Category: Depression

Depression and Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease can throw off your hormone system in a heart beat.  You may be spending your time trying to correct negative thinking, using psychiatric medicine, meditating, and all other sorts of depression treatment, but you may have never considered that it could simply be a hormone imbalance issue.

Having a check up on the state of your thyroid glands is a must especially as you enter into a higher age.  Diagnosing an issue isn’t quick or easy, but there are enough ways of doing this that you can get a very conclusive answer once the tests are completed.  For instance, the first thing the doctor or nurse is going to do is feel your neck.  Sometimes this is called palpating and what it involves is the manual hunt for lumps or nodules around your neck.  Goiter involves the enlargement of the thyroid glands and can be felt or even sometimes become visible to the naked eye.  This is the quickest and most obvious way of checking for a thyroid problem.

You can have your thyroid reviewed with a stethoscope.  What happens is that the practitioner will listen in on your neck and attempted to hear what is called a bruit, which is a larger amount of blood flowing through your thyroid.  This is an indication of increased mass size.  They may also take one of those little hammers and check your knee reflexes.  Faster or slower responses can be related to hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.  The same goes for your heart rate and blood pressure.

Weight gain, blood pressure, reflexes, body temperature, and hair gain or loss are also indicators that something is going on with your thyroid.  These are just some of the options.  Less conclusive tests that can still lend confidence to the theory are shaky hands, bone density issues, slow movement and speech, and edema.  The best thing to have done is a blood test, but it can become a little more costlier.

The point of this post is don’t rule out hormonal issues, especially related to the thyroid, when considering the cause of your depression!

The Symptoms of Depression

Depression can cause terrible suffering to one who has succumbed to this ailment. There are many symptoms that are associated with depression. Though no two people are alike, many will experience many of the following symptoms of depression:

  • Extreme sadness. Sadness experienced in depression does not go away like a typical sadness. Instead it lingers for days or even weeks at a time. One may experience negative thoughts and excessive bouts of crying and hopelessness.
  • Physical pain. It has been discovered that depression can lead to physical pain such as all-over achiness, headaches, and sore muscles.
  • Irritability. Some people with depression will begin to notice changes in their mood. This often includes developing a short temper, irritability, and defensiveness.
  • Fatigue. Depression can cause extreme fatigue and tiredness. It is often noticed that people with depression sleep more and may find it as a way to withdraw from the sad feelings that they are feeling.
  • Social withdrawal. People with depression may start to withdraw from social gatherings. They tend to stop hanging out with friends and families and begin to keep to themselves more and more.
  • Suicidal thoughts. Negative thoughts and feelings that are brought on by depression can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts. A depressed person may feel as though they cannot bare the pain and agony of the condition and figure that suicide has become a viable option for them.

There are other symptoms of depression such as changes in appetite, concentration, and appearance. However, the important thing to remember is that learning these symptoms and catching them early is the best way to treat depression. There are many treatments for depression such as support groups, counseling, and even medication. With the many options available, it is easier than ever to get help for depression.

Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Social stigma has made people with mental illness feel as though they could not be open and honest about their condition. However, that stigma is slowly subsiding, encouraging those that need help with their ailment to come forward and get treatment. Two of the most common forms of mental illness are depression and Bipolar Disorder. Depression and Bipolar Disorder can disrupt one’s life as well as those around them. However, it is important to know what these conditions are and the tell-tale signs of each.

Depression

Depression is more than a bout of sadness. In fact, someone with depression can experience periods of depression lasting days, weeks, even months at a time. The feelings of hopelessness cause social withdrawal, fatigue, irritability, and even loss of appetite. When one is depressed, they may have negative thoughts such as suicide—which requires specialized attention immediately.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a condition that is not easy to deal with. As the name suggests, Bipolar Disorder causes extreme shifts in mood and behavior in the sufferer. In one moment, the sufferer may be depressed, moody, and withdrawn; in the next they may become manic, hyper, quick to anger, or irrational. These mood and behavioral swings can cause relationships to fail, problems at work, and even physical symptoms.

Treatment

Depression and Bipolar disorder can both be treated with counseling and medication. Not all treatment regimens work for everyone, so it may be a trial and error process to find the method that works or each individual person. Overcoming the stigma of mental illness may be the hardest part of treatment. There is very little judgment from society on those that seek treatment. In fact it should be an empowering moment when the sufferer decides that enough is enough and decided to get better.

Depression and Schizophrenia

It’s very common for a person that has been diagnosed with schizophrenia to develop depression. Research shows that more than half of schizophrenia patients have episodes of depression throughout their lives. There are different categories of schizophrenia, one being schizoaffective disorder, which is when the patient has mood swings. It’s common for these individuals to have instances of clinical depression.

Some people believe that depression is when someone is with sadness or grief. However, depression is different from these moods. An example of being grief-stricken is the feeling you have when someone close to you dies. Depression, on the other hand, is when you lock yourself in the room or stay in bed 20 or so hours each day. People in the latter scenario struggle with mental energy to live life normally.

Depression’s Relationship with Schizophrenia

The relationship between these two mental illnesses has yet to be fully explored, but evidence shows that there could be common causes for them both. For starters, depression commonly goes along with the onset of schizophrenia. A lot of people who are schizophrenic experience symptoms depression up to four years before being diagnosed with schizophrenia. After the initial symptoms of depression kicks in, schizophrenic people begin to lose interest in being social with other people. The symptoms that come last are seeing things and hearing voices.

Not all people who experience symptoms of severe depression become schizophrenic, but this illness is more common in those who have been depressed, compared to the general population. Also, symptoms of depression aren’t as common when schizophrenia is less active. In a study done, nine percent of the patients who had no past hospitalizations or medications recently were reported to have symptoms of depression.

What Causes Depression in Schizophrenia?

There are a couple of underlying causes that lead to schizophrenic people to become depressed. Finding out the root of the problem can help doctors to better treat the patient. It’s common for depression symptoms mimic those of schizophrenia. Sometimes, treating schizophrenia can help reduce depression symptoms. Schizoaffective disorder could be another underlying cause. This mimics the symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders. With this condition, patients sometimes of periods of mania, excessive energy and profound elation.

Substance abuse is another possible cause of mental illnesses. In fact, 29% of individuals who have a mental illness have abused one or more substances, such as alcohol or barbiturates, which can cause symptoms of depression. Substances like cocaine and nicotine usually cause depressive symptoms after the person has stopped abusing them.

Residential Treatment Centers for Depression

Contrary to what many people think, depression is a classified mental illness. It is an illness that can affect people of any age, gender, race or religion. Its implications can be quite serious, which is why treatment for this illness is exceptionally important.

Do you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from depression, but you’re not 100 percent sure? Here is a look at some of the signs and symptoms of this illness that will help you determine whether or not depression is present:

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

  • Constant feelings of sadness and unhappiness
  • Heightened irritability concerning minor issues
  • Disinterest in things that you once enjoyed doing
  • Slow response time in both thinking and actions
  • A fuzzy, or blurred train of thought
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Reclusive behavior
  • Sudden change in appetite and weight loss
  • Feelings of being sick, though there is no known illness present
  • Chronic melancholy
  • Thoughts that the world would be better off without you

If you or a loved one is experiencing some or most of these symptoms, there is a very good chance that this is a case of depression. Depression affects people in different ways and the symptoms manifest themselves differently. In order to be certain that this is truly the case, a mental health care provider will have to assess and diagnose the issue.

Treatment for Depression

When depression is the diagnoses, the only way to combat the illness is with proper treatment. There are a number of treatment options, including prescription medications, out-patient therapy and in-patient, or enrollment in a residential treatment facility.

  • Prescription Medications: There are several types of prescription medications that are used to combat the symptoms of depression. These medications aim to inhibit certain receptors in the brain. When these receptors are blocked, those symptoms of depression are reduced and the patient experiences a more positive, up-beat outlook.
  • Out-Patient Depression Therapy: This type of therapy involves seeking the guidance and support of a mental health care provider in an out-patient setting. That is, the patient visits the doctor at a facility, where counseling sessions take place, but the patient lives in his or her own residence.
  • In-patient, or residential treatment: This type of treatment involves receiving treatment while living within a mental health facility. Continuous care is provided and treatment is highly structured and in-depth. This type of treatment is usually reserved for those who suffer from severe depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is more than just a simple bout of sadness. It is not something that most people can simply “get over” quickly. Many people have experienced a period of depression n their lifetime. One may be victim to depression for weeks, months, or years at a time. When left untreated, depression can disrupt daily life, relationships, and even a career. As stated before, depression is not simply sadness, but it goes much further than that.

Depression can include helplessness, hopelessness, body aches, suicidal thoughts, and withdrawal from daily activities especially social events. If anyone has been around someone with depression, he or she probably notices that the afflicted is not the same person they may have been before. Depression also causes other symptoms such as frequent bouts of crying and sleeping. These are signs that someone is depressed and could use help overcoming this terrible suffering.

Many people with depression do not seek help because they may not know where to go. Other times, sufferers do not feel the motivation to seek out help—and still more do not feel that they deserve to feel better. However these types of feelings stem back to this ailment and what it can do to one’s psyche. Overcoming these urges to succumb to depression is the only way to claim one’s life.

There is plenty of help available to those with depression. In recent times the social stigma of depression has lifted greatly, and there are more resources such as groups, articles, and treatment programs that are available without medical intervention. However, should someone seek professional help—it can be quite effective. Prescription medications to treat depression have been quite effective in helping the symptoms of depression. Combined with professional counseling and guidance, these medications can help a depressed person overcome their hopeless feelings.

Depression, Eating, Brushing, and Weight

There are many physical symptoms that come from depression. There are many people who struggle with temporary or long term depression and do not realize how the physical symptoms are impairing their daily lives. Severe aches and pains throughout the shoulders, back and legs are very common for those suffering for depression. The person may also experience ongoing bouts of anxiety with a tingling sensation in their limbs. All of these physical sensations can be very taxing on a person’s already-diminishing sense of self. Depression can hinder a person’s lifestyle and even basic tasks are uncomfortable.

This can lead to poor eating and hygiene habits. This can create severe weight loss or weight gain. A lot of people who suffer from depression also deal with bad sleeping habits. This creates a constant state of tiredness, which can cut into a person’s hygiene. They feel down and upset a lot of the time, which makes them reluctant to take a shower or brush their teeth. If the person is not eating often, they may feel they don’t need to brush their teeth. Those who are over-eaters because of depression, may brush their teeth once or twice a day, but because they are likely consuming foods high in fat and sugar, their teeth still suffer.

Building routine is vital for those recovering from depression. Routine is heavily emphasized in recovery and part of that is building healthy eating and hygiene habits. For those who are in their own homes, family members should make sure the person bathes daily and brushes their teeth at least twice a day. Because most people suffering from depression can physically go to the dentist, prevention and at-home maintenance is vital.

For caretakers and family members of depressed people, remember that it helps to gently encourage the patient and aide them without crowding their space. Doing basic activities slowly can also be beneficial and help the patient feel at ease with everyday things such as taking a shower and brushing teeth. Without regular hygiene practices, the patient is susceptible to getting sick. The patient can get a cold which can lead to a more severe illness. According to the Invisible Orthodontist, without regular maintenance for the teeth, cavities, abscess teeth and periodontal disease can form. Procedures to treat these things can take a lot of time and visits to the dentist, which can be difficult to take care of when the person does not want to get out of the house.