Unipolar depression refers to major depression or major depressive disorder (MDD), which is a mental disorder. Episodes that revolve around low mood along with loss of interest or pleasure in activities that are normally enjoyed and low-self-esteem are among the primary characteristics of this form of depression. The term ‘unipolar’ is used so that this form of depression can be distinguished from depression that takes place within the context of bipolar disorder. This form of depression is a condition that can disable a person, adversely affecting their family, school or work life, eating and sleeping habits, and general health.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Major Depression?
Psychological symptoms: The impact that this form of depression has on the functioning and well-being of an individual is similar to that of medical conditions like diabetes. Every aspect of a person’s life and their ability to experience pleasure in activities that were previous enjoyed is pervaded by the really low mood that is exhibited during an episode of major depression. People suffering from this form of depression may constantly feel and think that they are worthless, feel inappropriately guilty or regretful, helpless, hopeless, and they make begin hating themselves. Symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions or unpleasant hallucinations may also be experienced in severe cases. Other symptoms of unipolar depression include:
- Poor concentration and memory
- Reduced sex drive
- Thoughts of suicide or death
- Withdrawal from social activities and situations
Multiple physical symptoms may also be reported by a person suffering from major depression, such as digestive problems, fatigue, and headaches. Major depression also results in the decrease in appetite, which leads to weight loss. Agitated and lethargic behavior may also be noticed by the family and friends of the individual suffering from major depression.
What Are Causes Of Unipolar Depression?
When it comes to the causes of this form of depression, a role is played by biological, psychological, and social factors. Major depression may occur when stressful life events activate preexisting vulnerability within an individual. Damage to the cerebellum may also be the direct cause of this form of depression. According to research, people who have experienced really stressful life events are likely to experience major depression, and they are even more likely to experience it if they have a variation in the 5-HTT gene, which is a serotonin transporter. There is also a 30% chance among men and 40% chance among women that they may inherit depression, which may reach a severe stage.
How To Manage Or Treat Major Depression?
Medication, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy are among the three most common treatments. For people under 18, psychotherapy is the most feasible option while electroconvulsive therapy is considered only as a last resort treatment option for major depression. When it comes to treating major depression, antidepressants are the medications of choice, and the most effective ones include:
- Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
Unipolar depression is not really an illness, but making positive lifestyle changes cannot only prove to be helpful in treating it, but can also help prevent it as well.