Persistent sadness can be treated
Clinical depression occurs when an individual experiences persistent sadness for more than two weeks at a time. In some cases, it can persist for weeks, months and even years. This is an illness that an individual cannot just “snap out of” or “get over” but with treatment, a patient can fully recover.
The causes of clinical depression are varied. In some cases patients are genetically vulnerable to the condition. In other cases, patients experience depressed mood as the direct result of an identifiable trigger or due to a stress reaction. In some cases, the cause is unknown but the symptoms can still be treated.
The symptoms of depression are varied. Patients can feel sad, teary, flat or irritable. They can lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and they can withdraw from friends and family. Sometimes, these emotional symptoms are accompanied by physical symptoms such as disturbed sleep, altered appetite or weight, an inability to concentrate and focus or poor short-term memory. Patients can also experience a loss of libido and anxiety. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. In extreme cases, the desire to live may also be lost.
Treatment for mild depression will begin with psychotherapy alone and may involve general health measures such as improved sleep hygiene and improved diet and exercise. The psychotherapy used in this practice is usually Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (Conversational Model) but at other times Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) may be used to treat symptoms. In some cases, medication may also be added to assist in the recovery. The antidepressant prescribed will depend on the history provided to the doctor. As every person is genetically unique, medication prescribed may vary from person to person.
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