Common Causes And Treatment Of Depression

Do you have a wholesome life in Brisbane, yet feel lost and sad? Do you say sorry a lot, despite knowing it’s not your fault? Have you lost interest in daily activities? Have you lately been feeling worthless and unloved? If the answer to any of these is yes, you may be presenting depressive symptoms and need to consult a phychiatrist in Brisbane.

Statistics reveal that in 2014-15, 4 million Australians were reported to have a mental or behavioural condition, the most prevalent being anxiety (17.5%) followed by depression (9.3%). It’s estimated that approximately 300 million people are afflicted by depression globally.

What causes depression?

More common among women than men, depressive disorders arise due to a combined interaction of genetic, biological, socio-economic or psychological factors. A head injury, substance abuse, traumatic childhood, devastating life events, chronic diseases, and side effects of prescription medicines are some of the causes of depression.

How do you know if you have depression or not?

The natural mood fluctuations that people experience during their lives don’t amount for depression. Temporary phases of grief, sorrow or melancholy don’t constitute the typical clinical picture of depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Unexplained sad mood
  • Loss of sexual drive and the activities previously enjoyed
  • Loss of love for life, mind dwelling on suicidal thoughts. Suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds
  • Psychomotor agitation, restlessness (tremors)
  • Loss of energy and will to work
  • Hypersomnia (excessive sleep) or insomnia (lack of sleep)
  • Feeling of worthlessness, guilt as if doing something wrong
  • Inability to think and concentrate

The recurrent depressive episodes, depending upon the severity, can be divided into mild, moderate and severe. The patient may experience diminished energy for weeks along with other concomitants like anxiety, appetite changes, poor concentration and many other inexplicable symptoms like lassitude and obesity in children.

On the other hand, in cases of a bipolar affective disorder, there is apparent normal behaviour between periods of mania and depression.

Can you treat depression?

The answer is yes! Moderate to severe depression can be treated in Brisbane with psychological treatments such as:

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (TPT).
  • Antidepressant medication such as tricyclic antidepressants [TCAs] and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs].
  • In cases concerning mild depression, the professional health workers may take up group face-to-face psychological/psychosocial treatment. As the children and adolescents are more sensitive to psychiatric drugs, medication is not the first line of treatment.
  • Educating family members, and spreading awareness to discussing practical approaches may also offer support to those struggling with depression.
  • Aerobic exercises help treat mild cases of depression as exercising enhances the secretion of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.
  • Brain-stimulation Therapy like Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT is employed in some instances of significant depression.

Above all, as the patients are highly prone to develop suicidal tendencies, it’s imperative to keep the carers equipped with the emergency handling procedures and helpline numbers in Brisbane.