Debilitating Depression, Symptoms & Treatment

Debilitating Depression, Symptoms and Treatment

Debilitating depression

In 2021, an estimated 14.9 million adults aged above 18 in the USA had debilitating depression with severe impairment in the past year. This number represented 6.0 percent of all adults in the USA. Please read this blog to understand debilitating depression in detail.

What is debilitating depression?

Debilitating depression is when the symptoms of major depression are so severe or prolonged that a person can’t function normally in one or more areas of their life. For instance, debilitating depression may make it impossible to keep up with housework, basic hygiene, a job, or normal relationships with family and friends. There are some pretty severe consequences of untreated debilitating depression, including suicide. Therefore, it is essential to get treatment for debilitating depression.

What are the symptoms of debilitating depression?

Some symptoms that you have debilitating depression can include:

  • Not bathing or showering for days or weeks
  • Neglecting hygiene, wearing dirty clothes, and not brushing hair
  • Being completely unable to function in school or at work
  • Feeling extremely agitated and guilty
  • Having sleep disturbances
  • Forgetting to eat or consuming only whatever junk food is available
  • Noticeable slowing of your ability to think or do remotely active tasks, even getting up and walking around your house
  • Psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions and becoming physically immobile

One must address this severe and debilitating depression since it can cause severe complications, such as substance abuse, physical injuries due to self-harm, malnutrition, failing at school or loss of a job, physical illnesses, social isolation, and damaged relationships.

What are the causes of debilitating depression?

Debilitating depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the USA. Research suggests that genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors can be responsible for debilitating depression. There are several potential causes of debilitating depression, and some factors may combine to trigger symptoms. Factors that can increase an individual’s risk of developing debilitating depression are:

  • a personal or family history of debilitating depression
  • certain physical illnesses, like diabetes, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease
  • significant life changes, including stress and trauma
  • specific medications

Treating and Managing debilitating depression

Everybody experiences depression in unique ways, even with typical symptoms. Some people have less frequent states of depression or more mild depressive moods. These moods may debilitate others. People with debilitating depression might not be able to function, struggling to do even the basic daily tasks such as bathing and getting dressed. This degree of depression is not something a person has to live with for long. If you or someone you care for is struggling with debilitating depression, seek treatment. Debilitating depression feels hopeless, but there is hope.

There is no cure for debilitating depression, but with the correct medical treatment and therapy, you can live with depression, manage symptoms, and reduce the risk of future episodes. Even for the most debilitating cases of depression, treatments can be effective. The treatment for patients with debilitating depression is usually similar to the treatment for other kinds of depression. Below, this blog shares some common treatments for individuals with debilitating depression.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a standard treatment for debilitating depression. Psychotherapy can include talk therapy, which involves patients with debilitating depression attending regular sessions with a therapist to share how they feel. Psychotherapy can allow individuals to learn ways to adjust to situations that worsen their depression symptoms.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (or CBT) is another type of psychotherapy that medical experts use to treat debilitating depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on how beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes can affect people’s behaviors and feelings. Cognitive-behavioral therapy uses a hands-on and practical approach, with a therapist interacting with the person to modify their patterns of behavior and thinking. This modification allows the individual to achieve a beneficial change in their mood and how they live their lives.

Medications

Doctors and mental health experts usually prescribe antidepressants for people with debilitating depression. These medications regulate chemicals and hormones in the brain that contribute to an individual’s mental health. The drugs aim to modulate mood and behavior, and both relieve the debilitating depression symptoms and prevent them from coming back.

  • Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (i.e., SNRIs) are common antidepressant drugs that doctors prescribe to treat debilitating depression. Examples of SNRIs are desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and venlafaxine (Effexor).
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRIs) are another common medication for the treatment of debilitating depression. Examples of SSRIs are citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), and sertraline (Zoloft).
Electroconvulsive therapy (or ECT)

ECT is a treatment for people with debilitating depression. ECT is an option for patients who don’t respond to medication or psychotherapy. ECT takes place under general anesthesia. While the individual is under general anesthesia, a medical team places electrodes on the scalp in precise locations. Then they stimulate their brain with controlled and brief electrical pulses. This stimulation leads to a small seizure within their brain that lasts about one minute. ECT aims to cause changes in the brain’s chemistry to improve depression symptoms and other mental health conditions.

Other treatments for debilitating depression

People can also try to reduce debilitating depression symptoms in other ways. A mental health doctor can advise on methods to try, which can include:

  • alternative approaches, such as acupuncture
  • light therapy
  • regular exercise
  • nutritional changes

Debilitating depression and anxiety

The chance of acquiring anxiety is much higher when debilitating depression already exists. Nearly half of those with debilitating depression also suffer from persistent and severe anxiety. People who have debilitating depression feel anxious and tense often. One can easily trigger the other, with anxiety usually preceding debilitating depression.

Summary

Debilitating depression is a severe mood disorder that causes people to have a persistent feeling of sadness. People usually describe debilitating depression as crippling. Debilitating depression can make a person feel constantly depressed or low. It can also lead to feelings of worthlessness and guilt and the inability to feel pleasure in things that an individual would usually find pleasurable. Debilitating depression can also prevent sufferers from completing regular daily tasks like eating, working, and sleeping.

Common treatments for debilitating depression involve psychotherapy and a range of antidepressant medicines. These treatments can be pretty effective and work well to manage symptoms of debilitating depression.

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Natural remedies for anxiety and depression

Overview of Depression

Major depressive disorder, popularly known as depression in general term, is a mood disorder that makes an individual feel constant sadness or lack of interest in life. Data from CDC estimates that 18.5 % of adults in the United States had depression symptoms in any given two-week period in 2019.

Sadness and depressed feelings are ordinary in everyone’s life at times, and it is a normal reaction to the changes and challenges of life. But when this condition turns into a feeling of intense sadness, including thoughts of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness, which last for several weeks and keep you from living your life, it may be something more than ordinary sadness. It is clinical depression.

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Depression strikes people in different ways. It may interfere with the daily working routine, resulting in lower productivity and lost time. It can also trigger some chronic health problems and influence relationships, and the medical conditions that can worsen due to depression include asthma, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Suppose you wonder if treating this mental condition is possible; yes! It is a treatable problem. This blog will help you understand more about Depression and its treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms of Depression?

Depression can cause various symptoms ranging from constant sadness to feeling “blue” or more. Some symptoms of depression affect your mood, while others can affect your body.

General signs and symptoms of depression

It is not the same for everyone; symptoms can vary in severity, how long they last, and how often they happen. If you face some of the depression signs and symptoms nearly every day for at least two weeks, you may have depression:

  • feeling anxious, sad, or “empty,” crying a lot
  • feeling worthless, pessimistic, bothered, hopeless, angry, or annoyed
  • loss of interest in activities once you used to love doing
  • difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions
  • feeling fatigued or decreased energy
  • sleeping problems, appetite, or weight changes
  • chronic physical pain with no particular reason, such as digestive problems, headaches, cramps, aches, or pain
  • thoughts or self-harm, suicide, death, suicidal thoughts

Depression symptoms in males

  • Mood: aggressiveness, anger, anxiousness, irritability, or restlessness
  • Changes in behavior: loss of interest, feeling tired quickly, no longer feeling pleasure in the activities you used to love once, drinking excessively, using drugs, thoughts of suicide, or engaging in high-risk activities
  • Cognitive abilities: difficulty completing tasks, inability to concentrate, or delayed responses during conversations
  • Sexual interest: lack of sexual performance or reduced sexual desire
  • Sleep patterns: restless sleep, insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or not sleeping at all
  • Physical well being: pain, fatigue, digestive problems, or headache

Depression symptoms in females

  • Mood, such as irritability
  • Changes in behavior: loss of or no interest in activities, thoughts of suicide, or withdrawing oneself from social engagements
  • Emotional well being: feeling sad or empty, hopeless, or anxious
  • Cognitive abilities: thinking or talking more slowly
  • Sleep patterns: difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping
  • Physical well being: digestive problems, loss of energy, weight loss or gain, or changes in appetite

What are the different types of Depression?

Some of the known depression types may include:

  • Unipolar major depression
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, when an individual gets very angry, cranky, and often display intense outbursts
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), a depression lasting for more than two years
  • Substance-induced mood disorder (SIMD), the symptoms usually occur when you are taking a medicine or consuming alcohol or after you stop taking any substance
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, when a woman goes through severe mood problems before periods, is much more intense than the typical premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

What are the causes of Depression?

Causes of depression can range from biological factors to circumstantial factors. But the common causes include:

  • Brain chemistry: A chemical imbalance in the brain parts that manage thoughts, mood, appetite, sleep, and behavior in people who are dealing with depression.
  • Hormone levels: It is one of the common depression causes in females. Changes in female hormones progesterone and estrogen during various periods in life such as perimenopause, menstrual cycle, postpartum period, or menopause may raise the risk of depression in women.
  • Family history: You are at a higher risk if you have a family past of depression or other similar mood disorders.
  • Early childhood trauma: Some events affect how your body reacts to fear and other stressful situations.
  • Brain structure: The risk of depression is higher if your brain’s frontal lobe is less active.
  • Substance use: If you have a history of substance use disorder or alcoholism, depression can affect your risk.
  • Pain: People who feel chronic physical pain or emotional pain for prolonged duration are significantly more prone to develop depression.
  • Medical conditions: Specific medical conditions may put you at higher risk, such as insomnia, chronic illness, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, heart attack, and cancer.

How to deal with Depression?

You may successfully manage depression by using one form of treatment persistently, or you find a combination best suitable for you. Some of the common categories of medications may include SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), noradrenaline and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), and N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists.

Psychotherapy

Conversing with a therapist can help you cope with specific negative feelings and benefit from group therapy sessions or family. It is also known as “talk therapy” and is famous as an effective treatment. Psychotherapy is often prescribed together with pharmaceutical treatment. A combination of an effective drug and psychotherapy can come out as a catalyst in your depression treatment.