What is major depression?
Major Depressive Disorder (also known simply as Depression) is characterised by a persistent and long lasting feeling of sadness, no matter what life events are occurring around them. It is normal to experience periods of sadness throughout our lives, especially during events such as deaths, divorce or serious illness. This generally will lift after some time has passed. However people who are diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder will feel that they can never shake the feeling of sadness, and it will begin to affect their mood and behaviour. They may lose their appetite, sleep more than usual or have trouble sleeping at all, and lose interest in activities such as social events or hobbies they once participated in.
Major Depressive Disorder can be debilitating and even become life threatening as the person may feel that life is not worth living. It is recommended to get help sooner rather than later.
What are the symptoms of major depression?
To diagnose Major Depressive Disorder, a doctor or medical professional will look at a person’s symptoms, feelings and behaviour, and will determine the severity of the condition if it is present. There are three levels of severity:
- Mild, in which a few or many of the symptoms are evident but only lead to a minor impairment of everyday life
- Moderate, in which symptoms are somewhere between mild and severe
- Severe, in which many symptoms are evident and lead to a debilitating breakdown in everyday life. Severe Major Depressive Disorder might be considered to be unmanageable by the patient
The symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder include:
- Feeling sad almost every day
- Feeling restless and not being able to sleep, or sleeping more than usual
- Getting no enjoyment out of activities you once loved such as social events, hobbies and pastimes
- Experiencing a change in appetite, and either gaining or losing weight
- Having a lack of energy
- Having difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks, being easily distracted
- Thinking about harming yourself or contemplating suicide
Depending upon the severity of the Major Depressive Disorder, the majority of people will get better once they seek treatment. There are a range of treatment options available, and the earlier medical help is sort, the quicker the disorder can be managed.
How common is major depression?
It is estimated that around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and around 110,000 adolescents (or 2.8% of 4 to 17 year olds). Research suggests that half of all cases of depression in adults start around the age of 14, and three fourths of cases by age 24.
What are the causes of major depression?
As with many mental illnesses and disorders, the exact cause of Major Depressive Disorder is unknown. It is known, however, that certain factors can make its development more likely including genes, with researchers finding significant links between blood relatives with the condition. Changes in the balance of hormones in the body and even stress can affect brain chemistry and also lead to the development of the condition.
It is also believed that Major Depressive Disorder may be triggered by:
- Substance abuse
- Medical conditions such as cancer or hypothyroidism
- Particular types of medications
Treatment options for major depression
At Brain Training Australia™ we off Neurofeedback Brain Training for clients opting for a safe, natural and drug-free approach for clients struggling with major depression to retrain brain activity and to optimise brain functionality.
Regain a quality of life, get in touch
Major Depressive Disorder is a serious condition and needs to be addressed as soon as symptoms are recognised. It is never too late to get started.
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Your first step is to get in contact with us.
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The team at Brain Training Australia™ recognise the unique qualities of all our clients and will work closely with you to personalise your Brain Training Program so that you can achieve your goals of optimal mental processes.
We look forward to helping you live a much richer, happier and healthier life.