Tag: depression

Depression goes far beyond the occasional feelings of sadness. The depression definition that mental health experts use is a persistently down mood and loss of interest that affects a person?s day-to-day life, and can even lead to thoughts of suicide. The condition is also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, and it affects nearly 15 million Americans. Although depression typically starts in the 20s or 30s, it can affect people of all ages. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to depression because of illness and the loss of loved ones.

Many different types of depression exist. Postpartum depression is a sad mood that begins in the weeks or months after a woman gives birth. Bipolar disorder alternates periods of depression with unusually high moods. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that emerges during the winter months, when sunlight is in short supply.

Identifying depression is the first step toward treating it. Depression symptoms include: feeling sad, anxious, hopeless, guilty, or anxious; fatigue or decreased energy; loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed; trouble concentrating or remembering; trouble sleeping or sleeping too much; loss of appetite, or eating too much; irritability; vague physical symptoms, such as a headache or stomachache; and thoughts of death, or wanting to end your life.

Doctors typically diagnose depression by first ruling out medical conditions that can cause the same symptoms, such as a thyroid disorder. Then the doctor will likely do a depression test, asking questions about feelings, sleep, energy level, and other common indicators of the disease.

Treatment for depression depends on the type, but typically involves antidepressant medication and talk therapy (psychotherapy). Both of these treatments may be combined to improve the odds of success.

The Difference Between Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease

You’re probably seeing a lot more “gluten-free” options on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus these days. That’s because gluten—proteins found in wheat, barley, triticale, and rye—can trigger your body to attack the lining of your small intestine if you have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that can damage the lining

“Silent” Eye Diseases Can Steal Your Sight

A 2016 study (JAMA Ophthalmology, July) suggests that visual impairment and blindness in the U.S. will double over the next 35 years, as eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy take their toll. Other 2016 research (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, May) found that

Treating Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain can develop following a physical nerve injury, or medical illnesses such as diabetes or shingles. Neuropathic pain can develop and often lingers after the original injury heals because nerve cell dysfunction—not the original injury—is the cause. As pain signals are repeated over long periods of time, the spinal

Short-Term Memory Loss: Part of Aging?

Short-Term Memory Loss: Part of Aging?

Do you feel as if you’ve been experiencing more short-term memory loss lately? Interestingly, what many of us think of as short-term memory—for example, recalling in the afternoon what we had for breakfast that morning—is actually defined by scientists as long-term memory.

Short-term memory is technically limited to information learned and

Lavender Reduces Signs of Anxiety in Women

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It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive from time to time. Let’s face it—life can be stressful. All of us worry about things like financial problems, work, family struggles, or health. But sometimes anxiety can become so severe that completing simple, everyday tasks is difficult. When this occurs, it may

Dementia Causes: Can Depression Play a Role?

Dementia Causes: Can Depression Play a Role?

Dementia causes can be a mystery, but there’s no doubt the condition is too prevalent. About 5.4 million Americans are thought to have some degree of dementia, and its destructive effects on our cognitive abilities come at huge cost to our overall wellbeing—and that of our loved ones.

“The decline

Living with Depression? 9 Key Steps That Will Ease the Burden

Living with Depression? 9 Key Steps That Will Ease the Burden

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious challenge that requires professional treatment (see “What You Can Do” sidebar). It often takes time and patience to overcome. And while there are no simple cures for this mood disorder, a Massachusetts General Hospital expert points out that there are common-sense steps that

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