Is Major Depressive Disorder Considered A Disability
Yes, major depressive disorder is considered a disability and is in fact a leading cause of disability in the United States. 2 Depression is a serious mental illness that can impact your ability to work. In some cases you may qualify to receive social security benefits while you’re unable to work. To learn if you qualify for benefits and to apply, read Psycom’s related article: Could You Quality for Mental Health Disability Protections?
When To Seek Emergency Help
If you think you may be in a position to harm yourself or someone else, call 911 or your local emergency number ASAP. There are also several treatment resources and support groups that can be sought through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration National Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP .
How Can I Help Someone With Major Depression
People with depression might not acknowledge that theyre struggling. Lack of awareness about symptoms of depression can cause people to consider their feelings normal or dismiss them as a time-limited struggle. The stigma of seeking treatment for depression can also cause people to attempt to overcome treatment without professional help. One of the best ways you can help a loved one is to become educated about the symptoms, causes, and treatment for MDD and encourage them to work with a doctor or mental health counselor. Be a compassionate listener and avoid giving unhelpful advice like,“This is just a phase, it will pass.” Another way you can help is to offer to assist with daily tasks and recognize and respond to a crisis. If you believe your loved one is in danger of harming themselves, do not leave them alone. Dial 9-1-1 and stay with them until help arrives.
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What Foods Help Ease Depression
While no specific diet has been proven to relieve depression, a healthy diet can help you feel your best physically and mentally. Certain foods may be linked to brain health and support for memory, alertness, and mood. Examples include foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids , antioxidants , and nutrients like choline . Always talk with your doctor before making any major diet changes.
Genetic Findings In Major Depression
Studies of variants associated with single genes are mostly equivocal in terms of effect sizes and specificity. For instance, studies of the promoter polymorphism of the serotonin transporter suggest a weak moderating effect on major depression and associated traits and more robust effects on neural endophenotypes that relate to general risk for psychopathology and vulnerability to affective disorders . Conversely, rare coding or gain-or-function mutation in genes such as SERT , monoamine oxidase A and disrupted in schizophrenia implicate single genes in severe major mental illnesses, but the observed phenotypes are complex, mixed and often severe, including combinations of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse disorders, with aggression, schizoaffective and psychotic features, and in some cases suggesting strong developmental contributions. Together these studies significantly contributed to lowering boundaries between major depression and other categorical psychiatric disorders and provided leads for investigating pathophysiological mechanisms with implications beyond their original areas of investigation .
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How Is Depression Treated
Treatment for depression may include one or a combination of the following:
Medicine. Antidepressants work by affecting the brain chemicals. Know that it takes 4 to 6 weeks for these medicines to have a full effect. Keep taking the medicine, even if it doesnt seem to be working at first. Never stop taking your medicine without first talking to your healthcare provider. Some people have to switch medicines or add medicines to get results. Work closely with your healthcare provider to find treatment that works for you.
Therapy. This is most often cognitive behavioral and/or interpersonal therapy. It focuses on changing the distorted views you have of yourself and your situation. It also works to improve relationships, and identify and manage stressors in your life.
Electroconvulsive therapy . This treatment may be used to treat severe, life-threatening depression that has not responded to medicines. A mild electrical current is passed through the brain. This triggers a brief seizure. For unknown reasons, the seizures help restore the normal balance of chemicals in the brain and ease symptoms.
With treatment, you should feel better within a few weeks. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years. Continued treatment may help to prevent depression from appearing again.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Depression
Studies consistently show that depression is most associated with the number of stressors experienced in life, and the effect is cumulativethe more stresses that accrue over time, the greater the likelihood of getting depressed. The loss of an important relationship by death or divorce is experienced by most people as a major stress requiring significant adjustment.
Loneliness is both a physical and emotional stressor, and rates of loneliness, known to be high among the elderly, are sharply rising among the young, who increasingly report having no close friends. Job loss or the threat of job loss are almost invariably sources of constant worry. In the absence of a wide array of coping skills, even minor bumps on lifes journey can become significant stressors.
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Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do
Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:
- Try to be active and exercise.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
- Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
- Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
- Continue to educate yourself about depression.
How Common Is Depression
Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the country. An estimated 17.3 million adults in the US reported having at least one major depressive episode over the course of a year, a 2017 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows.
Thats 7.1% of all adults ages 18 and older. Women have a higher prevalence of experiencing a major depressive episode than men .
Depression is especially crushing for the workforce: Its the number one leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The total economic burden of MDD is estimated to be $210.5 billion per year in the United States alonea figure that reflects costs associated with missed days, reduced productivity, treatment for depression, and suicide.
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Does Depression Often Occur With Grief
Grief is a common, normal response to loss. Losses that may lead to grief include the death or separation of a loved one, loss of a job, death or loss of a beloved pet, or any number of other changes in life, such as divorce, becoming an “empty nester,” or retirement.
Anyone can experience grief and loss, but not everyone will experience clinical depression, which differs from grief in that depression involves a range of other symptoms such as feelings of low self-worth, negative thoughts about the future, and suicide, whereas grief involves feelings of emptiness, loss and longing for a loved one, with an intact capacity to feel pleasure. Each person is unique in how they cope with these feelings.
Personal Vulnerabilities To Depression
As noted earlier, etiological approaches to depression commonly invoke diathesis-stress models, in which stress precipitates depressive reactions among those with particular vulnerabilities. In this section, several nonbiological vulnerabilities are discussed: cognitive, interpersonal, and personality factors. As with biological factors, psychosocial vulnerabilities may contribute to the development of depression and also may be consequences of depressive states in a bidirectional process.
Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression
Considerable research on depression in the past 40 years has focused on three variants of cognitive models of depressionthe classical cognitive triad model of Aaron Beck , the versions of the helplessness/hopelessness cognitive style models of Seligman, Abramson, Alloy, and colleagues , and information-processing perspectives .
The information-processing approach to cognitive vulnerability refers to dysfunctional cognitive processes, such as biases in attention and memory, and overgeneralized thinking style . Such biases may result in selective attention to negative information and reduced access to positive memories, increasing the likelihood of dysphoric reactions to negative events.
Interpersonal Vulnerabilities to Depression
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Why Is Major Depressive Disorder Called Unipolar Depression
Depression, or a persistent feeling of sadness that can be debilitating if left untreated, is known by many other medical terms such as chronic depression, major depressive disorder or unipolar depression. Unlike bipolar depression, unipolar depression does not include mania. “Bi” or two, as in bipolar refers to both depression and mania as the prevailing moods associated with the illness. “Uni” means one as in one mooddepressionwithout mania.
Treatment Of Major Depressive Disorder
According to the American Psychiatric Association , of all mental disorders, depression is among the most treatable, as 80% to 90% of people who have depression eventually find relief with treatment.6
Major depressive disorder treatments may involve one or both of the following: 6,14
- Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy has been demonstrated to be effective for treating depression. CBT focuses on the present situation and how to solve current problems. CBT helps the client recognize and change maladaptive thinking and behaviors. Family and interpersonal therapy may also be used to help address conflicts and issues in the individuals closest relationships.
- Medication: Brain chemistry may be a contributing factor to a persons depression, so medications that target abnormalities in a persons brain chemistry may help to bring about symptom relief. Antidepressant medications can help a person feel better within 12 weeks, though it may take up to 3 months for them to feel all of the benefits.
For patients with severe depression that does not respond to other treatments, brain stimulation therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation may be beneficial.15
Less than half of people suffering from depression worldwide receive effective treatment.
Other complementary approaches that may help alleviate symptoms of depression include:16-19
- Regular exercise.
- Light therapy .
- Adequate sleep.
- Avoiding alcohol.
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What Is Used To Treat Major Depression
Sometimes people feel scared by how dark their thoughts can becomethoughts they have never had before. This is a symptom, not you. If you even feel like hurting yourself or someone else, call 911 or go to your local emergency room and ask for the psychiatrist on-call. Dr. Wegner
Treatment may include a combination of therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes. The good news is that 80% to 90% of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment.
How Does Loneliness Lead To Depression
Loneliness assaults the body and mind in multiple ways. By itself, it is felt as a major stress, and is linked to the release of stress hormones, which are known to impair such brain operations as learning and memory retrieval. Whats more, loneliness magnifies the perception of all other stresses. It diminishes functioning of the immune system and readily leads to inflammation, a known pathway to depression.
The emotional discomfort of loneliness makes us feel sad, and sadness saps our energy and slows functioning of all body systems. Companionship is such a powerful buffer to all human difficulty that loneliness is said to have even more of a detrimental effect on health than cigarette smoking.
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, also known as SSRIs, are antidepressants that help reduce symptoms of depression. They are one of the most common forms of antidepressants, but do you know they work?
We all have little chemicals in our brains called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are messengers that carry information between two neurons. They make their journey through the synapse which is the space between the two neurons. Once a neurotransmitter has been released by one neuron into the synapse, the process of reuptake absorbs that neurotransmitter into the other neuron. But what if we dont want the process of reuptake to happen? That is where SSRIs come into play. As you can tell by the name, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, these drugs hinder the process of reuptake, allowing for more of the neurotransmitter to exist in the synapse.
The neurotransmitters travel from one neuron, through the synapse, to the other neuron. wikimedia commons.
While SSRIs are most often used for depression, they can also be used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, bulimia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If My Mother Or Father Was Depressed Will I Be Depressed
Depression can be transmitted in families in several ways. Parents and children may share an array of genes that create susceptibility to depression. Even more subtly, parents may engage in depressive thinking and explanatory styles that children acquire unwittingly in the air they breathe every day at home while growing up.
There is considerable evidence that when mothers of young children are depressed, they fail to engage with their children. As a result, babies do not acquire the strong emotional bond that enables them to grow, to withstand stress, to develop emotional regulation, and to become responsive to others. Treating depressed mothers is often the best way to treat problems in children.
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Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders also called the DSM, is the tool that psychologists, psychiatrists, and doctors use in order to diagnose varying mental health problems. Since it was first published there have been updates, with the most current version being the DSM-5 . The DSM-5 outlines the necessary symptoms required in order to be diagnosed with major depression.
Five or more of the following symptoms have to have been present over a two-week period with at least one of the symptoms being depressed mood or loss of interest/pleasure.
Depressed mood for most of the day for nearly every day. This can be reported by the person or by observations made by others.
Less or lack of interest or pleasure in most or all activities. This has to last for most of the day for nearly every day. This can be reported by the person or by observations made by others.
Significant weight loss without intentionally dieting, or weight gain
Insomnia or hypersomnia most days
Psychomotor agitation or retardation most days. This has to be observable by others.
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt most days
Lack of ability to think or focus most days. This can be reported by the person or by observations made by others.
Thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, a suicide plan, or a suicide attempt
If you are feeling suicidal, this is the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 800-273-8255.
What Is Major Depression
Major depression, also known as unipolar or major depressive disorder , is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness or a lack of interest in outside stimuli. The unipolar connotes a difference between major depression and , which refers to an oscillating state between depression and mania. Instead, unipolar depression is solely focused on the lows, or the negative emotions and symptoms that you may have experienced.
Fortunately, major depression is well understood in the medical community and is often easily treatable through a combination of medication and talk therapy. Below is a guide to everything from the symptoms and causes of major depression, to statistics and treatment that you can seek from a medical professional if you feel that you need assistance.
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Who Is At Risk For Depression
Depression can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or circumstances. About 16 million Americans experience depression each year.
Women may experience depression more often than men. And your genetics or other health conditions can increase the likelihood that youll have at least one depressive episode in your lifetime.
Depression With Psychotic Features
In the past, the term “psychosis” was used to describe severity in terms of depression. It indicated that a person with depression was severely mentally impaired and could not adapt to the demands of daily life. Hallucinations or delusions were not part of the diagnosis.
The “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition” is the handbook used by clinicians to assess and diagnose mental health disorders. It considers psychotic depression to be a subtype of major depressive disorder when symptoms of psychosis are present. Unlike in the previous version, the DSM-4, severity of depression is not a factor in the diagnosis of psychotic depression.
Psychotic depression affects approximately four out of 1,000 people in the general population. This rate increases with age, affecting between 14 and 30 people out of 1,000 who are more than 60 years old. The rates of psychotic depression are significantly higher in people with MDD.
Can Certain Drugs Cause Depression
In certain people, drugs may lead to depression. For example, medications such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and the acne drug isotretinoin have sometimes been linked with depression, especially in older people. Likewise, medications such as corticosteroids, opioids , and anticholinergics taken to relieve stomach cramping can sometimes cause changes and fluctuations in mood. Even blood pressure medications called beta-blockers have been linked to depression.