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Is Depression A Psychological Disorder

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Life Expectancy And The Risk Of Suicide

Bipolar disorder (depression & mania) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

Depressed individuals have a shorter life expectancy than those without depression, in part because people who are depressed are at risk of dying of suicide. They also have a higher rate of dying from other causes, being more susceptible to medical conditions such as heart disease. Up to 60% of people who die of suicide have a mood disorder such as major depression, and the risk is especially high if a person has a marked sense of hopelessness or has both depression and borderline personality disorder. About 2â8% of adults with major depression die by suicide, and about 50% of people who die by suicide had depression or another mood disorder. The lifetime risk of suicide associated with a diagnosis of major depression in the US is estimated at 3.4%, which averages two highly disparate figures of almost 7% for men and 1% for women . The estimate is substantially lower than a previously accepted figure of 15%, which had been derived from older studies of people who were hospitalized.

Life Events And Depression

Research suggests that continuing difficulties, such as long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness or prolonged exposure to stress at work can increase the risk of depression.;

Significant adverse life events, such as losing a job, going through a separation or divorce, or being diagnosed with a serious illness, may also trigger depression, particularly among people who are already at risk because of genetic, developmental or other personal factors.

Perinatal Or Postpartum Depression

Perinatal depression refers to depression occurring during pregnancy or after immediately after childbirth, while postpartum depression refers to depression following childbirth. Perinatal depression may be an initial indicator for the development of depressive disorders later in life, and also increases the chance of developing postnatal depression.

You might be also surprised to know that men can also suffer from perinatal depression! Yes, men have been reported to have suffered from perinatal or postpartum depression as well, although the focus may be more on the increased responsibility or changes in lifestyle which comes with parenting.

Symptoms include fatigue, feeling sad/hopeless/worthless, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, changes in appetite, difficulty concentrating, lack of interest in baby/not feeling bonded/feeling very anxious about baby, feelings of being a bad mother, fear of harming the baby or oneself, or a loss of interest or pleasure in life.

While it may seem common to experience some form of baby blues after childbirth, never hesitate to approach a medical or mental health professional just to clarify any doubts you may have. This is especially so if you have experienced the symptoms for more than two weeks, had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming your child, worsening of depressed mood, or having trouble with daily functioning or even taking care of your baby.

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Attitudes About Mental Illness And Mental Health

A CBS News poll conducted in the fall of 2019 detailed American attitudes and awareness of mental health issues. Almost 90% of respondents said there is some stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness in our society. More than 30% stated that discrimination and stigma associated with mental illness has decreased over the past ten years. However, about 30% said that the situation remains unchanged.

Most of the poll respondents said they had some understanding of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Many said that they know someone who had been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition. The poll found that most Americans considered mental illness a serious issue.

Mental Illness Affects More People Than You Think

Depression: A Mental Disorder

It is important that we understand what these two terms mean given the prevalence of mental illness throughout the world. The World Health Organization reports that mental, neurological, and substance use disorders make up 10% of the global burden of disease and 30% of non-fatal disease burden.

In addition, the WHO points out that some 800,000 individuals die by suicide each year, about 20% of the worlds children and adolescents have a mental disorder, and depression affects about 264 million people worldwide.

But mental illness doesnt always indicate ongoing illness. Palmer explained, For example, if someone has the flu, we wouldnt say theyre currently physically healthy. Instead, we might say that theyre sick. Similarly, people can have a temporary bout of mental illness, like depression after a divorce.

The parallels are similar for chronic physical and mental illnesses, he explained. Some people can have mild cases and function fairly normally. Others can be disabled and struggling in their daily lives. Some people may do well day to day, and others might not.

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Data Availability On Mental Health

The majority of data presented in this entry is based on estimates from the IHMEs Global Burden of Disease . This is currently one of the only sources which produces global level estimates across most countries on the prevalence and disease burden of mental health and substance use disorders.

Nonetheless, the GBD acknowledges the clear data gaps which exist on mental health prevalence across the world. Despite being the 5th largest disease burden at a global level , detailed data is often lacking. This is particularly true of lower-income countries. The Global Burden of Disease note that the range of epidemiological studies they draw upon for global and national estimates are unequally distributed across disorders, age groups, countries and epidemiological parameters.46 Using these studies to provide full coverage of these disorders is challenging.

To overcome these methodological challenges the authors note:

Genes’ Effect On Mood And Depression

Every part of your body, including your brain, is controlled by genes. Genes make proteins that are involved in biological processes. Throughout life, different genes turn on and off, so that in the best case they make the right proteins at the right time. But if the genes get it wrong, they can alter your biology in a way that results in your mood becoming unstable. In a person who is genetically vulnerable to depression, any stress can then push this system off balance.

Mood is affected by dozens of genes, and as our genetic endowments differ, so do our depressions. The hope is that as researchers pinpoint the genes involved in mood disorders and better understand their functions, depression treatment can become more individualized and more successful. Patients would receive the best medication for their type of depression.

Another goal of gene research, of course, is to understand how, exactly, biology makes certain people vulnerable to depression. For example, several genes influence the stress response, leaving us more or less likely to become depressed in response to trouble.

The evidence for other types of depression is more subtle, but it is real. A person who has a first-degree relative who suffered major depression has an increase in risk for the condition of 1.5% to 3% over normal.

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Physical Symptoms And Outcome Measures

In addition to choosing the most appropriate pharmacotherapeutic approach to treating the symptoms of depression, clinical management of depression should include the screening and monitoring of all symptom domains. All symptoms, including physical ones, must be measured in order to be treated fully. The symptoms still present in incomplete remission are important markers of vulnerability to relapse, and if all types of symptoms are not included in assessments, physicians cannot fully assess the treatment response and follow up on unresolved symptoms. Physicians and patients need to become aware of the broad spectrum of symptoms in depression in order to evaluate treatment effectiveness.

Reliable and effective assessment of Axis I disorders often includes utilization of a variety of rating scales used for both diagnostic purposes and follow-up evaluation. Recently there has been a call for including on rating scales all the symptom domains and social functioning/quality of life measures in the requirements for remission, but physicians may not be aware that there are already numerous standardized scales that measure these aspects of depression.

What Is The Link Between Smoking And Mental Health Conditions

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Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.6 Why smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.

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The Major Forms Of Depression

What most people mean when they talk about depression is unipolar depressionan unremitting state of sadness, apathy, hopelessness, and loss of energy. It is also called major depression.

Depressive episodes also occur in bipolar disorder, a condition marked by periods of depression interspersed with periods of high-energy mania. People swing between the two poles of mood states, sometimes over the course of days, and sometimes over years, often with stable periods in between.

The birth of a baby can trigger mood swings or crying spells in the days or weeks that follow, the so-called baby blues. When the reaction is more severe and prolonged, it is considered postpartum depression, a condition requiring treatment because it can interfere with a parent’s ability to care for their newborn.

Depression can also occur seasonally, primarily in the winter months when sunlight is in short supply. Known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, it is often ameliorated by daily exposure to specific types of artificial light.

For more see Types of Depression.

What Are The Symptoms Of Depression

Each person is different and will have unique symptoms, but here are some of the more common symptoms of depression:

  • Depressed mood
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usually-enjoyed activities
  • Change in weight or appetite
  • Sleep disturbances

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Seek Support For Symptoms Of Depression

Depression is often not recognised and can go on for months or even years if left untreated. Its important to seek support as early as possible, as the sooner a person gets treatment, the sooner they can recover.;

Untreated depression can have many negative effects on a persons life, including serious relationship and family problems, difficulty finding and holding down a job, and drug and alcohol problems.;

There is no one proven way that people recover from depression. However, there is a range of effective treatments and health professionals who can help people on the road to recovery.;

There are also many things that people with depression can do for themselves to help them recover and stay well. The important thing is to find the right treatment and the right health professional for a persons needs.

Ways You Can Look After Yourself

Depression & Mental Disorders

If youre depressed, there are steps you can take to lift your mood and help your recovery. These steps can help if youve been depressed in the past and want to stay well.

  • Talk about how youre feeling. Talking to someone you trust, or finding peer support, can help you feel better and less alone.
  • Eat well. A healthy diet can lift your mood and maintain your mental health.
  • Stay physically active. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, but it can ease the symptoms of depression. Research suggests it may be as effective as antidepressants in helping you feel better.
  • Spend time in nature. Research shows that being in nature can make us feel happier, feel our lives are more worthwhile, and reduce our levels of depression
  • Avoid cigarettes and alcohol. They may feel like theyre helping at first, but they make things worse in the long run.
  • Try talking therapy to stay well. NICE guidelines recommend CBT or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy if youve been depressed in the past.

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What Illnesses Happen With Depression

Itâs common for people to have other medical or mental health problems along with depression, such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. If you or a loved one has symptoms of depression or another mental illness, talk to your doctor. Treatments can help.

International Classification Of Diseases

In the tenth revision of the by the , the symptoms of hyperkinetic disorder were analogous to ADHD in the DSM-5. When a is present, the condition was referred to as hyperkinetic conduct disorder. Otherwise, the disorder was classified as disturbance of activity and attention, other hyperkinetic disorders or hyperkinetic disorders, unspecified. The latter was sometimes referred to as hyperkinetic syndrome.

In the implementation version of , the disorder is classified under 6A05 , and hyperkinetic disorder no longer exists. The defined subtypes are similar to those of the DSM-5: predominantly inattentive presentation ; predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation; combined presentation . However, the ICD-11 includes two residual categories for individuals who do not entirely match any of the defined subtypes: other specified presentation where the clinician includes detail on the individual’s presentation; and presentation unspecified where the clinician does not provide detail.

For diagnosis in an adult, having symptoms since childhood is required. Nevertheless, a proportion of adults who meet the criteria for ADHD in adulthood would not have been diagnosed with ADHD as children. Most cases of late-onset ADHD develop the disorder between the ages of 12-16 and may therefore be considered early adult or adolescent-onset ADHD.

in depressive state
  • same symptoms as in depression section

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What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment

If you are not happy with your treatment you can:

  • talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest changes,
  • get an advocate to help you speak your doctor,
  • ask for a second opinion if you feel it would help,
  • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
  • make a complaint.

There is more information about these options below.


An advocate is independent from the NHS. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.

There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. They arent available in all areas.

You can ask an advocate to help you make a complaint. Advocates that do this are called NHS complaints advocates. They are free to use and don t work for the NHS. They re available in all areas.

You can search online to search for a local advocacy service. If you cant find a service you can call our advice service 0808 801 0525 . You can email us too at . We will look for you.

Second opinion

Talk to your doctor about your treatment to see if you can resolve the problem with them first. If you dont agree with their decisions about diagnosis or treatment, you could ask for a second opinion. You are not legally entitled to a second opinion, but your doctor might agree to it if it would help with treatment options.



  • Advocacy by clicking here.

What About Substance Abuse And Depression

Depression is the most common Psychological Disorder

Substance use disorders — which are linked to depression — involve the use of drugs or alcohol to the point of social, financial, legal, occupational, or physical harm. Millions of Americans abuse drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons, among them to cope with stress and anxiety. Biological factors, such as a genetic tendency, may also play a role. Substance abuse may include some of the following symptoms:

  • Continuing to use the substance despite the knowledge of its harmful effects on one’s physical and mental condition
  • Finding it impossible to discontinue use despite making efforts
  • Giving up or reducing social, recreational, and work-related activities because of substance use
  • Increasing the amount of a substance used over time
  • Spending lots of time and effort either getting the substance or recovering from its use
  • Needing to increase the amounts of a substance in order to become intoxicated, or experiencing a diminished effect from continued use of the same amount.
  • Taking more of the substance to ease withdrawal symptoms
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, shaking, insomnia, agitation, hallucination, and sweating following a reduction in the amount of a substance taken

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Cannabis And The Cannabinoids

consumption produces a dose-dependent state of intoxication in humans. There is commonly increased blood flow to the skin, which leads to sensations of warmth or flushing, and heart rate is also increased. It also frequently induces increased hunger. Iversen categorized the subjective and behavioral effects often associated with into three stages. The first is the “buzz,” a brief period of initial responding, where the main effects are lightheadedness or slight dizziness, in addition to possible tingling sensations in the extremities or other parts of the body. The “high” is characterized by feelings of euphoria and exhilaration characterized by mild psychedelia, as well as a sense of disinhibition. If the individual has taken a sufficiently large dose of cannabis, the level of intoxication progresses to the stage of being stoned, and the user may feel calm, relaxed, and possibly in a dreamlike state. Sensory reactions may include the feeling of floating, enhanced visual and auditory perception, visual illusions, or the perception of the slowing of time passage, which are somewhat psychedelic in nature.

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