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Facts about depression

by Dr.Shokry Alemam, Specialist psychiatry

Have you ever felt sad, and lost interest most of the day for at least 2 weeks and your social life has been affected?

You might have depressive episode

Here are some facts you have to know about depression:

  • The lifetime risk of depression is around 20% of population.
  • The risk in women is doubled.
  • First onset is typically in 20s (if earlier may be as a part of bipolar disorder)
  • It happens in children by different presentation than adults.
  • At least for 2 weeks
  • Two out of Three main symptoms must be present
  1. Low mood
  2. Anhedonia (loss of enjoyment in formerly pleasurable activities)
  3. Decreased energy
  • Other symptoms
  • Reduced concentration and forgetfulness.
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Guilt feeling and worthlessness
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Decreased appetite and weight (it may be increased appetite and weight in women)
  • Decreased sleep (may be increased sleep in women)
  •  What are the possible causes of depression:
  • Genetic causes
  • Environmental causes (work or life stressors in general)
  • Drug abuse
  • Medical problems
  • Some medications
  • What happens in depression?

In depression the levels of Serotonin and Noradrenaline are reduced in the brain

  • Is there a treatment for depression?

Yes there are different ways of management including medications and psychotherapy session.

  • Are the antidepressant medications addictive?

There is a common false belief between people that all psychiatric medications are addictive, but the truth is it has never been addictive and patient can stop medications under supervision of his psychiatrist after complete remission.