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Depressive disease is a medical disease that affects feelings, thoughts, behaviour, physical health, interpersonal relationship, job performance, sex life and other behaviour patterns of the affected person day after day. Depressive disease is not just "feeling of hopelessness". It is more than being sad or feeling grieved about a loss.

Depression is associated with low levels of two of teh chemical messengers, serotonin and noradrenalin. Depression runs in families and the close relatives of a depressed person are more likely to develop depression than other people. Depression is not caused by a single gene, but rather by a number of genes acting together to make an individual susceptible to developing depression when bad events happen.

Depressive disease is universal and has been prevalent in the society since time immemorial. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the U. S. A. and Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of England, also suffered from Depressive disease. Depressive disease is prevalent in people of every country and every culture, affecting both the sexes and sparing neither the rich nor the poor. It torments all ages, forcing the exit of some through self destruction (suicide) and steadfastly maintaining its core clinical features down the centuries.

The term "Depression" is so commonly used in everyday parlance that it fails to convince the people around that "Depression" could be a disease in itself. The depth and the intensity of Depressive disease is usually not recognised and not appreciated by the family members of the sufferer and the people around him. Depressive disease is in fact one of the most agonizing illnesses and its real intensity is experienced only by the sufferer. Depression results from an imbalance in the chemical messengers in the brain which the nerve cells use to communicate with each other.

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Treatment of Depression

Tricyclic antidepressants - TCAs are one of the oldest of antidepressants and still prescribed widely. Before the introduction of selective serotonon reuptake, TCAs were the standard treatment for depression. They are effective and have the advantage of extensive experience accumulated over several decaded of use. Within the brain, there are many naturally occuring chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. These chemicals are involved in controlling or regulating bodily functions. Two of these chemicals, noradrenal nad serotonin are involved in the control and regulation of mood which fluctuates in depression. When depression occurs, there may be a decreased amount of these two chemicals released from nerve cells in the brain. When these chemicals are released from nerve cells thet act to lighten mood. When they are reabsorbed into the nerve cells, they no longer have an effect on mood.

TCAs work by preventing this re-absorption of noradrenaline and serotonin back into the nerve cells. This prolongs the mood-lightening effect and in this way helps to treat depression. The choice of TCA depends on a number of factors It should not be used if you have a heart problem, are breastfeeding, pregnant or have a liver Currently problem. Currently available TCAs are listed below -

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - Serotonin is one of the several chemicals called neurotransmitters that pass messages between nerve cells that are involved in depression. Each nerve cell generally uses one of these chemical to pass on messages to adjacent nerve cells. The nerve cells normally recycle serotonon by soaking it back up again. The SSRIs work by stopping this reutake of serotonin. As serotonin is not soaked up again, more will be present to pass on messages There are a number of SSRIs frequently used to treat depression. to nerve cells nearby.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) - MAOI are one of the oldest classes of antidepressants and are typically used when other antidepressants have not been effective. They are used less frequently because they often interact with certain foods and requirfe strict dietary restrictions. MAOI can also result in severe adverse reactions if taken with many other medicines, including some over-the-counter cough and cold remedies. MAOI are mostly used for atypical depression.

Seasonal Affecting Disorder (SAD)

For some people, low mood is a response to shortening day length. In seasonal affective disorder, depression starts in the autumn and continues until the spring. During summer the person is usually free of any depressive symptoms. This pattern of depressive episodes is associated with carbohydrate craving and weight gain rather than loss. SAD responds to light treatment although sometimes drug treatment with SSRI type of antidepressant is needed. Even depressed people who do not have pure SAD often feel worse during the winter months.

 

 

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