Depression: Diagnosis & treatment of depression

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.

In general, the doctor will diagnose from your symptoms and medical history. In addition to the examinations performed by the doctor to determine this condition, among others:

  • Physical examination. Your doctor may perform a physical exam and ask you questions about your health. In some cases, depression may be related to certain physical health.
  • Laboratory test. Your doctor may do a complete blood test or test your thyroid to make sure it’s working properly.
  • Psychological evaluation. The mental health specialist will ask about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire to help answer these questions.
  • DSM-5. Medical professionals can use the criteria for determining depression listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
  • PPDGJ. Medical personnel use these criteria, which are also known as PPDGJ (Practical Guidelines for the Diagnosis of Mental Disorders).

What are the treatment options for depression?

Depression therapy usually uses medication, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy. The doctor will review your condition and will consider what therapy is suitable for you.

Don’t be shy about discussing your concerns about the therapy your doctor has to offer. Treatment options for depression are:

  1. Drugs
    The drugs used, namely antidepressants, such as escitalopram, paroxetine, sertraline, fluoxetine, and citalopram.
    These drugs belong to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
    In addition there are also drugs venlafaxine, duloxetine and bupropion. This drug may cause some side effects, such as: Weight gain, Sexual problems & Nauseous.
    Antidepressants do not cause addiction. When you no longer need antidepressants and stop using them, the body will not experience dependence.
    However, the use and discontinuation of antidepressants should be under the supervision of a doctor. Abrupt discontinuation can cause worsening of depressive symptoms. Always talk to your doctor about taking antidepressants.
  2. Psychotherapy
    Psychotherapy is done by teaching you new ways of thinking and behaving, and changing the habits that lead you to this condition.
    This therapy can help you understand and get through troubled relationships or situations that cause depression or make it worse.
  3. Electroconvulsive therapy
    For severe mood disorders that are difficult to treat or do not work with medication and psychotherapy, sometimes electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) performed under anaesthesia is required.
    Although ECT used to have a bad reputation, now ECT has improved and can heal when other treatments don’t work.
    ECT can cause side effects such as confusion and memory loss. Although these side effects are only temporary, sometimes they can persist.

Depression treatment at home

In addition to undergoing doctor’s treatment, lifestyle changes for depressed patients also need to be implemented, including:

  • Change your expectations so that they don’t leave you feeling sad, disappointed, and hopeless later.
  • Participate in activities that might make you feel better.
  • Reduce stress by getting enough sleep and exercising regularly as both affect your brain and mental health.
  • Eat healthy foods for people with depression such as lots of vegetables, fruit, fish, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy products.

Depression prevention

There is no surefire way to prevent depression. However, there are steps you can take to lower your risk, such as:

  • When you are stressed, be sure to find ways to relieve it. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the problems you’re facing. Take the time to free yourself from the stress, so it’s easier to find solutions.
  • Don’t keep stress to yourself, if you need someone to share it with, try opening up with family or friends. If that doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to consult a psychologist.

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