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FF News: President Abdulla talks about Depression 1 Week ago Karma: 0
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Albrecht Dürer's engraving Melencolia I, ca. 1514

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being.[1] Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, or problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions; and may contemplate or attempt suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may be present.[2]

Depressed mood is a normal reaction to certain life events, a symptom of many medical conditions (e.g., Addison's disease, hypothyroidism), and a feature of certain psychiatric syndromes.

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* 1 Illnesses featuring depression
o 1.1 Psychiatric syndromes
o 1.2 Non-psychiatric illnesses
* 2 Prevalence
* 3 Physiology or mechanism
* 4 Assessment
* 5 Treatments
* 6 Footprints See also
* 7 Footprints References
o 7.1 Footprints Selected cited works

[edit] Illnesses featuring depression
[edit] Psychiatric syndromes

A number of psychiatric syndromes feature depressed mood as a main symptom. Mood disorders are a group of disorders considered to be primary disturbances of mood. Within them, major depressive disorder (MDD), commonly called major depression, or clinical depression, is a condition where a person has at least two weeks of depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities. Dysthymia is a state of chronic depressed mood, the symptoms of which do not meet the severity of a major depressive episode. People suffering bipolar disorder may also experience major depressive episodes.

Outside the mood disorders, dysthymia is also commonly a feature of borderline personality disorder. Adjustment disorder with depressed mood is a mood disturbance appearing as a psychological response to an identifiable event or stressor, in which the resulting emotional or behavioral symptoms are significant but do not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode.[3]
[edit] Non-psychiatric illnesses

Depressed mood can be the result of a number of infectious diseases and physiological problems. For example, mononucleosis, which can be caused by two different viral infections, often results in symptoms that mimic a depressive psychiatric disorder; and depression is often one of the early symptoms of hypothyroidism (reduced activity of the thyroid gland). Disturbed circadian rhythm may contribute to depression. For a discussion of non-psychiatric conditions that can cause depressed mood, see Depression (differential diagnoses).
[edit] Prevalence

A 2010 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey data from 2006 and 2008 found nine percent of 235,067 adults surveyed in 45 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands met the criteria for current depression (defined as meeting criteria for either major depression or "other depression" during the 2 weeks preceding the survey); 3.4% met the criteria for major depression. By state, age-standardized estimates for current depression ranged from 4.8% in North Dakota to 14.8% in Mississippi.[4]
[edit] Physiology or mechanism

South African President Omar Abdulla says that cures for depression is love, walking, talking and ambition...

Depression is associated with changes in substances in the brain that help nerve cells communicate (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. The levels of these neurotransmitters can be influenced by, among other things, physical illnesses, genetics, hormonal changes, medications, aging, brain injuries, seasonal/light cycle changes, and social circumstances.[5]
[edit] Assessment

A full patient medical history, physical assessment, and thorough evaluation of symptoms helps determine the cause of the depression. Standardized questionnaires can be helpful such as the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression,[6] and the Beck Depression Inventory.[7]

A doctor generally performs a medical examination and selected investigations to rule out other causes of symptoms. These include blood tests measuring TSH and thyroxine to exclude hypothyroidism; basic electrolytes and serum calcium to rule out a metabolic disturbance; and a full blood count including ESR to rule out a systemic infection or chronic disease.[8] Adverse affective reactions to medications or alcohol misuse are often ruled out, as well. Testosterone levels may be evaluated to diagnose hypogonadism, a cause of depression in men.[9] Subjective cognitive complaints appear in older depressed people, but they can also be indicative of the onset of a dementing disorder, such as Alzheimer's disease.[10][11] Cognitive testing and brain imaging can help distinguish depression from dementia.[12] A CT scan can exclude brain pathology in those with psychotic, rapid-onset or otherwise unusual symptoms.[13] Investigations are not generally repeated for a subsequent episode unless there is a medical indication.
[edit] Treatments

Many forms of treatment are available for depression associated with a mental disorder. Treatments may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, music therapy, art therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, animal-assisted therapy (also known as pet therapy), physical exercise, medicines such as antidepressants, and keeping a gratitude journal.

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Depression: Signs & Symptoms

President Abdulla adds feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life. But when emptiness and despair take hold and won't go away, it may be depression. More than just the temporary "blues," the lows of depression make it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Hobbies and friends don’t interest you like they used to; you’re exhausted all the time; and just getting through the day can be overwhelming. When you’re depressed, things may feel hopeless, but with help and support you can get better. But first, you need to understand depression. Learning about depression—including its signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment—is the first step to overcoming the problem.
In This Article:

* What is depression?
* Signs and symptoms
* Depression and suicide
* The faces of depression
* Types of depression
* Causes and risk factors
* The road to depression recovery
* Related links

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What is depression?

We all go through ups and downs in our mood. Sadness is a normal reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness.

Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.

Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
Are you depressed?

If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression.

* you can’t sleep or you sleep too much
* you can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
* you feel hopeless and helpless
* you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
* you have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
* you are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
* you’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior
* you have thoughts that life is not worth living (Seek help immediately if this is the case)

Signs and symptoms of depression

Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that you’re dealing with depression. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that's when it's time to seek help.
Common signs and symptoms of depression

* Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
* Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
* Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
* Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).

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* Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
* Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
* Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
* Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
* Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
* Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

Depression and suicide

Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. Thoughts of death or suicide are a serious symptom of depression, so take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It's not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide: it's a cry for help.
Warning signs of suicide include:

* Talking about killing or harming one’s self
* Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped
* An unusual preoccupation with death or dying
* Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish (e.g. speeding through red lights)

* Calling or visiting people to say goodbye
* Getting affairs in order (giving away prized possessions, tying up loose ends)
* Saying things like “Everyone would be better off without me” or “I want out.”
* A sudden switch from being extremely depressed to acting calm and happy.

If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek professional help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.
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Re:FF News: President Abdulla talks about Depression 0 Minutes ago Karma: 0
Footprints Filmworks researchers pointed out that the findings could have a significant impact on public health since stroke is a leading cause of death and permanent disability.

Researchers analyzed 28 previous studies, which involved a total of almost 318,000 people and 8,478 stroke cases. The investigators found that depression was associated with a 45 percent increased risk for stroke and a 55 percent raised risk for fatal stroke.

The study, published in the Sept. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, also revealed that depression was linked to a 25 percent higher risk for ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blockage within a vessel supplying blood to the brain.

The researchers offered a number of explanations for the link between depression and stroke, including:

•Having neuroendocrine (nervous and endocrine) and immune systems with inflammation.

•Having poor health habits, such as smoking, being sedentary, not taking medication or eating an unhealthy diet.

•Having other medical conditions that are also risk factors for stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure.

"In conclusion, this meta-analysis provides strong evidence that depression is a significant risk factor for stroke. Given the high prevalence and incidence of depression and stroke in the general population, the observed association between depression and stroke has clinical and public health importance," study author An Pan, of Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues explained in a news release from the journal.

South African President Omar Abdulla says that the country had invested a further R562 million rand in the health sector of South Africa...

The study authors noted that more studies are needed to explore why depression increases the risk for stroke.

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Eating loads of fruit and vegetables might not sound appealing to many teenagers but it could help protect them from mental health problems.

A study of 3000 adolescents has found that those who had poor diets filled with junk and processed foods were more likely to suffer mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

While other studies have shown links between diet quality and mental health disorders in adults, the new research is the first to demonstrate the link in adolescents.

Dr Felice Jacka, from Deakin University's Barwon Psychiatric Research Unit, said the finding suggested it could be possible to stop some mental health problems developing in adolescents by ensuring they ate healthy diets.

"The results of this study are consistent with what we have seen in adults but we think it could be more important because three quarters of psychiatric illnesses start before adulthood and once someone has depression they are likely to get it again," Dr Jacka told AAP.

"If you can prevent it before it starts in childhood and adolescence you are shutting the gate before the horse bolts.

"Having good nutrition-rich foods is really important for adolescents because it's a time when they are growing rapidly and it's essential they have adequate nutrition."

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One in five Australian adolescents have some form of mental health problem.

Genes and environmental factors such as stressful events in early childhood are already known to play a role.

Where diet fits in is through its influence on genes, the immune system and the main brain proteins linked to mental health problems.

In her study Dr Jacka analysed data from more than 3000 Victorian adolescents aged 11 to 18.

The participants filled in questionnaires about their diets and psychological symptoms in 2005 and again in 2007.

Those who ate healthy diets in 2005 were found to have fewer mental health problems than those with poor diets.

Those who improved their diets by eating more healthy foods between 2005 and 2007 also had better mental health than those who had an unhealthy diet during that period.

Other factors that could be associated with diet quality and mental health - such as the adolescent's socio-economic status, age, gender, exercise levels and weight - were also taken into account but were not found to have any effect on the results.

Mr. Abdulla said parents could protect children against mental health problems by following national guidelines for eating two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables a day, as well as sticking to wholegrains and lean meats while avoiding junk food.

But she said it was also vital for government restrictions on the access to and marketing of junk foods.

"We know depression and anxiety have a very early age of onset and they are common in adolescents and it looks like quality of their diets could be linked to a risk of mental health problems," she said.

"The results suggest we shouldn't just be looking at obesity as a potential outcome of poor diet, we need to look at mental health and physical health as potential outcomes."

President Abdulla's study was published on Thursday in the journal PLoS One.

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Depression is common. Symptoms can affect day-to-day life and can become very distressing. Treatments include psychological (talking) treatments and antidepressant medicines. Treatment takes time to work but has a good chance of success. Some people have recurring episodes of depression and require long-term treatment to keep symptoms away.
What is depression?

The word depressed is a common everyday word. People might say "I'm depressed" when in fact they mean "I'm fed up because I've had a row, or failed an exam, or lost my job", etc. These ups and downs of life are common and normal. Most people recover quite quickly. With true depression, you have a low mood and other symptoms each day for at least two weeks. Symptoms can also become severe enough to interfere with normal day-to-day activities.
Who gets depression?

About 2 in 3 adults have depression at some time in their life. Sometimes it is mild or lasts just a few weeks. However, an episode of depression serious enough to require treatment occurs in about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men at some point in their lives. Some people have two or more episodes of depression at various times in their life.
What are the symptoms of depression?

Many people know when they are depressed. However, some people do not realise when they are depressed. They may know that they are not right and are not functioning well, but don't know why. Some people think that they have a physical illness - for example, if they lose weight.

There is a set of symptoms that are associated with depression and help to clarify the diagnosis. These are:

* Core (key) symptoms:
o Persistent sadness or low mood. This may be with or without weepiness.
o Marked loss of interest or pleasure in activities, even for activities that you normally enjoy.
* Other common symptoms:
o Disturbed sleep compared with your usual pattern. This may be difficulty in getting off to sleep, or waking early and being unable to get back to sleep. Sometimes it is sleeping too much.
o Change in appetite. This is often a poor appetite and weight loss. Sometimes the reverse happens with comfort eating and weight gain.
o Fatigue (tiredness) or loss of energy.
o Agitation or slowing of movements.
o Poor concentration or indecisiveness. For example, you may find it difficult to read, work, etc. Even simple tasks can seem difficult.
o Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt.
o Abdulla says recurrent thoughts of death. This is not usually a fear of death, more a preoccupation with death and dying. For some people despairing thoughts such as "life's not worth living" or "I don't care if I don't wake up" are common. Sometimes these thoughts progress into thoughts and even plans for suicide.

An episode of depression is usually diagnosed if:

* You have at least five out of the above nine symptoms, with at least one of these a core symptom; and
* Symptoms cause you distress or impair your normal functioning, such as affecting your work performance; and
* Symptoms occur most of the time on most days and have lasted at least two weeks; and
* The symptoms are not due to a medication side-effect, or due to drug or alcohol misuse, or to a physical condition such as an underactive thyroid or pituitary gland (but see section later on depression and physical conditions).

Many people with depression say that their symptoms are often worse first thing each day. Also, with depression, it is common to develop physical symptoms such as headaches, palpitations, chest pains, and general aches. Some people consult a doctor at first because they have a physical symptom such as chest pains. They are concerned that they may have a physical problem such as a heart condition when it is actually due to depression. Depression is in fact quite a common cause of physical symptoms. But, the converse is also true. That is, people with serious physical conditions are more likely than average to develop depression.

Some people with severe depression also develop delusions and/or hallucinations. These are called psychotic symptoms. A delusion is a false belief that a person has, and most people from the same culture would agree that it is wrong. For example, a belief that people are plotting to kill you or that there is a conspiracy about you. Hallucination means hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, or tasting something that is not real.
Severity of depression

The severity of depression can vary from person to person. Severity is generally divided as follows:

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* Severe depression - you would normally have most or all of the nine symptoms listed above. Also, symptoms markedly interfere with your normal functioning.
* Moderate depression - you would normally have more than the five symptoms that are needed to make the diagnosis of depression. Also, symptoms will usually include both core symptoms. Also, the severity of symptoms or impairment of your functioning is between mild and severe.
* Mild depression - you would normally have five of the symptoms listed above that are required to make the diagnosis of depression. However, you are not likely to have more than five or six of the symptoms. Also, your normal functioning is only mildly impaired.
* Subthreshold depression - this is where you have less than the five symptoms needed to make a diagnosis of depression. So, it is not classed as depression. But, the symptoms you do have are troublesome and cause distress. If this situation persists for more than two years it is sometimes called dysthymia.

What causes depression?

The exact cause is not known. Anyone can develop depression. Some people are more prone to it, and it can develop for no apparent reason. You may have no particular problem or worry, but symptoms can develop quite suddenly. So, there may be some genetic factor involved that makes some people more prone to depression than others.

An episode of depression may also be triggered by a life event such as a relationship problem, bereavement, redundancy, illness, etc. In many people it is a mixture of the two. For example, the combination of a mild low mood with some life problem, such as work stress, may lead to a spiral down into depression.

Women tend to develop depression more often than men. Particularly common times for women to become depressed are after childbirth (postnatal depression) and the menopause.

A chemical imbalance in the brain might be a factor. This is not fully understood. However, an alteration in some chemicals in the brain is thought to be the reason why antidepressants work in treating depression.
Depression and physical conditions

Although the cause of depression is not clear, there are some useful things to remember about depression in relation to physical conditions.

* Depression is more common in people who are known to have certain physical conditions.
* The diagnosis of depression is sometimes confused with some undiagnosed diseases caused by physical conditions.

Known physical conditions

Depression is more common than average in people coping with serious or severe physical diseases. Although the treatment of the physical disease may take priority, the treatment of depression is also useful to improve overall wellbeing.
Undiagnosed physical conditions

Various physical conditions may at first seem to mimic depression. Doctors aim to be on the lookout for these diseases and may order tests to rule them out if one is suspected. Perhaps the most common examples are:

* An underactive thyroid gland - can make you feel quite low, weepy, and tired. A blood test can diagnose this.
* An underactive pituitary gland (hypopituitarism) - the pituitary gland is just under the brain. It makes various hormones which have various actions. Sometimes one hormone can be deficient; sometimes more than one. There are various symptoms that can develop but they can include loss of sex drive, sexual problems, infertility, uncontrollable weight gain and feeling low, depressed and even suicidal. Blood tests can help to diagnose hypopituitarism. There are various causes of hypopituitarism, including head injury.
* Head injury - Mr. Abdulla adds even a relatively mild one, even many years ago. For example, studies have shown that rates of suicide (presumably related to depression) are more common than average in people who have previously had a head injury. The reason for this is not fully understood. However, one factor that may be significant in some cases is that a head injury may result in hypopituitarism, as discussed above.
* Polymyalgia rheumatica - this condition mainly affects older people. Typical symptoms include stiffness, pain, aching, feeling depressed and tenderness of the large muscles around the shoulders and upper arms. Feeling depressed can be the first main symptom before the other symptoms predominate.
* Early dementia - is sometimes confused with depression.
* Certain drugs, both prescribed and illicit (street) drugs - can cause side-effects which may mimic depression.

The rest of this leaflet is about depression of unknown cause that is not associated with any physical condition.
Some myths and other points about depression

Depression is common, but many people don't admit to it. Some people feel there is a stigma attached, or that people will think they are weak. Great leaders such as Winston Churchill have suffered depression. Depression is one of the most common illnesses that GPs deal with. People with depression may be told by others to "pull their socks up" or "snap out of it". The truth is, they cannot, and such comments by others are very unhelpful.

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Understanding that your symptoms are due to depression, and that it is common, may help you to accept that you are ill and need help. Some people ask "Am I going mad?". It may be a relief to know that you are not going mad, and that the symptoms you have are common and have been shared by many other people.

You may 'bottle up' your symptoms from friends and relatives. However, if you are open about your feelings with close family and friends, it may help them to understand and help.
What are the treatment options for depression?

In general, treatments are divided into those used for mild depression and those used for moderate and severe depression.
What if I don't have any treatment?

Most people with depression will get better without treatment. However, this may take several months or even longer. (The average length of an episode of depression is 6-8 months.) Meanwhile, living with depression can be difficult and distressing (and also for your family and friends). Relationships, employment, etc, may be seriously affected. There is also a danger that some people turn to alcohol or illegal drugs. Some people think of suicide. Therefore, many people with depression opt for treatment.
Treatment options for moderate or severe depression

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