

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Psychological aspects.

  • Always burdened with guilt
  • Feeling desperate, inferior and worthless
  • Always feel anxious and worried excessive
  • Bad mood or sad sustainability
  • Easily angry or sensitive, and easy to cry
  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking, and making decisions
  • Uninterested and unmotivated
  • Ideas for self-harm or suicidal ideas arise

Physical Aspects.

  • Always feel tired and lost energy.
  • Changes in menstrual cycle in women.
  • Constipation.
  • Body movement and speech are slower than usual.
  • No sexual arousal.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Changes in weight and appetite.

Not all of these symptoms are experienced by people with depression. Some are experiencing the whole, but some are experiencing only some symptoms. To declare a person depressed, the symptoms should last all day for at least 2 weeks and result in disruption to social aspects such as work, school, and relationships with friends and family.

The symptoms are often not recognized by the patient, but it is apparent to those around them. Therefore, to declare a person depressed, doctors need psychiatric examination, one with a questionnaire to determine the diagnosis of depression. In addition, there is also a thorough physical examination and investigation, such as laboratory tests to detect any other physical disorders that may be related to the state of depression.


Depression can occur at any age, but depression usually begins in adulthood. The cause of specific depression is still unknown, presumably this condition occurs due to a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors.

There are several facts that genetic factors are suspected to affect the incidence of depression:
Nearly 50% of people who have twin siblings, who suffer from depression, also have a tendency to experience depression.

A person with a nuclear family has been depressed, three times more vulnerable to depression than those who do not.

However, the exact location of the gene disorder cannot be determined.

Although depression can develop without being preceded by trigger factors, some of the following conditions may increase a person's risk of depression. Among others are:
  • Experiencing a traumatic event. Some examples of events or circumstances that may lead to depression include torture or harassment, death of a person, problems in relationships (marriage, friendship, family, romance, and co-workers), and economic difficulties.
  • Have a certain disease. Sometimes depression appears as a reaction to a disease that is suffered, such as head injury and thyroid hormone disorders. Some chronic and life-threatening diseases can also lead to depression. Examples are HIV / AIDS, coronary heart disease, diabetes, or cancer.
  • Have a certain personality. Feeling inferior, too harsh in self-judgment, pessimism, or over-reliance on others can increase a person's risk of depression.
  • Alcohol and drug dependence. Many people try to escape from the problem by consuming alcoholic beverages or using drugs. Though both of these things can only trigger the occurrence of depression or exacerbate depression experienced.
  • Certain medications. Some medications may increase a person's risk of depression. Examples are sleeping pills and medications for hypertension


Depression will be easier to cure if it is handled faster. Treatments performed by doctors usually include psychotherapy, drugs, or a combination of both.


Some psychotherapy techniques that are done to overcome depression, among others:
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). This therapy is applied to people who are held hostage by a certain mindset that harms them. CBT will help it to break away from negative thoughts and feelings, and replace it with a positive response. CBT can also help patients to recognize conditions that make depression worse, so patients can change behavior to overcome them. Usually CBT conducted 6-8 sessions for 10-12 weeks.

  • Problem-solving therapy (PST). PST can improve the ability of patients to face the experience that makes it depressed, especially people with depression who are more mature. Patients will be asked to identify problems and get realistic solutions through a gradual process.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT). The basic principle of IPT is to address problems that arise when dealing with others, which can lead to or aggravate depression.
  • Psychodynamic therapy. This therapy encourages the patient to explore various emotions and feelings within him, which he sometimes does not realize. The purpose of psychodynamic therapy is to help the patient understand that what he feels and how he behaves is influenced by the unresolved problem in his subconscious mind.


Antidepressants are drugs to treat depressive symptoms. There are various antidepressants, with different levels of success and impact on each person. Therefore, patients may try several types of antidepressants until they find the appropriate drug.

Usually, antidepressant drugs take several weeks or months to work and begin to relieve the symptoms felt by people with depression. Once the drug begins to work, drug consumption will continue for up to 6 months to 1 year, and is stopped after symptoms of depression are completely lost.

To avoid withdrawal symptoms, when discontinuing antidepressant, the doctor will slowly lower the dose of the drug before it is stopped.

Almost half of people taking antidepressants experience side effects from the drug, especially in early use. Therefore, during treatment with antidepressants, intensive doctoral monitoring is required.
Doctors have a way to overcome the side effects of antidepressants, such as reducing drug doses, providing additional drugs to help reduce side effects, or changing the type of antidepressants. Examples of antidepressant drugs are fluoxetin, venlafaxine, and amitriptyline.

Electrical shock therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) therapy is very effective in treating depression in patients who are not responding to drugs, experiencing psychotic symptoms, as well as patients with attempted suicide. However, the safety of ECT is still a debate, especially in elderly people.

Prevention of Depression

Depression in general can not be prevented. However, with a good lifestyle and healthy, the severity and risk of recurrence of depression can be lowered. Some activities that can help a person with depression in preventing his condition get worse, include:

  • Maintaining social interaction. People with depression tend to withdraw from the environment and the people around them. This condition can exacerbate depression. Therefore, maintaining social interaction with the people closest to or meeting new people can prevent depression from developing or reappearing.
  • Sports. Sports are done regularly is not only beneficial to maintain fitness. Exercise can also help relieve depression, anxiety, and keep emotions stable. It is recommended to exercise for 30 minutes, 3-5 times a week.
  • Maintain health. Poor health in people with depression will greatly affect the development of depression experienced. To prevent depression getting worse, the patient must maintain good health of his body. It is advisable to sleep enough, exercise regularly, and maintain a good and healthy diet.
  • Not consuming alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is a mood-altering drink. Someone who has a risk of depression should keep away from alcoholic beverages in order not to aggravate mood.
  • Planning life. Planning life, both short and long term, can help a person prepare mentally. Although there will still be unexpected events, but with good planning, stress levels from unexpected events can be suppressed.
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