How To Know If You Are Depressed – Grief is a natural reaction to difficult times in life. But the sadness usually goes away after a while. Depression is different — it’s a mood disorder that can cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating or working. Depression is more common in women than in men, possibly due to biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women.
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Symptoms of depression can affect your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy your life. Although researchers are still studying the causes of depression, current research indicates that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Most people with depression need treatment to feel better.
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Well-meaning friends or family members might try to tell someone with depression to “get out of it,” “just be positive,” or “you can be happier if you try harder.” But depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. The truth is that most people with depression need treatment in order to recover.
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If you are a friend or family member of a woman with depression, you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But do not forget about her feelings. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider, and remind her that with time and treatment, she can feel better.
If you think you may be depressed, start making an appointment to see your health care provider. This may be your primary doctor or a health care provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions (eg, a psychologist or psychiatrist). Certain medications and certain medical conditions, such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A health care provider can rule out these possibilities by performing a physical exam, interviews, and lab tests. Your health care provider will examine you and talk with you about treatment options and next steps.
Good communication with your health care provider can improve your care and help you make good choices about your health. Read about tips to help you prepare for and make the most of your visit. For additional resources, including questions to ask your health care provider, visit the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.
Sadness is only a small part of depression. Some people with depression do not feel sad at all. A person with depression may also have many physical symptoms, such as aches, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems. A person with depression may have trouble sleeping and wake up in the morning feeling tired.
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If you have any of the following signs and symptoms for at least two weeks, you may be depressed:
Talk to your healthcare provider about these symptoms. Be honest, clear, and concise – your provider needs to know how you’re feeling. Your health care provider may ask when your symptoms began, what time of day they occur, how long they last, how often they occur, whether they seem to be getting worse or better, and are they keeping you from going or doing what you normally do. activities. It may help to take the time to make some notes about your symptoms before you see your provider.
Pregnancy, the postpartum period, menopause, and the menstrual cycle all involve dramatic physical and hormonal changes. Certain types of depression can occur at different stages in a woman’s life.
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, refers to mood swings and irritability in the weeks leading up to your period. It is very common, and symptoms are usually mild. But there is a less common and more severe form of premenstrual syndrome called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a serious condition with disabling symptoms such as irritability, anger, depressed mood, sadness, suicidal thoughts, appetite changes, bloating, breast tenderness, and joint or muscle pain.
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Being pregnant is not easy. Pregnant women often deal with morning sickness, weight gain, and mood swings. Newborn care is also a challenge. Many new mothers suffer from “the baby blues” – a term used to describe the mild mood swings and feelings of anxiety, unhappiness and fatigue that many women sometimes experience in the first two weeks after childbirth. These feelings usually last for a week or two and then disappear as the new mother adjusts to her newborn.
Perinatal depression is a mood disorder that can affect women during pregnancy and after childbirth, and is much more serious than ‘baby blues’. The word “perinatal” refers to the time before the birth of a child. Perinatal depression includes depression that begins during pregnancy (called prenatal depression) and depression that begins after the birth of a baby (called postpartum depression). Mothers with perinatal depression experience feelings of intense sadness, anxiety and fatigue that can make it difficult for them to perform daily tasks, including taking care of themselves, their new baby, or others.
If you think you may have perinatal depression, you should talk to your health care provider or a trained mental health professional. If you notice any signs of depression in a loved one during pregnancy or after the baby is born, encourage them to see their health care provider or visit the clinic.
Perimenopause (the transition to menopause) is a normal phase in a woman’s life that can sometimes be challenging. If you are going through perimenopause, you may experience unusual periods, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and hot flashes. Although these symptoms are common, feeling depressed is not. If you experience irritability, anxiety, sadness, or loss of pleasure during the menopausal transition, you may be experiencing premenopausal depression.
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Not all women with depression have all symptoms. Some women experience only some of the symptoms. Others have many. The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last vary depending on the individual and the severity of the disease.
Even severe cases of depression can be treated. Depression is usually treated with medication, psychotherapy (also called “talk therapy”), or a combination of the two.
Antidepressants are medications commonly used to treat depression. People respond differently to antidepressants, and you may need to try different medications to find the best one. Researchers are studying and developing other medications for depression, such as brixanolone for postpartum depression, and esketamine. You can learn about recent developments regarding these and other drugs on the Science News webpage under “Therapy”.
There are many different types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. The particular approach a therapist uses depends on the condition being treated and the therapist’s training and experience. Therapists may also combine and adapt elements of different types of styles.
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Depression affects everyone differently. There is no “one size fits all” treatment. It may take some trial and error to find the best treatment. You can learn more about the different types of depression treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies, on our Depression webpage. Visit the Food and Drug Administration website for the latest information on drug approvals, warnings, and patient information guides.
Therapists and patients work together, and it is important to find a good match. The following tips can help you find the right therapist.
Ask them about their areas of expertise. Therapists have different professional backgrounds and specialties. You want to find a therapist who has experience dealing with your particular case.
Learn about the types of treatments they use. Ask if these treatments are effective in dealing with a problem or problem with your mental health.
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Find out how you will measure progress. Determine how long treatment is expected to last, and how long you expect relief from symptoms and an improvement in your quality of life.
Don’t be afraid to keep going. Relationship and trust are essential. Discussions about therapy are very personal, and it is important that you feel comfortable with the therapist you choose.
5. Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health ( ) and across the country are committed to women’s mental health research.
Researchers continue to study depression to improve the way this medical condition is diagnosed and treated. For example, researchers are currently working to understand how and why changes in reproductive hormones lead to mood disorders, including postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and premenopausal depression.
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Scientists are conducting a large number of research studies with patients and healthy volunteers to better understand why some women are at greater risk than others, and how they can translate these findings into new treatments or new uses for existing treatments.
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of clinical trials is to find out if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should know that the main purpose of the clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others can be better helped in the future.
In addition to the volunteer research opportunities for the patient groups listed above, research opportunities for healthy volunteers are also available. Healthy volunteers play a vital role
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