Major depressive disorders is an emotional disorder attributed to low self-esteem, restlessness, loss of interest, reduced appetite and weight loss (Strakowski & Nelson, 2016). Often, people suffering from major depressive order exhibit false beliefs, they see and hear things others cannot. Nonetheless, some people exhibit symptoms of unipolar depression of unipolar depression at present stage of the illness, whereas the periods of depression in others are separated by years in which they are normal (Freberg, 2010).
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Therefore, depression has the ability to influence the lifestyle of a person by negatively affecting their work, school life, eating habit and as well as the general health of the affected person (Strakowski & Nelson, 2016). However, in as much as there is a lot of similarities between bipolar depression and major depression, there is a slight difference in terms of oscillation between the major depressive disorder and mania. On the contrary, unipolar depression focuses solely on affecting negatively the emotional state of a person (Cacioppo & Freberg, 2012).
Nonetheless, the awareness and knowledge of major depressive disorders are well understood in today’s medical facilities and health community centers making it easily treatable through a talk therapy session between the patient and psychiatrist, as well as a combination of various appropriate medications. Nevertheless, before we highlight the mindfulness and the prevention of relapse in major depressive disorders, it’s significant to look into its causes and symptoms, and by extension, the potential statistics and proactive treatment and action plans for depression.
According to previous studies, the prevalence percentage of major depressive disorders in America is 20-26% in women, whereas in men is 8-12% (Segal & Williams, 2013). Although the statistics do not represent the vast majority, these percentages highlight an important segment of people in the United States. However, many of these people do not pursue regular medication and management for their major depressive disorder (Eisendrath, 2016).
Nonetheless, when the comparison is made with regards to prevalence of depression, women are found to be more vulnerable. This is attributed to the fluctuation of hormones in women, particularly during the period of puberty stage, when they give birth and when they reach menopause (Strakowski & Nelson, 2016). That notwithstanding, unipolar depression poses a great health concern to both male and female, and if it’s not treated early, it may lead to fatal results. Therefore, it’s important for any patient suffering from major depression, regardless of gender to ensure timely medication and psychotherapy so as to prevent fatal results attributed these disorder, if left untreated (Cacioppo & Freberg, 2012).
Despite the fact that, the occurrences of depression are extensive, its causes and risk factors are diversified and spread across a wide range of places (Strakowski & Nelson, 2016). For instance, according to the Medical Journal Neuron, genetics is the primary cause of major depressive disorders. Thus, the prevalent determining factor of depression to an individual is determined or rather found in his/her respective family tree. However, the psychological and anatomical basis of a person is also a serious factor in having a major depression (Eisendrath, 2016).
As well, incidences of the major depressive disorder are attributed to some of the socioeconomic factors a person may be going through such as losing a loved one either through death or divorce, feeling isolated by the society and having personal conflicts with family members, friends or relatives (Segal & Williams, 2013). In addition, traumatic events including physical or sexual abuse, financial problems, serious chronical illness such as cancer, stroke and other heart-related diseases poses a major risk to depression (Strakowski & Nelson, 2016).
Typically, major depression has several contributing factors with regards to its causes and risk factors which can be easily detected on different people’s health condition depending on their ability to cope and respond to the illness (Eisendrath, 2016). Therefore, depending on the severity of the risk factors for depression, the affected person exhibits the following symptoms:
The major depressive disorder is a challenging health concern, but a curable disease. Thus, based on the severity of the warning signs of the illness, a psychotherapy session, as well as an antidepressant medication, may be appropriate for the treatment of the disorder to help the patient regain back his/her emotional state.(Freberg, 2010). However, the psychiatrist may adopt other major depressive disorder treatment approaches including electroconvulsive treatment (ECT)
Nevertheless, ECT is hardly used, apart from extreme situations when its administered together with the antidepressants, as well as accompanied with regular psychotherapy sessions (Cacioppo & Freberg, 2012). Thus, the primary care doctor provides further advice and consultations through talk sessions to help the patient improve his/her coping skills. However, the frequency of the psychotherapy sessions and administration of antidepressants depends on the severity risk of the illness and personal needs of each patient (Freberg, 2010).
A relapse is when the warning signs of an illness or any health complication of the person’s health worsens. Fortunately, a person can prevent a relapse of the symptoms by building and maintaining healthy coping skills and activities. Therefore, in order to prevent the symptoms of the major depressive disorder from getting worse, there is need to first emphasize on self-management and medication, identify the earliest warning signs of an illness and finally seeking professional help from either a medical psychiatrist or a medical doctor (Cacioppo & Freberg, 2012).
If the patient is prescribed various medication, he/she is required to follow the prescription of the medical psychiatrist or primary doctor to the letter, even when he/she feels well. This is because stopping medication and treatment plans too early contributes to a relapse of the illness. Therefore, it’s also important to seek further consultation and advice from the doctor should the patient wish to make changes with regards to his/her treatment plan. The changes may either be reducing the dosage or stop taking the medication (Cacioppo & Freberg, 2012).
Additionally, the patient is required to carefully follow his/her treatment plan. Consequently, there is need to watch closely for warning signs of the illness so as to facilitate timely help. Thus, the primary goal is to take preventive measures before symptoms seriously get out of hand. However, in as much as there is no guarantee that the patient will never have another episode of major depressive disorder, there is a lot of things and activities he/she can do to lower the severity of the illness (Segal & Williams, 2013).
Early detection of predisposing signs and symptoms is an indication that the healthy condition of a person is deviating away from the normal state (Freberg, 2010). Often, when the healthy condition of a person worsens, the first signs to appear are the warning signs. Thus, early identification of warning signs helps people take timely actions and preventive measures, giving them the power to challenge depression (Strakowski & Nelson, 2016).
As well, early identification of warning signs helps the patient to determine when, how and where the symptoms started to show up. For instance, symptoms are triggered by various situations and events such as poor sleep, stress, alcohol and other drug abuse and conflict among loved ones. Understanding triggers and early warning signs of an illness helps a person to put everything together and take appropriate actions to counter the severity risk of depression before it develops into a serious health complication (Eisendrath, 2016).
After figuring out the warning signs and triggers of a depression, then the patient decides how to take action. However, taking action entails smaller parts such as;
One of the fundamental aspects of building healthy coping skills is practicing and maintaining a healthy standard of living. Thus, healthy activities include health thinking, maintaining a healthy diet, performing regular exercises, practicing relaxation skills and getting enough sleep (Freberg, 2010). Building health coping skills brings about a significant impact on the mood of a person and consequently enhancing his/her ability to deal with the challenges in the most appropriate and effective way. On the contrary, unhealthy activities hamper the mood of a person worsening the problem. Therefore, the primary goal of preventing relapse of depression is to build healthy changes to the affected persons by maintaining their long-time commitment to keeping up even during stressful events (Cacioppo & Freberg, 2012).
Identifying and consequently managing stress is a critical part of wellness as it enables individuals control some things that cause stress. Thus, it’s important for people to possess stress management skills as they play a significant role in helping them identify stress and subsequently take proactive action in solving problems and other health complications such as depression (Strakowski & Nelson, 2016). Additionally, stress management skills help them deal with stressful events proactively enhancing their well-being and by extension preventing a relapse of major depressive disorder.
After identifying signs and stressful situations that cause major depression and other health complications, proactive management, and preventive measures follow forthwith. Thus, among some of the healthy coping skills and strategies includes;
Taking proactive actions and steps to control the severity of stressful situations by increasing the person’s resilience and consequently boosting his/her self-esteem.
During the stressful events, the affected person is required to reach out to his/her family, friends and relatives to help ease the crisis.
Preventing a relapse of depression by ensuring timely treatment and medication plan immediately after the onset of the earliest warning signs of the disorder.
Reaching out to a medical psychiatrist or a primary doctor for long-term maintenance treatment to prevent the illness from worsening.
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