Major Depression Disorder By La ShandaLatimer 3.6.2010
What is Major Depression?
Major Depression Disorder (MDD) is commonly known as depression. Depression is a medical illness that involves the mind and body. It affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression can be diagnosed by a health care professional when a patient demonstrates at least 2 weeks of depressed mood and loss of at least four additional symptoms of depression.
Who gets depression?
An estimated 23 to 35 million U.S. adults are likely to experience depression at some point during their lifetime. The disease affects men and women of all ages, races, and economic levels. Studies show that depression occur twice as frequently in women.
What causes depression?
It has not been identified that there is just one single cause of depression. It appears that interaction with genetics, environmental factors and a few other factors play a role.
Symptoms of depression.
Low energy or fatigue
Feeling worthless or guilty for no reason
Significant weight change
Loss of interest in favorite activities
Who or what can help?
What medications can help? Anti-depressants
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy is a form of therapy which patients are encouraged to engage in vocational tasks or expressive activities, for example art or dance. This type of therapy is usually in a social setting and it is a great form of treatment.
How can Occupational Therapy help patients? A person who suffers from depression may find it difficult to manage daily activities. The occupational therapist works with the person to help them accomplish everyday tasks. For example, a schedule that helps the patient plan activities for the day might be one goal of occupational therapy.
There's no sure way to prevent depression. However, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and to boost low self-esteem may help.
Friendship and social support, especially in times of crisis, can help you weather rough spells.
Treatment at the earliest sign of a problem can help prevent depression from worsening.
Coping and support
Simplify your life. Cut back on obligations when possible, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Give yourself permission to do less when you feel down.
Consider writing in a journal. Journaling can improve mood by allowing you to express pain, anger, fear or other emotions.
Read reputable self-help books. Your doctor or therapist may be able to recommend books to read.
Join a support group. Connecting with others facing similar challenges can help you cope. Local support groups for depression are available in many communities, and support groups for depression are also offered online.
Don't become isolated. Try to participate in social activities, and get together with family or friends regularly.
Take care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.
Learn ways to relax and manage your stress. Examples include meditation, yoga and tai chi.
Structure your time. Plan your day and activities. You may find it helpful to make a list of daily tasks, use sticky notes as reminders or use a planner to stay organized.
Don't make important decisions when you're down. Avoid decision making when you're feeling very depressed, since you may not be thinking clearly.
Mental Health America
National Institute of Mental Health
Quick Reference to Occupational Therapy, 2d Edition