Depression

Depression is a well-known disease since ancient times. From mythological texts to Hippocrates, from Galen to Avicenna, many writers, scientists and thinkers have tried to recognize this disease and learn its causes.

Today, it is known that depression is one of the diseases that cause the most disability in the world and its prevalence is around 8-20%. It is more common in women than men, and more common in unmarried people than married people.

Deterioration in the amount and functions of chemicals (neurotransmitters) such as serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine in the brain, changes in the neuroendocrine system such as overactivity in the hypothalamo-pituito-adrenal axis (the region of the brain where hormones that regulate emotions and behaviors are located), sleep-wake cycle disorders, deterioration in the immune system and genetic factors are among the known causes of depression today.

However, environmental stressors, traumatic life experiences, and some personality structures may predispose to depression.

Symptoms such as depressed mood lasting at least two weeks, lack of energy, not being able to enjoy activities that were previously enjoyed, fatigue, reluctance, sleep and appetite disorders, pessimism, worthlessness, guilt and suicidal thoughts can be seen in depression. Suicide resulting in death is observed in approximately 10-15% of all depressive patients.

Apart from these, physical symptoms such as head, neck and back pain, sexual dysfunctions, auditory hallucinations or delusions (thought disorders) may accompany.

Treatment planning should be made for each patient according to the patient’s condition and the severity of the disease.

Antidepressants are the main drugs used in treatment, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, mood stabilizer drugs can also be used in the treatment depending on the situation.

It should be known that antidepressant drugs may cause mild side effects in the first days, their effects begin slowly within 2-3 weeks, they are not addictive, they should be used for 6-12 months for complete recovery and should be left under the control of a doctor.

Various therapy methods, especially cognitive behavioral therapy, have also been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression and are widely applied in appropriate patients.

Untreated depression increases the risk of suicide, and recurrence and chronicity are common.

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