DEPRESSION

DR. S.M. ALAM
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Jan 3 - 9, 2011

Depression is a disorder that involves feelings of sadness often accompanied by a loss of interest in life, hopelessness, and decreased energy. Such distressing feelings can affect one's ability to perform the usual tasks and activities of daily living. Depression affects the mind, but this doesn't mean "it's all in your head."

Depression is a medical illness linked to changes in the biochemistry of the brain. Depression is not a weakness of character. Being depressed does not mean that a person is inadequate. It means the person has a medical illness that is just as real as diabetes or ulcers. Like other medical disorders, clinical depression should not be ignored or dismissed. A clinically depressed person cannot simply "snap out of it" any more than a person with an ulcer.

Depression is highly treatable in the vast majority of cases. Up to 90 per cent of depressed people respond positively to one treatment or another. Sometimes psychotherapy or counseling is all that is needed, but there is also a wide array of effective antidepressant medications and other alternatives. Sometimes, the first treatment will work well. At other times, a second or even a third treatment trial is required to find the best (most effective, most easily tolerated) treatment for the individual patient.

Major depression, also known as melancholia or uni-polar depression, can last up to a year if not treated. A person experiencing an episode of major depression will experience some physical problems, such as headaches, other aches and pains, or digestive upset, for example, in addition to emotional difficulties. Bipolar disorder, once called manic depressive illness, causes mood swings that soar to unusual elation, and then plummet to depression.

A person with severe bipolar disorder may also see or hear things that are not there or experience paranoia (an incorrect feeling that they are in danger from others).

Dysthymia is a chronic low-grade depression. It often begins in childhood or adolescence and may last for many years in adulthood if not treated. It is a less severe form of clinical depression, but at times it can be almost as disabling as major depression.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression thought to be triggered by a decrease in exposure to sunlight. Some depression runs in families. Researchers believe that it is possible to inherit a tendency to get depression. This seems to be especially true for bipolar disorder (manic depression). Studies of families with several generations of bipolar disorder (BPD) found that those who develop the disorder have differences in their genes from most who don't develop BPD. Some people with the genes for BPD do not actually develop the disorder, however. Other factors, such as stresses at home, work, or school, are also important.

Major depression also seems to run in families, but it can also develop in people who have no family history of depression. Either way major depressive disorder is often associated with changes in brain structures or brain function. People who have low self-esteem, who are consistently pessimistic, or who are readily overwhelmed by stress are also prone to depression. Physical changes in the body can also trigger mental health problems such as depression.

Research demonstrates that stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson's disease, feeling of guilt, lethargy, crying spells, pessimistic thinking, fear, extreme sleeplessness, loss of appetite, loss of decision taking ability, frequent mood swings effects social attitudes, and hormonal disorders can cause depression.

A severe stressor such as a serious loss, difficult relationship, and financial problem can also trigger a depressive episode. A combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors is often involved in the onset of depression.

Depression in Women: Studies suggest that women experience depression up to twice as often as men. Hormonal factors may contribute to the increased rate of depression in women such as menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, postpartum period, pre-menopause, and menopause.

Women may also face unique stressors such as responsibilities both at work and home, single parenthood, and caring for children and for aging parents. Many women are particularly vulnerable to depression after the birth of a baby. The hormonal and physical changes, as well as the added responsibility of a new life, can be factors that lead to postpartum depression in some women. Some periods of sadness are common in new mothers; but a full depressive episode is not normal and requires intervention. Treatment by a sympathetic health care provider and emotional support from friends and family are important in helping her to recover her physical and mental well-being and her ability to care for and enjoy her baby.

Depression in Men: Men are less likely to suffer from depression than women. Men are less likely to admit to depression. More women attempt suicide, but more men actually commit suicide. After age 65, the rate of men's suicide increases, especially among white men older than 85. Depression also can affect the physical health in men differently from women. One study shows that men suffer a high death rate from coronary heart disease following depression. Men's depression may be masked by alcohol or drugs, or by working excessively long hours. Rather than feeling hopeless and helpless, men may feel irritable, angry, and discouraged. Even if a man realizes that he is depressed, he may be less willing than a woman to seek help.

In the workplace, employee assistance professionals or worksite mental health programs can help men understand and accept depression as a mental health disorder that needs treatment.

Depression in the Elderly: It is not normal for elderly people to feel depressed. Depression in the elderly is sometimes dismissed as a normal part of aging, causing needless suffering for the family and for the individual. Depressed elderly persons usually tell their doctor about their physical symptom but may be hesitant to bring up their emotions. Some symptoms of depression in the elderly may be side effects of medication, the person is taking for a physical problem, or they may be caused by a co-occurring illness.

In this world, every body needs peace and tranquility in his life, but it is very difficult to achieve peace, solace and reassurance all the times weather one is rich or poor. But one can get after observing the proper etiquette and manners with other and helping the needy persons through his means.

For taking rest for 'Heart', The Holy Quran has mentioned for remembrance of Allah. Surah Ar-Rad-13, verse -28 describes: Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah- Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah: Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. In Surah, At-Tauba-9, verse-119, Allah says: O you believe! Be afraid of Allah and be with those who are true in words and deeds. For solace and tranquility and Salamati, these Surahs also describe: Surah Yasin-36, verse-58; Surah As-Saffat-37, Verses-79, 109, 120, 130; Surah Az-Zumar-39, Verse-73 and Surah Al-Qadr-97,Verse-5. For Shafas (cure) of human beings, the Holy Quran describes in these Surahs as: Surah At-Tauba-9, Verse-14, Surah Yunus-10, Verse-57, Surah An-Nahl-16, Verse-57, Surah Ash-Shura-26, Verse-80 and Hamim- Sijda-41,Verse-44, Surah An-Naml-27,Verse-59, Surah As-Saffat-37, Verse-182.

If we obey the orders of Allah mentioned in the holy Quran then we can of course may be protected from depression and all evils and calamities occurring with us in this world.