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The symptoms detection and prevention of depression

Denying that something is wrong. People with depression also have a greater chance of developing panic attacks and phobias. Diagnosis If depression is suspected, it is important to see a doctor so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment given.

There is no medical test that can diagnose depression. However, doctors use documented criteria to help diagnose the condition. Blood tests to check for underlying conditions or deficiencies eg: Treatment The earlier treatment for depression is started, the better the chances of successful treatment.

  • Reach out to family and friends, especially in times of crisis, to help you weather rough spells;
  • Use that same number and press "1" to reach the Veterans Crisis Line;
  • Excess weight or obesity, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes Pain or physical illness Anxiety, panic disorder or social phobia Family conflicts, relationship difficulties, and work or school problems Social isolation Suicidal feelings, suicide attempts or suicide Self-mutilation, such as cutting Premature death from medical conditions Prevention There's no sure way to prevent depression;
  • Take steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and boost your self-esteem;
  • The classes of antidepressant medications most commonly used in New Zealand are the ones that affect serotonin and noradrenaline levels.

Carefully following the prescribed treatment plan is also vital in treating depression and preventing its recurrence. Treatment of depression will be tailored to each individual and will involve a number of important components. The needs of the individual, and the stage and severity of the depression will be taken into account when planning treatment.

The three main treatment approaches for depression are self-help techniques, psychological therapies and medications. Self-help techniques that can help combat depression include: Complementary therapies may also prove beneficial for some people.

There are a variety of complementary and alternative therapies available including massage, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, yoga, dietary supplements and herbal remedies eg: It is important to discuss the use of herbal remedies with your doctor before using them as they may interfere with other treatments or medications.

In cases of moderate and severe depression, it may be recommended in addition to antidepressant medications.

Depression - symptoms and treatment

There are a number of different psychological therapy techniques. Antidepressants are the mainstay medications for depression. However, other medications such as anti-psychotics and sedatives may be used in conjunction with antidepressant medications in some cases.

As it is difficult to predict how a person will respond to and tolerate a particular antidepressant medication, a process of trial and error may be required until an effective medication for that person is found. There are a number of different classes of antidepressant medications available in New Zealand. In general, antidepressant medications work by increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Their levels tend to be reduced when a person has depression. The classes of antidepressant medications most commonly used in New Zealand are the ones that affect serotonin and noradrenaline levels.

What is depression and what can I do about it?

Antidepressant medications are not addictive. However, they can cause unpleasant side effects if stopped suddenly. Antidepressant medications should only be discontinued while under the supervision of a doctor.

  • The drugs should be continued as prescribed by the doctor, even after symptoms have improved, to prevent relapse;
  • But don't get discouraged;
  • People with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains;
  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one;
  • During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include;
  • Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.

Uncommonly, and only in cases of very severe depression where other treatments have been unsuccessful, electroconvulsive therapy ECT may be effective. This involves passing an electric current across the head after a muscle relaxant and general anaesthetic has been administered. The exact reason ECT is effective is not fully understood but it is thought to affect the chemical balance in the brain, leading to stabilisation of mood and reduction of depression.

  • Unfortunately, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated in older adults, and they may feel reluctant to seek help;
  • Unipolar depression can involve anxiety and other symptoms - but no manic episodes;
  • In mild cases of depression, psychotherapies are the first option for treatment; in moderate and severe cases, they may be used alongside other treatment;
  • These and other chronic conditions, such as diabetes , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cardiovascular disease make depression more likely.

Further information and support Your GP or practice nurse can provide information and support about depression. The following services can also provide support to people suffering from depression, as well as to their friends and family.