Explanatory supportive notes for patients and relatives

Most people feel unhappy or depressed every now and again, but there is a difference between this feeling and the illness of depression.

Depression is a very real illness that affects the entire mind and body. People cannot seem to lift themselves out of their misery or 'fight it themselves'. Superficial advice like 'snap out of it' is unhelpful, because the person has no control over it.

What is the cause?

The cause is somewhat mysterious, but it has been found that an important chemical is present in smaller amounts than usual in the nervous system. It is rather like a person low in iron becoming anaemic.

Depression can follow a severe loss, such as the death of a loved one, a marital separation or financial loss. On the other hand it can develop for no apparent reason, although it may follow an illness such as glandular fever or influenza, an operation or childbirth. Depression is seen more commonly in late adolescence, middle age (both men and women), retirement age and in the elderly.

What is the treatment?

The basis of treatment is to replace the missing chemicals with antidepressant medication. Antidepressants are not drugs of addiction and are very effective but take about two weeks before an improvement is noticed. Alcohol can interact with the tablets; so it is important not to drink and drive. If the person is very seriously depressed and there is a risk of suicide, admission to hospital will most likely be advised. Other more effective treatments can be used if needed. The depressed person needs a lot of understanding, support and therapy. Once treatment is started, the outlook is very good (an 80% cure rate).

Defeat Depression

Defeat Depression

Learning About How To Defeat Depression Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life And Success! Discover ways to cope with depression and melancholic tendencies! Depression and anxiety particularly have become so prevalent that it’s exceedingly common for individuals to be taking medication for one or even both of these mood disorders.

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