What is depression?
A person with depression has prolonged feelings of intense sadness of grief that interfere with a person's ability to carry out normal activities. The exact cause of depression is unknown. The brain makes chemicals, called neurotransmitters, which relay messages between brain cells. Those who have depression tend to have abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. About 1 out of every 5 people in the United States becomes depressed at some time in their lives.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Common symptoms of depression include difficulty sleeping, hopelessness, irritability, decreased enjoyment from usual activities, and self-disappointment. Other symptoms include anxiety, anorexia, weight loss, fatigue, guilt, and difficulty concentrating. Severe depression may be accompanied by suicidal thoughts.
How does the doctor treat depression?
Treatment of depression includes mental health counseling, support group, and medications. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), selective serotonin and norepinephrine uptake inhibitors (SSNRI) and tricyclic antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medications to treat depression.
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