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- Negative Thoughts About Yourself, Sadness For More Than 2 Weeks, It Can Be Depression
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The Harvard Medical School report, dated 6 August 2022, states that Indian adolescent girls have become increasingly vulnerable in the last decade. The main reason for this is the increasing exposure of social media. According to a report, currently one out of every 7 Indian is suffering from the problem of depression at this time. An article related to depression was published in the August 11 issue of Dainik NewsBust India. After this, readers have asked a large number of questions related to it. Melbourne based in Mitchum Hospital is answering these Dr. Amit Zutsi.
Question. Is anxiety depression?
Answer. Thinking about the future is a normal thing and should also be done, but when we are not able to control our thinking about the future and it starts getting too much then it turns into worry. Then this anxiety about the future, accompanied by anxiety, headaches and body ache, when thoughts about every little thing is present continuously for 6 months, it takes the form of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), but this depression Not there. There is a difference between depression and GAD.
In depression, a person feels depressed most of the time for at least 2 weeks. A person suffering from depression is worried about the things done in the past. He blames himself for the wrongs done in the past. Mainly his attention is focused on negative things.
Question. What are the symptoms of depression?
Answer. Depression is a mood disorder. In this the person is mainly depressed or in some cases irritable. Due to persistent bad mood, one starts feeling less energetic than on normal days. He struggles to find pleasure in the things he used to enjoy earlier. Confidence and concentration begin to decline prominently. There is a lot of change in sleep and appetite. He starts having a negative attitude towards himself and the future, such that after a person wears dark glasses, everything becomes dark and visible.
In severe cases of despair, the person may have thoughts of committing suicide because he feels that there is no hope left.
Question. Which test should be done to diagnose depression?
Answer. Depression cannot be diagnosed with a blood or radiological test. It can only be known through clinical trials. Depression can be caused by many factors. Hypothyroidism from an abnormality of the thyroid gland found in the neck can also lead to depression. In this, the level of thyroid decreases, due to which it is common to experience depression. So when you are experiencing depression, you can get TFT (thyroid function test) done to identify thyroid gland dysfunction. Vitamin B12 deficiency (very common among vegetarians) can also lead to depression. Therefore it can also be tested.
Question. I have recovered from depression, but still overthinking is too much. Negativity comes first in everything. what to do ?
Answer. This is a very common problem seen in patients recovering from depression. There can be many reasons for this. First of all make it clear that if this overthinking is about the future and negative thoughts about the consequences of things that will happen in the future then it is a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which is different from depression. Depression and GAD can occur together, but the treatment of both is different.
If a person has negative thoughts about himself and his actions then it can lead to depression. Another point I would like to emphasize is that depression is probably caused by a chemical imbalance and is not a reflection of the individual’s personality or inner strength. Depression can happen to anyone. Sometimes patients recovering from depression blame themselves. This weakens their confidence, which increases negativity. So they need to understand that they should not blame themselves for depression. It is not a reflection of one’s weakness.
Question. I always have negative thoughts in my mind. Due to nervousness, the heartbeat becomes faster. There is also less sleep. Could it be depression?
Answer. Negative thoughts about oneself, poor sleep, hunger and anxiety are common symptoms of depression. Many times people experience more sleep or more appetite in depression. This is called comfort eating. This is also a symptom of depression. Most importantly, the above symptoms must last for at least 2 months. It is common to have more or less sleep and appetite for a few days. This can also happen due to stress or anxiety.
Question. Does menopause cause depression? If yes, is there any medicine for this?
Answer. Menopause is characterized by massive hormonal changes, both physically and emotionally. Hot flushes, lack of sleep, mood swings and in many cases, depression can also be experienced. Therefore, menopause increases the chances of depression in a woman. Women are twice as likely to have depression than men. In addition to hormonal replacement therapy or contraceptives, anti-depressants may be effective.
Question. Can depression also be caused by side effects of medicines?
Answer. There are medicines that can cause depression or increase suicide risk. Some common medications, such as beta blockers, which are used to reduce high blood pressure, migraines, and tremors, can cause depression. Other medications such as corticosteroids and drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease can also cause depression. Discontinuing these drugs helps treat the symptoms of depression. Sometimes anti-depressants are needed to treat depression caused by the above drugs.
Question. Do depression medicines have to be taken for life?
Answer. Medications are very important in the treatment of depression. These should not be discontinued without consulting a doctor. Anti-depressants should be taken for 12 months after complete recovery from the first episode of depression. If there are frequent bouts of depression, it is advisable to take medicines for at least 3-5 years. However, it can vary depending on the severity of the depression, the stage and the difference between them, etc.
Question. There is always heaviness in the head. Little things are forgotten. However, negative thoughts do not come. Is this also depression?
Answer. , Symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. Headache, body ache, loss of concentration (compared to a person’s normal days), negative thoughts, forgetfulness of things (especially recent events) are common. Also, if there is a decrease in mood and energy, it indicates depression.
Question. I have a lot of stress and anxiety in going out of the house. There is anxiety in talking to anyone at home, what should I do?
Answer. It is good to have a little bit of worry during the exam or on the first day of the job. It helps us to give our best, but when anxiety is too much and it takes over our thinking it becomes a disease. Feeling anxious when we go out or when we talk to others is a sign of social anxiety which is a very common disease. About 10-15% of the population is affected by it, which means that around 14-20 crore people in India have symptoms of social anxiety.
Symptoms of social anxiety can be reduced with cognitive behavior therapy. In this, situations that create fear are gradually confronted. In addition, there are medications that can help reduce stress and anxiety.