Depression is very common today. In fact, the World Health Organization says that about 350 million people around the world suffer from depression today. It occurs in people of all ages, ranging from children to seniors.
Depressive disorders are a group of disorders that include major depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, persistent depressive disorder, along with many others. What all depressive disorders have in common is that they have a negative impact on the mind, and often on the body as a result.
The signs of depression can vary according to the specific depressive disorder. Some common indicators that a person may need treatment for depression include: Lack of interest in usual activities, avoidance of friends and family, weight changes (either loss or gain), poor self-esteem, changes in sleep patterns, agitation, and chronic fatigue.
Treatment for depression is a highly individual thing. First, the healthcare practitioner will work with the patient to talk about possible causes or contributors to depression. Sometimes, a cause can't be isolated, but regardless of why the depression happens, there is hope for treatment. Many different antidepressant drugs are now available for depression treatment. For some patients, both an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer is needed. The nurse practitioner will work with each patient to help him or her discover the medication that works best to alleviate the individual’s depression. It is important for patients to continue with their medication on a daily basis. Depression drugs should never be suddenly discontinued without talking to the healthcare provider first. Some patients may be tempted to stop the depression medication when they start feeling better, but it is important to know that the medication is essential for anyone with depression to feel better for the long term. With the right healthcare provider and the right medication, there are solutions for depression that really work.