INDIA. A new disorder emerges in the developing world in the form of ‘anxiety and depression,’ among youngsters and the elderly in this century. These are psychological factors with some kind of an anomaly. Road accidents, spine and brain surgeries, strokes, traumas, excessive occupational stress, and perpetual domestic tensions, low work-life balance, lack of physical exercise, indolent behaviors, lethargic tendencies, insomnia, disturbed circadian cycle, exposure to drugs, alcohol abuse, and willful smoking. All these factors result in some form of mental illness.
The person is seen having ‘Low mood levels’ or ‘a depressed state of mind’. These factors get highly elevated, complex, and many times reflect mental and physical symptoms. A common feature of these symptoms is a decreased level of activity in the parts of the brain.
Reduction in the number of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system(CNS)
In depression, there is a reduced number of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, primarily a deficiency of ‘serotonin,’ but to some extent norepinephrine, acetylcholine, dopamine, or gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or nerve cells also respond to neurotransmitters. A neurotransmitter is a signal substance that transmits nerve signals through a junction between two nerve cells.
Serotonin and norepinephrine cause nerve cells to send impulses along with other nerve cells and thus increase brain activity. Deficiency of these substances leads to lethargy in some parts of the brain and leads to the recurrence of depressive symptoms.
The role of GABA(an inhibitory neurotransmitter), which inhibits brain signals thereby reducing the overall activity of the nervous system. The response is generally anxiety and panic disorder which is, in reality, is a process to reverse or reduce certain nerve impulses. GABA deficiency leads to high anxiety and quick panic response. However, depletion of this transmitter also causes depressive symptoms. This is because high activity in some brain processes slows down other processes.
There are, in fact, many sub-divisions of anxiety/depression with different physiological mechanisms.
The Symptoms of depression
- Low mood level or sadness
- Lack of pleasure or interest in any activities
- The feeling of guilt of something unfounded
- Lack of flow in thought process.
- Decreased interpretation of sensory stimuli
- Lack of digestion or other internal bodily processes and symptoms caused by this laziness, for example, bloated stomach, constipation, or difficulty urinating
- Slow physiological response.
Depression: A mild or severe disease
Depression can be a mild disease that not only affects daily life but can also cause serious discomfort and make a person unable to work and participate in social life. Severe Depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and execution along that path. Psychiatrists examine the root causes of a depressed person and after medication treats the underline cause, by increasing either the serotonin substance in the brain, by prescribing serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Depression occurs at all ages
Depression can be a symptom of adolescents’ lack of interest in school, or adults with psychological stresses in college, love affairs, breakups, or even divorce, all of which lead to a withdrawal from social life, and a changed or modified mood. It affects everyone, children, adults, and old-age senior citizens. It is a worldwide phenomenon!
The types of depression
- Mono-polar depression and diastolic disorder
Due to mono-polar depression, there are symptoms of low depressed feeling, despite no apparent cause in the environment. Mild cases of mono-polar disorder that do not affect a person’s ability to function and participate in social work are often called diastolic disorders.
- Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder) and cyclothymic disorder
This type can lead to Psychosis and complete mania. In this state, there are periods with symptoms of depression – depressive state, changes with elevated mood levels with increased mental and physical activity – manic phase. In the manic phase, the affected person also sleeps poorly and has difficulty concentrating. The mild form of the disease is called cyclothymic disorder.
- Manic disorder
This condition is characterized by abnormally elevated moods, unrealistic optimism, lack of sleep, and hypersensitivity behavior. The person may see himself as a messenger of god, or godlike. This is illusionary. Many psychiatrists believe that this disorder is just like any other bipolar disorder where the depressed phase has not yet appeared, instead, there is emancipated hysteria.
- Psychosomatic Depression
Psychosomatic depression is mainly seen as a physical manifestation of the disease or disorder. The physical symptoms of depression are solitary or predominant, like, digestive problems, constipation, urinary difficulties, slow response to sensory stimuli, or a slow physical response.
The factors governing depression
Two or more factors can cause depression. Depression can be a separate disease or part of other illnesses.
- Reactive depression
The disease is simply caused by mental stress, physical conflict, or mental stress without proper rest or prolonged sleep. Stress inhibits the nervous system or destroys the nutrients needed by the nervous system.
- Endogenous depression
When there is no period of stress, tension, or rest to reveal the condition, the condition is often called endogenous depression and is mostly hereditary.
- Depression by physical illness
(a) Heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, hypertension, or Cushing’s syndrome are common diseases associated with depression.
(b) Mononucleosis or the flu can lead to depression which persists even after infection.
One can say that depression is a devastating disease and must be conquered by looking at red flag signals of the patient.