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Unipolar Depression Symptoms and Treatment Checklist

Jun 10, 2008
Unipolar depression is a severe form of depression. It also goes by the terms of clinical depression and major-depressive disorder.

It is a severe illness with disabling effects. It affects 10 million Americans every year. Depression affects more women than men.

Unipolar depression should not be mistaken for the other form of depression that is more violent - manic depression. Manic depression is associated with suicidal tendencies and violence towards other people.

Unipolar depression causes a person to be disinterested in normal activities and to feel unhappy. Normal activities like sleeping and eating too are affected.

It is a chronic disease - meaning it is a long term disease or condition. Once a person has this condition it will recur at least once in their lifetime. For some others it will recur many times. Depression episodes can last from 6 to 9 months when they recur in a chronically ill person.

Such a depression occurs across all age groups and no socio-economic background is exempt. However, it occurs more commonly in those between 25 and 44 years of age.

What causes unipolar depression? In some people it is spontaneous and independent of any specific event. In other it arises from trauma or severe shock.

Some scientists also believe genetics are involved. Moreover it can be brought on by improper nutrition, hormonal imbalances and social factors and finally medications for other illnesses. There are anecdotes of patients experiencing depression after a major surgery as well like simultaneous double knee joint replacement.

How would you recognize this disease in a person? The checklist below possibly indicates someone suffering from unipolar depression.
# A lack of interest in the simple pleasures of life
# Irritable and always sad
# Drastic changes in your eating and sleeping habits
# Loss of appetite and do not like any kind of food
# Can't sleep and constantly tense
# Unable to concentrate or think clearly
# Feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness
# Guilty feelings for no reason.
# Suicidal tendencies
# Frequent fatigue

These intense feelings may result in severe headaches and other chronic pain which may not respond to any form of treatment. People suffering from this type of depression may exhibit one or a few of these symptoms.

Common myths surrounding depression are:
# That it is the elderly who are solely prone to it
# It is caused by flaws in a person's character
# It is a state of the mind and therefore treatment is not needed

Possible treatment options that a doctor may prescribe include:
1. Antidepressant drugs
2. Cognitive therapy
3. Psychotherapy
4. Electroconvulsive therapy
5. Lifestyle modification like diet, exercise and quitting smoking.
About the Author
James T Pereira provides more information on the details of how to diagnose and the details of the treatment options at http://www.depression.jamestpereira.com
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