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Depression Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment – At Home Urgent Care

Author’s Bio: Paige Lamb has a degree in Psychology. As a passionate medical worker, she enjoys writing about health topics to provide insight to everyone.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder made up of a loss of interest in activities and severe sadness. People with depression struggle functioning in everyday life for a period of two weeks or more. This mood is a feeling that becomes a person’s perception of the world and influences how they go about everyday life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from the disorder.” It was also said that “depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.” More women are affected by depression than men. At its worst, this mood disorder can lead to suicide if left untreated.

Types of depression

There are seven major types of depression that are common in today’s society: Major Depressive Disorder is a combination of symptoms where a person cannot carry out daily functions like eating, sleeping, studying, and enjoying pleasurable activities. It is estimated that  16.2 million adults in the United States or 6.7 percent of American adults, have had at least one major depressive episode each year. Persistent depressive disorder is when a person’s major depressive disorder episode becomes a recurring one. This disorder is lower in severity of major depressive disorder but it lasts two years or longer. It consists of ongoing feelings of sadness, hopelessness, low energy, and indecisiveness. This form of depression is more seen in women than men and more than half of the cases that arise should be taken very seriously. Minor Depression happens when a person is having symptoms for two weeks or longer that do not meet full criteria for major depression. Without treatment, people with minor depression are at high risk for developing major depression. Psychotic Depression is when a person has severe depression and some form of disturbing false beliefs or delusions. Postpartum Depression is much more serious than the “baby blues” that many women go through after giving birth. This form of mood disorder happens because of hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of caring for a newborn becomes overwhelming. This disorder is caused by hormonal changes that follow childbirth, lack of sleep, and the pressure of taking care of a new baby. These symptoms tend to happen for longer than a couple weeks which increases the severity of the disorder. Additional symptoms that can happen with postpartum depression are withdrawal, lack of appetite, and negative train of thought. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) happens at the start of depression during winter months when there is less sunlight in specific areas of the world. This usually stops during the spring and summer months. This condition happens to about 5 percent of the U.S. population per year. Seasonal depression is usually triggered by the onset of fall and lasts throughout the winter months, which means that it rarely occurs in the summer and spring months. Geography and a person’s distance from the equator makes a huge difference in whether this disorder will affect them or not. Bipolar Disorder is described as when a person’s mood changes-from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression). This disorder affects about 2.8 percent of the U.S. population a year. It can be shown in both men and women equally.

Causes of Depression

Some  ​risk factors that contribute to depression are:
  • Abuse
  • Conflict
  • Death or a loss
  • Genetics
  • Other Serious mental illnesses
  • Substance abuse
  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition
  • Living in weather with little to no sunlight
In recent studies, it has been said that depression may physically change a person’s brain. Of course genetics, stress, and inflammation play a role in this but experts are still searching for a valid connection of why that happens to people. Brain size is a highly debated factor that is talked about when discussing the effects of depression on people. It has been seen that a person’s brain size can actually shrink with depression because of the loss of gray matter in the brain. Memory and learning are also affected areas in the brain from a person with depression. Because these areas connect to other parts of the brain that control emotion they are very vulnerable to a person that is battling depression.

Symptoms of Depression

Symptoms of these depressive disorders are different, below is a list of some of the forms of depression symptoms a person can experience: Major Depressive Disorder
  • Depressed mood for most of the day and/or all day.
  • No interest or pleasure in all, or almost all activities for most of the day and/or all day.
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain/appetite changes
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Over Sleeping
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • No ability to think or concentrate/indecisiveness
  • Thoughts of suicide
Minor Depression
  • Depressed mood
  • Crying Spells
  • Lack of pleasure in usual activities
  • Feeling irritated
  • Feelings of worry
  • Impaired concentration and memory
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Over sleeping
  • Increased or decreased appetite
Psychotic Depression
  • Delusions
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Physically unable to move
  • Intellectual impairment
  • Feelings of hopelessness
Postpartum Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Anger
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Lack of joy in life
  • Feelings of shame or guilt
  • Severe mood swings
  • Difficulty bonding with baby and/or thoughts of self-harm to self or baby
Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD)
  • Overeating
  • Oversleeping
  • Lack of energy/enthusiasm
Bipolar Disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Loss of interest
  • Feeling irritated
  • Suicidal thoughts/behavior

Treatment (Medication) for Depression

Medication is used to treat a range of different types of mental illnesses. It is believed to work by correcting chemical imbalances in the brain. With the help of medication, managing depression can become much easier. The most popular medication used to treat most forms of depression are antidepressants such as selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) or Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). These medications help decrease thoughts of suicide and most symptoms of depression. Online Medical Appointments Do you think you may have depression? Our online doctor appointments will provide you with the answers and care that you need! Depression can be treated properly through our telehealth services and online doctor consultations. Medications for treatment can be prescribed and sent to your pharmacy as needed. At Home Urgent Care provides telehealth services that allow people to seek help on anxiety and other mental health services. Book an online appointment,/b> today with our health care experts available at your convenience 365 days a year!

Book an Appointment

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Step 1

Call or Book your online Doctor Visit

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Step 2

Talk to a doctor over the Phone/ Tablet

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Step 3

If needed pick up your medication at the pharmacy


World Health Organization. Depression Key Facts. Accessed on December 30, 2020 at National Institute of Mental Health. Depression Risk Factors. Accessed on December 29, 2020 at ​