Depression---what it is? A microscopic to macroscopic study – Part 1
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Depression---what it is? A microscopic to macroscopic study – Part 1

Depression---what it is? A microscopic to macroscopic study – Part 1

Depression---what it is?

Depression or depressive disorder is a long time phenomena connected with the mankind. From a long time depression is also known as black bile. But in the 19th century, depression is considered as the weakness of temperament, which runs through the families. But in the next century, Fraud had linked depression with conflict and guilt.


Types of depression

During 1950s and 1960s, depression had been classified into 2 types: 1) endogenous and 2) neurotic

1) Endogenous depression:

In this category, depression is believed to come from the heredity, within the body or from some unknown reasons.

2) Neurotic or reactive depression

This category of depression is also known as reactive depression, which is clearly connected with environmentally triggered factors. Environmentally triggered means loss of a job or loss of a spouse or child or any such dear one. During 1970s to 1980s the focus area changed towards the effects of depression on the affected persons instead of cause of depression. That means every case is a separate case. The symptoms and the damaging functions are the causes of depressive disorder.

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Many experts agree to the following views in this context:

1) Any depressive disorder is a group of symptoms or a syndrome, which reflects an irritable or/and sad mood that exceeds normal grief or sadness. To be specific towards a better expression, depression is categorized by duration and greater intensity by more functional disabilities and severe symptoms than normal.

2) Signs and symptoms of depression are categorized not only be negative moods, thoughts, and behaviours, but also by the peculiar changes in the bodily functions like body aches, crying spells, libido or low energy, and also problems with weight , eating, or sleeping. The functional changes in depression which comes under the clinical purview are commonly known as neurovegetative signs. This clarifies a fact that the changes taking place in the brain are instrumental in causing different types of physical symptoms that lead to reduced participation and either reduced or extraordinary body activities.

3) A few of the individuals with depressive disorder, for example manic depression or bipolar depression found to be having the vulnerability of inheritance for this condition.

4) The depressive disorder is a serious health problem for the general mass, because it affects millions of people.

The findings about the depressed people

a) According to some estimates, 8 per cent of teens and 10 per cent of adults and 2 per cent of pre-teen children are somehow or other victims of depressive disorder.

b) The problem of postpartum depression is commonly found among the women after the child birth.

5) The statistics available from USA reveals that the cost connected with the depression has the direct bearings on the treatments and indirectly on the absenteeism, loss of productivity and so on.

6) Many adolescents, who are the victims have impaired development and impaired obesity maintenance.

7) According to some medical investigation, many significant problems are associated with the depression. The afflictions are known as hypertension, arthritis, chronic lung disease, coronary artery disease and diabetes.

8) The risk of asthma, HIV, coronary artery disease and many other medical illnesses can shoot up with the depression. The other medical complications are mortality or death, morbidity or negative health effects / illness and so on.

9) Depression can be coupled with many other mental health illnesses that can aggravate the status of those individuals who are the victims of both (mental illness and depression)Formerly this condition was known as manic depression or manic-depressive illness. A particular inheritance’s pattern is seen in this condition. This condition varies from other types of depressive disorders, as it involves cycles of mood, in which at least one episode of hypomania or mania along with some episodes of depressions are noticed. These types of bipolar disorder or manic depression are often not only chronic but also recurring. In some cases, the mood switches are both rapid and dramatic, but often they are gradual.

In the depressed cycle, the person can have any or all the symptoms of a depressive disorder. In this condition the affected person’s capacity to judge, think or socially behave are severely impaired, leading to embarrassment. The example: - A manic patient may indulge either in unsafe or indiscriminate sexual practice or become unwise in financial or business decision.

This bipolar disorder has a significant variant i.e. bipolar ii disorder. The usual form of bipolar disorder is known as bipolar I disorder. In this condition a patient has number of repeated depressive episodes which is punctuated by mini heights or hypomania. The bipolar ii is different from both bipolar I and major depression as it does not have the full criteria of manic episodes.

Symptoms of mania or depression

Each of the manic or depressed people does not indicate about the same symptom. A few of the cases show many symptoms while others show only a few symptoms. There are also variances in the severity of symptoms. A few cases also have warning signs, in addition to or preceding to the normal symptoms.

Symptoms of major depression

• Pessimism or feelings of hopelessness

• Persistent feelings of irritability, anger, anxiety, sadness or empty mood

• Loss of pleasure or interest in hobbies and in activities which were enjoyed earlier, even including sex

• Feelings of excessive guilt, helplessness or worthlessness

• Either oversleeping or early morning awakening or insomnia

• Preference of social isolation when the patient wants to avoid friends or family members.

• Extra eating or weight gain or weight loss or reduced eating

• Being slowed down, symptomizing reduced energy and fatigue

• Spells of crying

• Suicidal attempts or thoughts of suicides / death

• Irritability and restlessness

• Difficulties in remembering, concentrating and making decisions

• Persistent physical symptoms like chronic pain, digestive disorder and headache which do not respond to the treatments.

Symptoms of maniac depression

• Inappropriate anger or irritability

• Inappropriate elation

• Decreased need to sleep i.e. severe insomnia

• Having special importance or powers i.e. Grandiose notions

• Extraordinary talking speed or volume

• Disconnected speech or thoughts

• Unnatural sexual desire and/or activity

• Racing thoughts

• Poor judgment

• Notable heightened energy

• Unnatural social behavior

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