Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world and is a leading cause of disability, affecting over 280 million people around the world – a number that represents 3.8% of the world population. In fact, 5% of adults and 5.7% of those over 60 years old have depression.
Once diagnosed with depression, time is of the essence, and treatment may be a necessity. Any case of undetected, undiagnosed, or untreated depression can further harm and damage a patient’s ability to live a quality life – not just mentally but emotionally, spiritually, socially, and physically.
Not only that, but there are a variety of different types of depression, and each individual will have a unique experience – meaning treatment must be customized, personalized, tailored, and human-based. At Thrive Treatment, that’s what we strive for with each and every patient.
What are the Signs of Depression?
We all have moments when we feel a little down on ourselves, and we all go through periods of sadness in our life. While there’s nothing out of the ordinary about that, some people experience much more severe, persistent, and chronic episodes of intense sadness or loss of interest.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs and symptoms of depression:
- Depressed mood all day, everyday
- Complete loss of interest and pleasure in everyday activities, even those the patient once enjoyed
- Unexplained weight changes or changes in eating habits
- Slowing down of thought and slower physical movements
- Excessive fatigue or extreme lack of energy
- Feeling extremely guilty or worthlessness throughout the day
- Inability to think or concentrate, and loss of decisiveness
- Recurrent thoughts of suicide, death, and/or self-harm
In order to be diagnosed with depression, patients must be experiencing at least five of those symptoms, and the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. The symptoms must also have a negative impact on the patient’s ability to live a normal, healthy, and happy life.
How Does Depression Impact the Brain?
Depression symptoms impact the way an individual thinks, acts, and behaves, but is there a physical impact of depression on the brain? The answer is yes, and it largely boils down to the production (or lack of production) of neurotransmitters – the chemical messengers of the brain.
The three major neurotransmitters often associated with depression symptoms include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine – through glutamate and GABA are also considered. Any increase or decrease in the production of these neurotransmitters can cause symptoms.
During a depressive episode, nerve cell communication is broken, and the brain isn’t receiving proper signals from the body. While a depressed brain looks much different from a healthy brain, a depressed brain can revert back to a healthy brain if properly diagnosed and treated.
What is the Impact of Depression on Physical Health?
Many people are well-aware of the mental and emotional depression effects has on the body, but most people don’t consider the physical impact of depression and the physical effects that depressed patients experience on a daily basis. Treating these symptoms can be life-changing for some.
Let’s take a look at the impact of depression on physical health:
- Headaches, insomnia, fatigue
- Chronic pain, sometimes unexplained
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Nausea, diarrhea, and constipation
- Inflammation throughout the body
- Self-harm and increased risk of suicide
When depressed moods and a lack of interest start to have a negative impact on your ability to live a quality life, it’s time to start seeking treatment immediately. Your symptoms will likely grow worse if not treated and monitored by a mental health professional – so don’t wait to seek help!
How to Find Depression Treatment Center
Millions of people in the United States are diagnosed with depression, and there are millions more living with depression (though they might not know it or haven’t been diagnosed yet). It’s one of the most common mental disorders in the world and deserves our full medical attention.
At Thrive Treatment, we understand how important treatment is when overcoming depression. Whether you’re having a hard time coping with the mental, emotional, social, or physical impact of depression, or your depression is accompanied by an addiction, Thrive Treatment can help in Southern California mental health treatment.
Feel free to contact us today to learn more about our Santa Barbara treatment facility and what it can do for those struggling with depression. We can’t wait to bring out the best in both you and your family.