What is depression? – Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

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What is depression

Depression is a very difficult disease to explain in a nutshell, but it is a state of brain energy deficiency that causes psychological disorders such as depressed mood and reduced motivation (appetite, sleep desire, libido, etc.). It is not uncommon for symptoms to persist, as well as with a variety of physical symptoms. In other words, it can be thought of as a state in which a lack of energy has caused a trouble in the entire system of the brain. We have a great feature of natural healing, which usually leads to a variety of failures. We sometimes feel depressed in our daily lives. An unpleasant event can also reduce your appetite. However, if the brain is not deficient in energy, it will usually recover over time due to its natural healing power. If the condition does not improve or worsens over time, the obstacle to life will increase, and it will be regarded as a “disease”. As a result, the original social functions, such as work, housework, and study, will not work well, and it will also affect overall daily life, such as socializing and hobbies.

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Types and characteristics of depression

There are various ways to classify depression, such as

(1) classification based on the appearance of symptoms.

(2) classification based on severity.

(3) classification based on whether it is new or recurrent.

(4) classification based on characteristic disease types.

A brief description follows. Incidentally, new-type depression and modern-type depression do not exist in the diagnostic criteria used by specialists and are therefore not defined.

Classification according to the appearance of symptoms

Among depressions, those that cause only depression are called “unipolar depression”, and those that cause both depression and manic state are called “bipolar depression”.

Classification by severity

It is a classification according to the degree of trouble that appears in work and daily life due to symptoms.”Severe”, on the other hand, is a level where work, daily life, and communication with others are clearly difficult. “Moderate” lies between “mild” and “severe”.

Classification based on whether it is the first or recurrence

It is a classification of “unity” or “repeatability”. In the case of “repeatability”, it is especially important to take measures to prevent recurrence.

Classification by characteristic disease types

“Melancholic type” is a type often referred to as typical depression. It refers to a process that leads to brain energy depletion while over-adapting to various tasks, duties and roles. Characteristic is that, even if it is good, you feel unwell at all, obvious loss of appetite, weight loss, depressed mood is usually the worst in the morning, waking up early in the morning (more than 2 hours before normal) Guilt, and so on. On the other hand, it is “atypical”, but features include good mood for good things, appetite tendency to overeating, weight gain, hypersomnia, severe malaise, and sensitivity to criticism from others. The “seasonal type” is a type of “repetitiveness” in which depression develops in a specific season and recovers as the season changes. Although it can happen in any season, winter depression is famous and its relationship to sunshine hours is said. Postpartum depression is the onset of depression within four weeks of childbirth. It is thought that a combination of unhealthy factors such as hormonal changes, labor fatigue, anxiety about raising children, and lack of sleep due to breastfeeding.

Causes of depression

Studies have shown that depression is not the only cause. Very painful events often trigger the onset, but it is not uncommon for something to overlap before that. Therefore, it is easier to think of a factor as a concept than a cause. The various factors that occur in life are linked in a complex way.

The first is the “environmental factor” that is most likely to trigger, but the death or separation of important people (family and close people), loss of important things (including work, property, health, etc.), human relations troubles, Factors include trouble, changing roles at work or at home (promotion, demotion, marriage, pregnancy, etc.). In this way, you can see that various events can be a factor.

“Personality tendency” is also one of the onset factors. As explained in “(1) What is depression.Owners who emphasize the consideration of nature and try to maintain a relationship will emit more energy. Energy recovery can be seen while efforts are being made, but the risk of onset increases if there are situations in which results are not achieved or energy is depleted.

In addition, “genetic factors” and “chronic physical illness” are one of the onset factors. What happens to your brain when you are experiencing depression due to these factors? Recent studies have agreed on the idea that there is a problem with the transmission of neuronal information in the brain. In the brain, various information is transmitted from nerve cell to nerve cell. “Neurotransmitter” is responsible for the transmission. In particular, what is called “serotonin” or “noradrenaline” has been found to be a substance that transmits information about human emotions. It is thought that various factors mentioned above reduce the function of these substances, impair communication, and cause depression.

Signs of depression

First, let’s confirm the characteristics of “depression” which is the main symptom of depression.

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I do not feel pleasure or joy

What you normally enjoyed is no more fun or joy. No matter what you do, you will feel depressed.

I can’t feel good even if something good happens

Even if the triggering event or factor resolves or something good for you happens, you will continue to feel sick.

I cannot enjoy my hobbies and favorite things

If you’re in a healthy state, you’ll feel better if you sweat a lot with your favorite hobby, tennis, when you feel bad. If you are depressed, you will not be able to enjoy it.

Depression is a condition in which these symptoms persist for more than two weeks. Being aware early will increase the likelihood that the disease will be prevented. However, mental health illnesses, such as depression, are very similar to lifestyle-related illnesses, and it is certainly difficult to be aware of it in daily life.

One idea is to focus on symptoms that are easy to be aware of. In the first place, there are two things that are very important for living things. One is eating. Energy replenishment. The other is sleep, which is energy charging. If you are tired but you can’t sleep, the charging will run out and your natural healing power will decrease and go unhealthy. Recently, there have been many research reports showing the link between insomnia and depression, such as the risk of developing depression within three years is four times higher in people with insomnia than in people without insomnia. You.

The advantage of focusing on sleep is that it is easier to be aware of. If you notice that it takes more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, wake up many times on the way, wake up too quickly in the morning, or lose your feeling of deep sleep, first review your lifestyle habits to prevent your energy from bottoming out. Specifically, reconsider how to work, avoid caffeine intake for 4 hours before going to bed, relax with bathing in lukewarm water or music, take in sunlight when you wake up, hobby etc. There are ways to secure time and how to spend holidays.

Treatment of depression

There are three main pillars of depression treatment: rest, drug therapy, and psychotherapy / engaging. Treatment of mental illness is often thought of as special, but in fact the three pillars of this treatment are basically the same as physical illness. For example, it may be easier to imagine a fracture as an example. If the bone is broken, wrap the cast and cast it so that it is not used often. This is “rest”. However, when symptoms such as swelling and pain are severe, rest cannot be obtained. You will take painkillers there. “Pharmaceutical therapy” aims to bring out the natural healing power by reducing painful symptoms and making it easier to take time off. By the way, we think about recurrence prevention so that bone is not broken again at the end. “Psychotherapy / melting” involves thinking about how to respond to lifestyle habits, such as trying to consume a lot of calcium even in daily life to make a strong bone.

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Let’s briefly explain the three pillars of treatment.


Living organisms have the power to heal by not using much of the damaged part. Because depression is due to a lack of energy in the brain, resting a brain that has been overused is the basis of treatment. As mentioned above, taking a fracture as an example, even if a fracture is lightly cracked and completely broken, the way to rest is different, as well as from the level of reducing work and not working overtime. The level varies from rest to recuperation. Even if you are at home and feel uncomfortable with your family, you may want to stay in the hospital temporarily, even if it is mild.

Drug therapy

Rest is essential for treatment, but painful symptoms can prevent you from getting enough rest. In addition, as mentioned at the end of the section “(3) Causes of depression”, there is a problem with the information transmission of nerve cells in the brain. Therefore, pharmacotherapy is used to improve brain dysfunction and reduce symptoms.

Some people are reluctant to rely on drugs, but as with physical illness, the “ brain organ ” is impaired by a state of energy deficiency. How about thinking about it?

It is thought that medicine of the type “anti-depressant” is effective for depression. Some people feel anxiety and fear that antidepressants change their personality or that they may disappear, but neurotransmitters such as serotonin and noradrenaline that they originally have The role of antidepressants is to support the effective functioning of. Specifically, it works by increasing the amount of noradrenaline and serotonin, etc., which are originally in the nerve cells in your brain, between the nerve cells.

However, antidepressants are not quick-acting drugs, so it takes some time for the effects to appear. Please consider the effect to take about 2 weeks. Sometimes people stop taking medication because the effect does not appear immediately, but it is important to continue it for a certain period according to the instructions of your doctor.

Although recent antidepressants have been developed with few side effects, they may be aware of drowsiness and gastrointestinal symptoms. The characteristics of side effects are easy to feel in the first week of taking the drug, and are often reduced gradually. Therefore, during the first week, it is easy to feel only the side effects because the effect is not apparent, but consult a specialist when the side effects are difficult.

As mentioned in “(4) Signs of depression,” many depression patients have insomnia. Some people suffer from anxiety or fear. It is not uncommon for these symptoms to be combined with sleep-inducing drugs or anxiolytics (tranquilizers). These drugs have immediate effects, unlike antidepressants, so they take effect after they are taken.

Psychotherapy and teaching

(3) As mentioned in the section on “Causes of depression”, “there is no single cause of depression”, so it cannot be treated only by rest and pharmacotherapy. Antidepressants do not solve environmental factors, and so do personality trends. Psychotherapy / engaging mainly focuses on preventing recurrence. In a similar situation, you will need to review your thinking and behavior patterns so that depression does not recur or recur.

There are various treatments such as “cognitive behavioral therapy”, “Morita therapy”, and “introduction therapy” in psychotherapy and teaching. is. It is important to note that psychotherapy and training are not unilaterally performed by mental specialists, but that patients must have the independence to work with them. As mentioned above, taking a fracture as an example, when doctors provide dietary guidance, it is as important as the patient’s will and behavior to improve eating habits.

Prognosis of depression

Depression does not mean that treatment ends as soon as treatment begins. The healing process takes a certain amount of time, just like a physical condition that requires going to a hospital, such as a fracture. The process of healing is improved by slowly climbing the stairs one by one, with small waves that get better and worse. And it is said that about 80% of depression can reach a state of “remission” in which most of the previous spirit has recovered.

The period of treatment is considered to be roughly divided into three periods: “acute”, “recovery”, and “relapse prevention”. The most important things to consider in the acute phase are rest, drug therapy in the recovery phase, and psychotherapy / engaging in the relapse prevention phase. In other words, the emphasis of each period can be considered as the three pillars of treatment.

“There is more than one cause of depression,” so the duration of each of the three periods varies greatly depending on the situation. A rough guideline for typical depression is that the acute period is one to three months, the recovery period is four to six months, and the recurrence prevention period is one year. Of course, if treatment is started early for mild cases, it will be possible to move to the recurrence prevention phase sooner. As with lifestyle-related diseases, it is still important to respond early.

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One last thing is important. That is, “I will not stop the medicine as soon as I get better.” Remission will be reached during the “recovery period”. At that time, it is not unusual to stop the medicine at your own discretion. As a result, they may come back to remission, but they may recur. It is important to consult with your doctor about the timing of reducing the amount of medicine. I’m worried about taking it for a long time, but this is similar to the fact that if you improve your blood data and your lifestyle isn’t improving, stopping taking it will cause a lifestyle-related disease to recur. It is important to be patient and to spend the “prevention period”.

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